Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Miles App

I’m always looking for a way to make a dollar or two with my iPhone.  Job Spotter was a really good app, earning me thousands of dollars in Amazon gift cards over a few years.  There are others, like Shopkick and ReceiptPal, which require some patience.  I’m not going to get rich, but I might be able to get some snacks once in a while or pay for a birthday gift.

When I came across Miles, it sounded great.  You get miles for any form of travel, with a multiplier based on what kind of travel it is.  Driving a car gets no multiplier, so you earn one mile for each mile you’re travelling.  The exception is if you’re carpooling, in which case you get double miles.  Walking gets the maximum multiplier of ten.  (Walking two miles earns you twenty.)

You might ask what you get for these miles.  Therein lies the problem.  Miles has all sorts of offers, like a discount at a store for new customers.  You might get two free audiobooks to download.  After a while, it becomes obvious that these are similar to the offers that a new customer would get anyway.  There’s no real benefit to redeeming your miles other than the fact that they’re basically advertising the offers.  It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that you’re redeeming miles so that they can earn a referral bonus off of you.

To be fair, I’m not above using a referral code.  You may have noticed a few in the opening paragraph.  What’s underhanded about it is making you work for it.  You have to earn miles for something that you could do anyway.

From what I’ve read, they did have gift cards for Starbucks and Amazon in the beginning.  Since I signed up, I’ve been able to get exactly one $2 Amazon gift card.  Even if Miles had something that I couldn’t get elsewhere, the offers they have are useless to me.  Some are for luxury car rentals.  Some are for discounts on snack boxes and cakes.  In each case, I have to make a purchase.  Why should I let them track my movements when I still have to pay for something?

The cost of each offer is pretty low.  It doesn’t take long to earn the requisite number of miles.  But that’s meaningless if I’m not interested in it anyway.  I’d rather just get a gift card, even if I have to wait a little longer.

Don’t bother with the app.  If you have downloaded it, the app should be the first to go if you need to clear up some space on your phone.

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