6 Ways You Can Earn Cash and Rewards With Your Fitness Tracker Playing Pokémon Go
One of the best unintended side effects of the popularity of Pokémon Go is that players are walking more than usual as they explore their neighborhoods and communities. Here's how you can earn some extra cash with all those extra steps – and get paid to hunt Pokémon. Yes, really!
I'm not a pro athlete, but I get paid to work out. I keep my Fitbit on me at all times, logging all of the steps, workouts, and calories that slowly but surely earn me a little extra cash on the side.
Wait. Full stop, you say. Your fitness tracker is earning extra cash? Is that actually a real thing that exists? Can I get a piece of that action?
Yes, yes, and OH YES YOU CAN.
There's a whole host of websites and apps out there that connect to fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone, along with other tracking services you may use like RunKeeper or your Withings scale, and the more you steps you take, the more food you track, the more health data you feed them, the more points you earn to cash in for things like gift cards.
Hook up your tracking devices, apps and social accounts up to AchieveMint to put your healthy habits to work earning points towards a $50 check. And because it rewards you with cold, hard cash, it's definitely my favorite of the incentive apps we found.
Walking works out to 1 point for every 125 steps on average, but it's on a sliding scale so walking more earns more points per step, and less works out to less. My average of 6,400-6,600 steps on weekdays when I don't go for a run works out to 51-53 points per day. Although it can take awhile to accumulate the 50,000 points required for a payout, it's hard to argue when annoying your friends with tweets about your lunch is passively adding to your total points. Also, if you use both Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, connect them to double dip on points when you weigh in.
Here's a screenshot of my own AchieveMint account:
See those days with 12,000+ steps? That would be me out hunting Pokémon.
Achievemint currently syncs with a number of fitness, lifestyle and social media apps, including Fitbit, RunKeeper, Twitter, Foursquare, Jawbone, Garmin, MyFitnessPal, and many more.
Like Achievemint, Higi syncs with your fitness apps and trackers to earn points, which you can then cash in for healthy rewards, mostly discounts like $30 off $65 shoes at Bucketfeet or $35 off $75 fitness apparel at 2XU. So it's kind of like Brad's Deals, if we made you go for a run before letting you access the deal.
You can earn extra points by stopping at a Higi Station, located in some retail pharmacies, to track your weight, BMI, pulse blood pressure. Although Higi Stations are getting pretty common, they are not everywhere. But don't let that stop you - using a station isn't required.
If you find the idea of losing money to be a good motivator, then you'll like using Pact to track and encourage your fitness goals. The tagline here is "Earn real cash for living healthily, paid by the members who don't!"
The idea is that you place a bet, say $20, that you will meet your fitness goals for the week. If you don't do it, you're out $20. But if you do, then you'll get your $20 back, plus a piece of the pie from everyone who did not. The site claims that rewards typically range from $0.30 to $5 per week.
Walgreens Balance Rewards
If you frequent your neighborhood Walgreens at all, you probably already have a Balance Rewards account. Connect your Fitbit or other fitness tracker to your account from your Dashboard to earn points for your daily fitness activities. 5000 points is worth a $5 store coupon.
And yes, it is crazy hard to find the page where you sync up your apps, so I'm including a shortcut. Log in, then go here: https://www.walgreens.com/steps/appmarket.jsp
Bounts is a UK site sponsored by Oxford University and the European Space Agency, but it's available in several countries including the USA. You then use your points to buy credits, and use credits for stuff in the rewards shop. Because it's so UK-centric, users based in the US have pretty limited options for cashing out since most rewards are for UK vendors, but the iTunes gift cards should work on both sides of the Atlantic, and Best Western seems likely to work as well. Just remember that you can't use Amazon.co.uk gift cards at Amazon.com. Silly, but true, and a painful mistake to make.
One of the more interesting things you can do with your credits is buy a spin on a wheel to win rewards or "money can't buy experiences", or you could just lose all your points. Premium members earn points faster and have access to special Premium rewards that free users can't get.
One thing to note about Bounts is that they make you work for your points. For example, you won't get anything out of a Fitbit unless you log more than 7,000 steps.
Check out this related deal through 7/23/16: