So it has been a very, very quiet weekend. Nothing.
I wasn't really going to bring up Mobee, but I wanted you guys to know that I haven't fallen off a cliff. It's a great program and has moved from "just Boston" to several metro areas.
The only factor that makes this site worth mentioning to the general audience is that it is, by far, the best online reward site (similar to Checkpoints and Shopkick) that I have found. By a long, long long-shot.
The site allows you to do reviews, called "missions," of local chain restaurants, ranging from Starbucks to Subway, as well as everything not in-between (not a lot of room between St- and Su-.). There are 7-10 yes/no questions (or rate on a scale of 1-10) and then you're done. For instance, my mission today was questions on order accuracy at Starbucks for my morning coffee. I got about eight questions, it took under a minute and I got 200 points (more on that in a bit). You also have to take a picture of the receipt or menu with your phone, just to show that you were actually there.
Why it's so huge: The rewards are ridiculously easy. Missions earn 100-300 points and for the 100 point missions, you don't need to buy anything. If you walk by a bunch of restaurants, walk in, do the survey and leave. 100 points are valued at $1. So most of my Starbucks missions are 200-300 points, take under a minute and get halfway to reloading me for the next day. A $5 Starbucks gift card is 500 points, for instance. I work downtown and walk past probably a dozen chain restaurants every day. Heck, there are two in my office building (Cosi and Au Bon Pain, both of whom participate in Mobee).
Getting a mission is easy. Open the app and press the arrow in the bottom left-hand corner to get a list of restaurants in your area. If you are anywhere near me, you'll have more than you could do in a month. Click on the pin nearest you or determine the restaurant on the map they show you. If you don't like the mission assigned (for instance, if you are walking by a McDonald's but have no interest in buying anything), just close out the app and re-open it. It'll give you a different mission.
The prizes are limited at this point but they have gift cards and cash among them. 2,500 points gets you a $25 iTunes card. 6,000 points gets you $50 in cash. Again, downtowners can do that in two week, tops. For those of us who go for a walk at lunch, it can be a week. At the top end, 100,000 points gets you a cruise, $1,000 shopping spree or two Green Monster seats for the Red Sox. On most other sites, the top prize is unattainable. At Mobee, it's highly, highly doable.
I'll be using Mobee to reload my Starbucks card (now at $8.03), but once I get that done, I'll go for one of the higher prizes.
Downside: I don't know what the revenue model is for this company. If they have contracts with the restaurants that pay them per review, that's good. If they are just collecting data and hoping to sell it, that's bad. Obviously, part of the appeal to the restaurants is that the 300 point reviews require you do buy something. Be "the cost of doing business" for them, not the reason the restaurants are in business. Alternatively, if you really want those 300 point offers, but a $1 (or cheaper) item, get the receipt and then turn around and get $3.00 worth of value from it.
Note: If you sign up through the link above and, if you use my referral code, we each get a one-time bonus of 300 points. My code is BKLZ. But I don't see this as a referral conga. It's simply too easy to accumulate a ton of points.