If there was an audio introduction to this blog, it would go something like this: e-Rewards, dun dun dun (you know, in an overly dramatic, suspenseful, and ominous sort of way). e-Rewards is the US Airways Grand Slam hit that I love, and I hate. Before I get into how it works, and why it holds such a special place in my heart, I want to cover a few basics since these posts can be confusing if there is no basic knowledge to start from. If you are new to the US Airways Grand Slam and have no clue what hits I am talking about, I highly encourage you to read through Parts 1-3 of this series. Part 1 in particular gives some background about the US Airways Gland Slam, how it works, when it historically happens, and how lucrative it can be. We still don’t know for sure if there will be a Grand Slam this year or not, but I want to be ready just in case it does make a triumphant return.
2012 Grand Slam Preparations Part 4: e-Rewards (this post)
In I love the e-Rewards hit in the Grand Slam because it is free. Some hits are free, some are cheap, and some are kinda pricey. Free is almost always better than pricey. However, we all know that things don’t cost you monetarily, often cost you in other ways. In this case, the currency is time and your opinions for market research. e-Rewards is similar to e-Miles in that you are getting rewarded by filling out surveys. However, there are some major differences between e-Miles and e-Rewards. With e-Rewards you have to be invited to participate. There is no way to just sign-up or be referred by a current member. I have received invitations before from airline and hotel partners such as Delta, Priority Club, and US Airways. There is a decent chance you have received those sort of invitations before as well, and just not paid attention to them. I recommend doing a search for “e-Rewards” in your various email accounts and see if you have an invitation sitting around that you might be able to utilize. Make sure that US Airways is a transfer partner before you start accumulating rewards for the purposes of the Grand Slam. Not all invitations have US Airways as a transfer partner.
Another difference is that the e-Rewards surveys are often much longer than the ones with e-Miles. They can also be more lucrative. I have had single surveys get me about 1/5 of the way there to the minimum transfer threshold. With e-Rewards you have to accumulate $25.00 worth of credit by completing the surveys before you can redeem that credit for 500 US Airways miles. That was enough to get a hit in last year’s Grand Slam. Don’t think that you can just cash out your $25.00 and run if you don’t want to transfer to US Airways. There are many redemptions options, but last time I checked it took $70.00 in credit to redeem for a $25.00 gift card to a retailer.
Last year I started pretty strong with e-Rewards and completed a number of (time consuming) surveys online. I got to $14.60 and then about half-way through the Grand Slam I stopped getting surveys. This wasn’t a slow-down it was a full and complete stop. Now, nine months later, I still have yet to receive another survey. I actually contacted e-Rewards a few weeks ago to see if there was some technical glitch that was preventing me from receiving surveys and I received the following response:
We have reviewed your past participation in the e-Rewards program and have determined that your particular demographic and consumer profile may not be in high demand for our clients at this time.
As e-Rewards serves a vast array of clients in a myriad of industry verticals, it is not unusual to have market research needs change abruptly and frequently.
I have updated my interest and answered surveys truthfully, but I still have received no additional surveys. It was indeed abrupt, as they put it. I guess educated, middle class, married, female, American, 30-somethings are not in high demand. ;) Needless to say, this probably won’t be a hit for me in this Grand Slam, just like it wasn’t last year. I will possibly be stalled at $14.60 for eternity. The upside is not devoting the time to the surveys! However, I do wish I was able to get the rest of the way to $25.00 and get this free hit.
There are some limits about the number of transfers you can make to partners. Some have quarterly limits, some have limits based on calendar months, and some don’t have limits at all. I don’t have much experience with those limits since I have never even reached the $25.00 threshold, but you can read some about those limits and other issues on this helpful Flyertalk thread. For those who are fortunate enough to actually receive surveys, this can be a useful way to build hotel point balances with the intent of using those points as hits in the Grand Slam as well. If you fall into that camp, just keep an eye on the transfer limits with the hotels partners you use since we are coming to the end of a quarter.
The main takeaways from this are: to keep an eye out for invitations from e-Rewards in your email account(s) and to start building you balance back up if you already have an e-Rewards account. Maybe one day I will be the targeted demographic again, but until then I’m happy for all of you who are able to get this valuable “free” hit! e-Rewards veterans, please feel free to chime in with details and tips that I have forgotten to include.