During my free time, I usually load the latest app on my phone and start tapping away. I have earned several impressive scores on the latest games, which means – pretty much nothing. I have nothing to show for it other than a high score no one cares about.
A buddy of mine recently told me about Crowdtap and how I can earn gift cards by using my free time to answer my mobile phone surveys. In exchange for providing my feedback about brands and products, Crowdtap sends you electronic gift cards you can use at popular online stores.
I’m not talking about all the other gimmicks people try and sell you; I’m talking about an actual app I have used to get real gift cards.
Crowdtap’s History and Beginnings
Founded in 2009 by Brandon Evans and Kareem Kouddous, the Crowdtap headquarters is located in New York, New York. Brandon and Kareem’s vision was to increase communication between consumers and brands, which would increase value for all involved. Increased communication helps companies understand what customers want, and Crowdtap users are incentivized for providing valuable feedback.
With that vision, Crowdtap was born. The software application is the middle man that connects brands to valuable customers who are willing to give honest feedback. Brands receive valuable feedback on their products and ideas while customers are rewarded with prizes like gift cards and products.
Investors quickly saw the value in Crowdtap and were willing to contribute to their initial Series A funding. In July of 2011, Foundry Group and Tribeca Venture Partners contributed $7 million to the company.
What is Crowdtap?
As previously stated, Crowdtap creates a link that brings brands and consumers. Crowdtap users share their opinion after testing out new products or answering surveys about potential products or ideas. This helps brands create unique content that customers want.
While other survey programs focus on a wide range of topics, Crowdtap focuses primarily on brands and consumers.
My Experience With Crowdtap
Because I would never write a product review without actually using it, I documented the steps I took to create a Crowdtap account and what was involved in starting making money.
The Crowdtap Signup Process
After learning about Crowdtap, I went to their website and found two ways to create an account. I could either use my Facebook account or use an email address. I used the Facebook account process because I’m lazy since I figured it would be fewer steps (I was right).
The Onboarding Process
After logging in, I was immediately met with a series of questions. Crowdtap was attempting to filter out automated bots and other people who were not interested in providing valuable feedback but wanted to make a quick buck.
The series of questions made me type specific words in a text box to see if I was paying attention and made me check boxes related to the program’s rules and integrity. The Crowdtap team did a good job of mixing up the questions to weed out those who were not joining for the right reasons. Crowdtap made it clear the expectations are:
- To provide quality and honest feedback.
- Make extra money in my free time!
Sounds like a win-win to me.
Verifying My Account
After finishing the survey, Crowdtap required me to verify my account. The verification process involved providing my real name, address, and phone number.
This is where I ran into my first problem. My Facebook account does not use my real name, so when I tried to verify my information, Crowdtap quickly denied me the discrepancy between them.
Because of this, I started over and created an account with an email and provided my information. This time I was able to verify my account.
Earning Points By Completing Missions
Missions are actions for users to complete to earn points, which are later exchanged for gift cards. There are several different missions available to users depending on the information brands are looking for
The most traditional type of action is the Questionnaire, which is a fancy name for a survey. Questionnaires ask you a series of questions to provide information back to the brand sponsoring the action.
Unique to Crowdtap, the Discussion Mission connects users and brands to provide valuable feedback in a more personal way. The discussions involve questions where the users can provide candid feedback in their own words, which brands can use to improve their products.
Like the Questionnaire, this is a more traditional survey geared to provide feedback quickly and conveniently. Polls allow users to answer questions through multiple choice questions or share content over social media.
Photo Missions turn users into influencers. Brands will ask Crowdtap users to take a photograph of you using their product, their product in a specific location, or doing some other type of activity with their product. After taking the picture, you need to share the photo on your social media account to boost the brand’s image to earn points.
Brands constantly struggle with content marketing. They use A/B testing, which is basically throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what sticks. They then reuse the most effective marketing campaign.
Rather than go through this hassle, Crowdtap allows brands to send links to users that go to some branded content like a YouTube video, blog post, photo, or other creative content. After viewing the content, you provide feedback to the brand about what you like or dislike and what they could do to improve the content.
Text Missions are short-form question and answer format surveys. Rather than an open discussion or long-form responses, these missions allow brands to ask specific questions which require a short personal response from the user.
Sampling or Hosted Party Missions
In my opinion, these are, by far, the best missions. Brands send you their products for review and either host parties with your friends using the products or simple sampling for the individual user. Since most Crowdtap users want these types of missions, I found they are few and far between.
How To Earn Crowdtap Rewards
Each time you complete a mission, you earn a certain number of points. Each mission will provide you with a different number of points, which are identified ahead of time. The points are later exchanged for gift cards of your choice.
You also are provided free products if you are selected for sampling or hosted party mission.
The Point System
Each time you complete a mission and earn points, your point total is increased on your dashboard.
After participating in several missions, I found the point payout varies by the amount of time the mission takes and the brand sponsoring the mission.
For smaller missions that take about a minute to complete, I earned around 15 points each time. However, higher-paying surveys take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and I found those paid out around 100 points.
Some of the most valuable missions involved sharing the brand’s content on my verified social media accounts, which paid around 195 points.
Exchanging Points For Gift Cards
To start exchanging points for gift cards, the minimum amount of points needed is 1,000.
The 1,000 Point Threshold
At 1,000 points, I was able to exchange them for a $5 gift card to:
- CVS Pharmacy
- AMC Theatres
- Olive Garden
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- Yard House
- Bahama Breeze
The 2,000 Point Threshold
At 2,000 points, the gift cards increased to $10. I was able to redeem 2,000 points for the above-listed gift cards as well as:
- Google Play
- Playstation Store
- CVS Pharmacy
- Nintendo eShop
The 3,000 Point Threshold
At 3,000 points, the gift cards increased to $15. I could redeem 3,000 for the above-listed brands and also:
The 4,000 Point Threshold
At 4,000 points, gift cards were worth $20 and included all the above-listed brands.
The 5,000 Point Threshold
The top tier was 5,000 points for a $25 gift card to the above-listed brands and also:
Is Crowdtap Legit?
I have been scammed by other online applications with the promise of cash and gift cards for my time, only to be told I didn’t qualify, or they were out of rewards by the time I earned enough points. However, with Crowdtap, I received my electronic gift cards quickly after meeting the point minimums and selecting my products.
From my experience, Crowdtap is legit and actually pays when you complete enough missions to meet the point minimums.
The Pros of Crowdtap
- Easy way to make money in gift cards rather than wasting my time playing games
- User-friendly app
- Actually pays out when you reach rewards.
- A large variety of reward choices
The Cons of Crowdtap
- No referral program for friends and family like other apps
- It takes a long time to earn a $25 gift card.
- A limited number of surveys – can’t take unlimited at any time.
How Much Money I Made With Crowdtap
Overall my experience with Crowdtap was and continues to be good. I only log into the app a few times a day and do it when I have nothing else to do. Because of this, I could only earn a $10 gift card in the first month I started using Crowdtap.
In other words, you’re not going to get rich or earn large rewards with Crowdtap overnight. I found the best way was to use it once and a while, and I would not bother about trying to earn as many points as I could. If I did, I would certainly get frustrated because it can be a grind with how many points it takes for significant rewards.
Overall, I recommend Crowdtap to people looking to make a few extra bucks each month rather than wasting their time with other apps that only give them high scores no one cares about.
This article originally appeared on Your Money Geek and has been republished with permission.