Today, I present to you one of the best deals I've seen in years. It's just as the title says, free money and free Fitbits for everyone. It's not one of those giveaways that 2 people win (and it is never you). Everyone that participates should get free money and that's where the free Fitbit comes in.
Let me explain how it works.
1. Buy a Fitbit
There are a few types of Fitbits available at different price points. Personally, I'd buy a Fitbit Ultra on Ebay. (That link should take you directly to a Buy It Now option above $30, so you don't have to bid multiple times or wade through pages of accessories.) You can sometimes find them for between $30 and $40, but I think they are a great deal at $60. The Ultra is an older model that won my award for Product of the Year in 2012.
Fitbit phased out the Ultra, but I really like the design. Today there is a Fitbit Zip that looks a little large for my tastes, but syncs with smartphones and tablets with bluetooth. At $50, it is a solid frugal choice, but it won't track sleep or count floors (a key feature) like the Ultra.
For all the Ultra's features (floor climbing and sleep tracking), plus the bluetooth connection (not a big deal to me), you'd have to get the Fitbit One at around $99. Meh, get the Ultra on Ebay.
Fitbit also makes some wrist-tracking devices, but those are also $99 and $129, which defeat the purpose of this deal, unless you really love that design and think it is worth the extra money.
3. Sign up for AchieveMint
I learned about AchieveMint a couple of months ago. The website rewards you for doing healthy things, such as checking into a gym with FourSquare. There are tons of ways to earn points, including using most of the popular social media sites, but right now I'm just using the Fitbit.
What do AchieveMint points get you? Money. For every 25,000 point you get, they'll send you a Visa gift card for $25.
The next natural question is how easy is it to get to 25,000 points. Everyone is going to be different, but I've been a member for a couple of months now and I'm averaging 143 points a day. That's 52,195 points a year, or $50 a year. That stated, I also have the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Scale that gives me 30 points for weighing myself and doing a body fat measurement. Most of my points are still from walking with the Fitbit.
Also, I have a dog and give him a few walks a day, but other than that I'm fairly sedentary at a computer. I don't think it would be too unusual for most people to get $40 a year with AchieveMint (especially if you use the ways to earn points).
If it wasn't obvious by now, the "free" Fitbit comes in the form of payments from AchieveMint - almost like reimbursements or a rebate. However, I think it is a little better in that the money keeps on coming... as long as AchieveMint is in business and making payments. That might be a big assumption, but you can keep your risk very low ($30-$50 for the Fitbit tracker) and always resell it later on if it isn't your thing. I figure that in worst case scenario AchieveMint goes bankrupt the day after you buy your tracker, you decide that you hate the idea of measuring your health, and sell it for a net loss of $10... not exactly the end of the world.
I should mention that AchieveMint gathers statistics that are aggregated and anonymized. Your information is being put to use, but they "never reveal personal information or individual level data." I consider that a non-event when it comes to privacy.
Let me know what you think about this deal in the comments. I understand it is not going to fund your beach house payments any time soon, but I hope to get points for getting you a piece of cool technology and show you how it can actually make you money, without doing anything extra.
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