This app says that it can help you to ‘earn rewards for checking into nearby locations.’ But can you really make money with the mPLUS Places App?
I found this app as I was researching new and better ways to earn extra cash. I like the idea of earning extra money with an app, because I always have my phone on me, and it seems like this could be an awesome way to fill in extra time.
But… does it work?
That’s the big question! So I downloaded the app for myself and gave it a try. Here is a record of my experiences.
What Is The mPLUS Places App?
To start with, let’s talk for a minute about the basics.
The mPLUS Places App has over 500,000 downloads, has been reviewed by more than 20,000 different users, and has a Google Play rating of 4.3 stars—which is pretty good.
Thus far, it pretty much meets all of my criteria. I find that I am much more likely to like a particular app if it has more than 3.5 stars and greater than 250,000 downloads… and this app pretty much blows both of these specifications out of the water.
The tagline for the app reads as follows…
“Earn rewards for checking into nearby locations.”
Ok. I’ve used apps like this before. But I wasn’t sure if this was more of a shopping app or a survey app—so I decided to go ahead and open it up to see what I found.
Opening Up The mPLUS Places App For The First Time
Opening up mPLUS Places for the first time revealed this attractively-designed sign-in screen.
I wanted to use my Facebook login to connect, and did so… which was very easy. After that, I needed to provide my birth-date, gender, and zip code… which took about five seconds. After that, I was ushered on to the next page, which looked like this.
This was basically the first in a series of three scrolling screens that gave me information about the app. Here is what I learned while reviewing these screens.
- Collect mPLUS Points while you’re at home and on the go
- Use these points to get gift cards, merchandise, and to enter contests (you can also donate them)
- You can earn points when you check in at your favorite stores
- You can also earn mPLUS points just by using the app
- Participate in challenges, which are basically multi-step missions where you follow directions to earn points
There was a little bit more to these screens than this, but this gives you a pretty basic overview of what I learned on these pages.
After moving past this screen, the app asked me if I wanted to let it use my location to show me where I could collect points in my area. I said yes, and was then taken to a map.
The map was quite Pokémon Go-esque in style, and literally showed a ‘bubble’ of where I was. It also showed me where, in my general area, I could check in to earn points. It also showed me prize boxes, etc.
I will say… even in my quaint little town, there were places very close by where I could check in. There is a Casey’s General Store down the street, for example, that I could check into for 5 points, and so on.
I could also check in at my local Subway for 5 points, or a local convenience store for the same amount. There were actually quite a few different stores that I could make use of to earn points, which I was pretty excited about.
But now, I found myself wondering exactly how much these points were worth. I could easily see myself earning 25 points, just by checking into local stores as I either visited them or drove past them, on a daily basis… without spending a ton of time or really going out of my way. I feel like I could probably earn additional points too, but these would be the easiest points for me to get.
So I was curious to figure out, at this rate, how long it would take me to make any money or to earn any cool rewards.
So that’s what I looked into next.
Figuring Out How Much Points Are Worth In The mPLUS Places App
Figuring this out ended up being pretty straightforward. I just went to the Reward section of the app, located at the bottom left-hand corner, and clicked on it.
Here is what I found.
As it turns out, a $10 WalMart gift card requires 25,000 points to earn. At the rate that this app would allow me to earn points, that is quite a bit. If I understand correctly, there are other apps out there that allow you to earn mPLUS points, but this app, by itself, seems like it would require a considerable amount of time to earn anything with.
Granted, the time investment required to earn the points is quite small—but the number of points you get is also very small.
I took a look around the map again, and realized that I could probably earn closer to 50 points a day if I checked into more businesses. That would take roughly 5 minutes per business, or one minute per point.
Factoring all of this together, it would take me exactly 25,000 minutes to earn a $10 WalMart gift card using the check-in feature alone. I don’t feel like I even need to do the math on this one to show that the money-to-time ratio is not very good.
How Does The App Perform?
Performance-wise, the app functions quite well. It loads correctly, shows me what I need to know, and does what it is supposed to do. There is no doubt that you could eventually earn enough points to get a gift card, and I have no doubt that the app would work well in this regard as well—so it does deserve the positive rating that it maintains.
I can see why people like it. It is really fun to use.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the app is going to be a worthwhile use of time, either. It loads quickly and the screens are vibrant and responsive—but I’m afraid that this is where the good points begin to wane a bit.
Am I Going To Be Keeping The mPLUS Places App On My Personal Phone?
My answer to this is a quick and fast no… for one main reason.
The app just wouldn’t provide me with enough money for my time to make it worthwhile. Yes, you can earn money with it, but to me, the payment-per-hour ratio is far too low to make it worth my time. My time is actually quite valuable, and while I have certainly used worse apps in terms of performance, this one definitely doesn’t pay very well.
Now, with that being said, you might want to use this app if you like to play on your phone, go to different places, and perform little missions to make extra cash. I warn you that your time investment might not amount to much, but this app can provide you with a means to earn a bit of extra money.
Some people in the Google Play reviews say that they have earned hundreds of dollars using the app. But I will be really, really honest—they either must be spending a ton of time on it, or they are making better use of it than I could find to make of it in my trial run.
I guess that some of the other ways to earn points could be utilized to supplement and earn more points, but these would still take time. And in the end, time is what I value the most. So if I am going to be using it to earn extra cash, I really want it to count.
I just feel like my time (and probably yours as well) could be used toward a much greater effect if it was spent attempting to earn cash in some other manner.
Not to be a Debbie-downer about it, but this app just didn’t impress me a lot. I value my time, and being able to earn extra cash on my terms, in a way that is going to give me a real return for my time, is important to me. We only have so much time in the day, people… and it is very important that we make every second count.
Especially when it comes to our financial future and well-being.
Our Final Thoughts About The mPLUS Places App
Should you download it and use it on your phone?
Honestly, when you calculate the time spent trying to make money with apps, it rarely works out to be more than a few dollars per hour. Most of the time, you'll only make a few dollars per month. Personally, I think my time is worth more than that!
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