I’ve seen these offers for a free XBOX 360 (or a free PS3, iPod, etc etc) where all you have to do is sign up for some product offers, or refer your friends. I was intrigued, as free things typically do, and I wanted to see how it worked.
After you signup, you’re given a list of product offers and free trials and each have a value in points, typically around 50. In order to get what I was after, a XBOX 360 + 1 game, you needed 1040 points. Your obligation for each offer can be just registering for a free trial, only paying shipping and handling, spending a certain amount or becoming a paying member for a year. There is also a fair amount of ambiguity which sometimes makes it difficult to determine exactly what things will ultimately cost you.
Instead of wasting alot of time, signing up and building up my points, I got my old spreadsheet out and did a best estimate how much 1040 points would actually cost you. I determined that it would cost you at least $280, making that about 3.8 points for each dollar you spend (so you can get a rough estimate on the cost of other prizes).
For me this isn’t worth it, you’ll have to jump through many hoops and the cost could dramatically increase. When you looking at what a new XBOX 360 costs ($299 with no game), the savings are slim. When you look at what you can get on eBay, it’s completely not worth it.