Consumer Alert: Cybergold's "Free Money" Not So Cheap
Cybergold is a web-based
advertising service that offers consumers the opportunity to
earn credits for viewing specific advertisements on the web.
When $5 worth of these credits have been accumulated, the dollar
equivalent can be transferred to the consumers credit card or
Cybergold is one of several
that are based on the premise that you can earn money to surf the web.
It's arguable that viewing ads or answering questionnaires
on a specific web site is "surfing the web", but
if Cybergold is typical of these programs, participants are likely
to be spending a good deal more money than they earn.
Free Offers, Trial Offers, & Rebates
Although there are a limited number of these offers that allow
you to earn credits without spending money, most of these
pay only 25¢ or 50¢ a piece... and since you can
only earn the Cybergold once per offer, it can be touch
reaching the minimum threshhold amount using just the free offers,
not to mention the fact that your effective rate of Cybergold
pay is far below minimum wage.
In some cases, you can earn money with a "free trial", but beware
of those offers in which your subscription continues after
the free trial if you fail to cancel.
For all the rest, the "cyber rewards" are the online version
of a rebate program, and it makes sense to participate
only if you were going to buy the product anyway at the same price.
A promise of $2 in Cybergold for merely qualifying
for a credit card drew the Cagey Consumer's attention.
But upon reading the fine print on the applications from Premiere Bank's
FutureCard web site,
it appers that your application will result in a $69 annual
fee for a secured credit card (with a $250 minimum initial
deposit) or $168 in one-time program and setup fees plus
a $5 monthly charge for an unsecured card, and it's not exactly
obvious how to earn the Cybergold credit without actually incurring
With these fees, earning $2 in Cybergold no longer seems so attractive.
Give It Up, Cybergold!
Cybergold actually has a
on its method of attracting viewers
to its site by offering them money.
But when people realize that Cybergold's site is just one more
internet source of scams and ripoffs, it seems less likely that
this method of business will be a profitable one.
I'm closing my Cybergold account today, and my advice
to those reading this site is, if you haven't already
signed up for a Cybergold account, don't bother!
When Cybergold makes it clear that it won't allow for offers
to be misrepresented or otherwise fraudulent, maybe I'll
give them another chance.