Verizon Smart Rewards is arguably one of the most worthless loyalty programs out there. You give them the rights to mine all your personal data and they gave you…10% off things. If you were lucky. Apparently they listened to all the outrage and came up with Verizon Up which launched August 1. (Verizon Smart Rewards will be discontinued November 1, 2017.)
But is it an improvement?
They have a shiny new website and marketing that just doesn’t speak to me. “Because, thanks.” Really? I personally hate it when companies try to be trendy and miss the mark. Even more so when they care it throughout the website. But I don’t actually care about the marketing, it’s the earning and burning options I care about.
Signing Up for Verizon Up Requires Downloading the App
Bad news for folks with limited smart phone capacity. To participate in the program you have to have the My Verizon app. In general this is also annoying as I tend to do reward redemptions on my computer rather than my phone.
You Still Have to Volunteer All Your Personal Info
Enrollment in Verizon Up also requires enrolling in Verizon Selects which captures and shares info about your device usage and location, postal and email addresses, usage of other Verizon products and services, etc.
Credits Are Capped and Expire in 60 Days
It takes $300 in spend to earn a credit and you only have 60 days to redeem it before it expires. At least they are very up front about this, mentioning it multiple times in the mini-guide. You also can only earn up to 10 credits at a time, you stop earning additional credits until your balance drops below 10.
You Earn One Credit for Signing Up
If you do go to the trouble to download the app and grant access to your information they give you a credit up front. That’s helpful since you only start earning credits after you sign up. I paid my bill two days ago and signed up today so it won’t count towards my balance.
The Rewards Are Worth More
I’m not saying they’re worth your privacy, but comparing them to Verizon Smart Rewards, these are actually worth something. Here are a few that came up when I signed up:
- 20% Off 10 Uber Rides in 30 days
- 3 Months of HBO Now Free (for new users)
- $5 Starbucks Gift Card
They also have an option called Super Tickets, exclusive access to events, shows, concerts, and live experiences such as Lady Gaga or Kenny Chesney concerts. Apparently it only takes one credit to redeem, you just have to be quick and snag one of the few available.
6 reward types are offered at a time and refreshed at the beginning of each month.
Verizon Up is a big improvement over Verizon Smart Rewards but it’s still not amazing. If you’re not skittish about sharing your usage info and particularly if you have a high smart phone bill this program is a good way to earn gift cards for payments you were already going to make. And who knows? You just might get lucky and score one of the special Super Tickets.