Earn money with your smartphone: five apps that pay

3. CheckPoints

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    A CVS Pharmacy is seen in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 2, 2011. Gift certificates from CheckPoints are available at the drugstore chain as well as other stores, including GameStop and Fandango.
    John Raoux/AP/File
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CheckPoints is an iPhone and Android app that allows users to get points by going to stores – electronic stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, and so on. Then they check in through the free app and scan barcodes of products. After a scan, a digital coupon or interactive marketing message can pop up. The idea is to reward people for coming into a store, and boost the chance that they’ll buy something featured on the “virtual endcap” – advertised products on the to-be-scanned list.

The points can be used to redeem gift certificates to stores and restaurants, airline miles, or a donation to a charitable cause. Gift certificates are available at CVS, GameStop, and Fandango, among others. To win even more points – without going to another location – users can scan a designated “featured product” and earn a coin. Coins can be used to play games in the bonus area, which can result in thousands of points for a single win.

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