Bounts is the first app to offer you cash rewards for walking, cycling and training in general. Unlike Bitwalking, Bounts is available to the public and for walking you earn money.
There is quite a lot to take in here so I’ve broken it down into distance needed, tracking and how much do you get paid
How does Bounts monitor my exercise?
The good news is that you don’t need to have a fancy fitness tracking device it can all be done from your iPhone. Bounts tracks you in a number of ways. Remember it’s always on so there is a battery hit with some of the ways it will track you:
- Via a fitness tracker. Bounts connects to activity tracking apps to record your activities – many are supported including Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Misfit. You will then need to sync your fitness tracker to its app on the same device as Bounts for it to register.
- Via a smartphone fitness app. If you don’t have a fitness tracker, just get free apps on your smartphone such as RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Moves, and Apple’s default iPhone Health app.
- Via the Bounts app itself. For checking into the gym or sports centres, based on GPS technology or Bluetooth.
How much exercise do I need to do?
There are three types of activity that Bounts will reward you on – steps, tracked exercise, and checking in at the gym – and each of these can get you five points (known as bounts) per day (15 in total) on the free version.
Steps. You’ll need to complete 7,000 in a day to bank five points – about the equivalent of walking 5km or running 8km (but of course, that’s quicker than walking 5km).
According to the NHS, the average person takes between 3,000 and 4,000 steps in a day. A target for a healthy heart should be 10,000 a day.
To get your next five points, you’ll need to do 20 minutes of continuous exercise in a day. This can include walking at a brisk pace (an average of 4km/h so don’t pause to take in the scenery too much), running, cycling or swimming, depending on which tracker you use. Of course, walking has the advantage that you’re also getting steps.
Attending gym/sports centre. The final five points you can earn in a day come from using the app to check in at gyms and sports centres for at least 30 minutes – so no walking in and straight back out to the fast-food place next door – though we’ve heard some people report just walking past counts.
So, how many points do I need for rewards & how long is it going to take?
Let’s say you took 7,000 steps and did 20 minutes of exercise every day, and went to the gym three times a week, you’d earn 85 points a week.
Here’s how many points you need for rewards at major retailers – which you choose on the website or in the app – so you can get that cup of coffee, or that free cheat pizza at the end of the week:
£5 voucher for Tesco, Argos, Halfords, Morrisons, New Look, Sports Direct, Tesco or WHSmith – 1,389 points.
On some cards you can top up in incremental amounts
£1 = 769, £2 = 884 £3 = 1000 £4 = 1143 £5 = 1389, £10 = 2778
Some cards like Amazon require a minimum top up of £10 = 2778 points
Prize draw entry into the Virgin London Marathon = 100 points
Using the example above, this would take you under two months to accumulate, taking into consideration the 700 bonus points you received when signing up.
£10 voucher for Amazon, John Lewis, M&S, Boots, Costa Coffee, Curry’s PC World, Debenhams, Pizza Hut, Primark, River Island, Sainsbury’s or Toys R Us – 2,778 points. This would take less than six months, with the bonus points.
It is possible you’ll achieve the points necessary to get a £5 or £10 voucher quicker – Bounts gives extra points for joining monthly challenges, for promoting it on social media and when playing its ‘Rewards Wheel’ within the app.
Is it worth upgrading? Bounts has a £9.99 per year Premium account and a £14.99 per year Premium Plus account, which give up to six or 12 times more points than a free account. Below are the number of points you can accrue for completing each activity per day, with the different account levels:
Points possible per membership level
1 check in
2 check ins
3 check ins
pts a day
|FREE||5 per activity||5 per activity||5 per activity||15|
|PREMIUM (£9.99/yr)||10 per activity||20 per activity||30 per activity||90|
|PREMIUM+ (£14.99/yr)||20 per activity||40 per activity||60 per activity||180|
A lot of people are going to be interested in purely the walking aspect of this app.
So if I just walk 7k steps a day how much do I get?
7000 Steps = 5 pts per day * 7 days = 35 points in a week
Max points per year = 420
7000 Steps = 10 pts per day * 7 days = 70 points in a week
Steps needed to recoup cost 2778 = 39 weeks
Max points per year = 3640
So cost of subscription less the max points you can earn a year JUST by walking leaves you with a profit of 640 Bounts points.
7000 Steps = 20 points * 7 days = 140 points in a week
Steps needed to recoup cost: 4168 points = 29 weeks
Max points per year = 7280
investment points minus max possible walking points per year leaves you with 3112 points.
overall if you are just going to be walking the bare minimum then it’s really not worth pushing for the subscription model. However if you are a do work out on a consistent basis then it might just be worth the return on investment.
Playing the Bounts Rewards Wheel.
Just for a test I’ve used a weeks worth of points to see what happens. After 39 spins the results are:
Rewards: 5 (35 bounts bonus points)
Free Spins: 8
There was a common(ish) pattern here looking at the spreadsheet I used for this. There was 6 unlucky spins on average before winning either another free spin or a reward. Of course like most apps you can allow for notifications. On the morning of the review I work up to a message to say 2016 Virgin London Marathon places up for grabs. Wow, that’s fantastic I can use my points to get a place for the VLM. Sadly it’s not quite that easy.
[/mks_col]Granted this is all marketing talk yet the message could be a bit clearer to set expectations for something like this. I can’t say i’ll be using up those points for a shot to win this. Let’s hope that bounts can show some good PR photographs when the event happens this year. What about entry to some of the other great 10k events or the Great North Run as well? This could be potentially a very grey area as you are technically taking a gamble.
Bounts Privacy Statement.
In the UK being tracked via mobile phone is not a new thing Car insurance providers will no let you download an app which tracks how you drive and gives you cheaper insurance. If you use Google, or many other services, you are providing information on yourself for the sake of a discount. Bounts is no exception so, as with any such service, it is worth reviewing the Privacy Statement carefully.
With regards to data, you have agreed for us to use your demographic information (not personal identification data), activity tracking data and shopping preferences from the bounts shop to provide insight into the activity of our members with our 3rd party partners. The data insight we provide allows our partners to design and provide better services. We charge our partners for this service which enables us to fund more rewards on the bounts website.
Laying within the privacy statement is also a worrying declaration about storing and keeping your credit and debit card information. I’m guessing this happens when you purchase an account with them. I’ve reached out to them for clarification and will update the site accordingly.
Bounts is a free app available from the App store. If you keep things in synch, don’t mind the privacy and tracking aspect then it’s certainly worth a try. That is until Bitwalking comes along… if it ever does.
Updated 29th January. 12:20pm
We have heard back from the people at Bounts.it and we wish to make it clear that we have implied nor inferred that Bounts sells your credit card information. They have made it clear in their privacy statement they charge partners for information but do not sell information.
I can’t exactly explain what the difference is but I’ve highlighted the statement in question.
Will keep this story updated. Of course Bounts.IT have the right to reply.
 Bounts.it have replied to this point on Twitter. For clarity sake here’s the point in their very own privacy statement I was referring to on twitter.
@oceanspeed It’s true but in limited context. Upgrade on the Bounts website needs a card payment. We don’t retain card details. Single use
Updated 29th January. 12:46pm
Bounts.it are now threatening legal action unless this article is removed or updated. Not the best marketing and PR move for a new company. If they had reached out to use nicely with some manners then we would of gladly worked through the issues one by one.
The term lying is in the sense of “contained” so allegations of calling anyone product person or service a liar is misplaced or deliberate misunderstanding
When this app first became mainstream it was unusable for many hours due to popular demand.
This is something omitted from the review. also omitted from the review:
- The right to be forgotten. If you uninstall the application the website and services will keep your data for up to 7 years.
- What countries data protection act are they acting in accordance with?
- GPS services Will need to be “always on” to get the full functionality from this app. This leads, like all other applications of this nature, to a significant battery drain.
- Servers buckling under demand. During the launch and high-profile coverage from a big site the service was unusable (see money saving expert).
Bounts charges partners for the data it collects and pass your along, such as geolocation data. As they say they DON’T SELL information, they simply CHARGE companies for information. The difference I will leave up to your interpretation.
Stay tuned for more on this shortly.
For the sake of clarity changed… “Just as if you use Google, you are selling your privacy for the sake of a discount. Bounts is no exception so it’s worth taking a look at the before going all in.”
If you use Google, or many other services, you are providing information on yourself for the sake of a discount. Bounts is no exception so, as with any such service, it is worth reviewing the Privacy Statement carefully.
An offer was made to remove directly “misconstruable” words. The only response to this was to please direct all further communication to an appointed solicitor acting on behalf of firstname.lastname@example.org from the Bounts website.