Verizon intros rewards program, the price is your privacy – What you need to know

22 July 2014, 7:54 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Verizon is launching its own rewards program this Thursday, July 24, to sweeten the deal for its massive customer base.

This new rewards program will grant points to customers who pay their bills on time or use the carrier's online customer service portal. So far it sounds pretty good, but you should learn all there is to know about it before deciding whether you want to take advantage of it or not.

First of all, this program will not allow users to cash in reward points for free mobile service or phones. Users will only be able to cash in points for discounts on name-brand merchandise, as well as offers on travel, local restaurants, or some shopping activities. Second, and perhaps more importantly, those who want to participate in the local offer program will have to register for Verizon's location-tracking daily deal program, Verizon Selects. In other words, users would have to give their permission so Verizon can track their every movement.

"Verizon Smart Rewards is a unique program that offers a wide variety of rewards in exchange for points customers earn for their everyday activities and interactions with Verizon Wireless," the carrier explains in its announcement.

This new program will become available to all postpaid customers starting on July 24, and users who sign up for Smart Rewards will have at least 10,000 points to get things started when they register, according to Big Red. To get more points every month, users will simply have to sign in to the My Verizon online account management tool, pay their bill on time, or perform other transactions such as using the Verizon Trade In program or choosing paperless billing.

"The program delivers more value to customers in the form of discounts and savings of up to 40 percent on brand-name merchandise from more than 200 well-known brands, offers on local shopping and dining redeemable directly from a customer's wireless device, and travel including discounts at more than 26,000 hotels," Verizon further touts.

"All merchandise includes a lowest-price guarantee and shipping is free. Discounts on Verizon-specific products along with gift cards for Verizon merchandise and opportunities to win NFL game tickets will also be available as part of the Smart Rewards program. And points can be used for even greater discounts through daily deals, as well as auctions and sweepstakes, with new offers posted to the Smart Rewards catalogue every day." 

These Smart Rewards will offer Verizon-specific deals for set periods of time. Until the end of August, for instance, the program will offer some LTE tablets or tickets to upcoming NFL games as part of a sort of auction. Customers will be able to use their reward points to bid in those auctions.

To register for this program or see how many points they have, customers can visit the My Verizon home page at this link. Enrolling in Verizon Selects will get customers 500 Rewards points per participating line each month, but will users agree to sacrifice their privacy for the sake of some extra points?

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