Mobile apps aren't the only way to put a few extra dollars in your pocket. The new Web browser Perk lets users earn points, which can be exchanged for cash and prizes, by simply browsing the Web and shopping online.
Perk is built on top of Google Chrome, making a few minor changes to filter searches and traffic through Perk's own servers while still allowing Chrome apps and plugins. The default Google search is replaced with Perk's own search engine, which produced different results during our side-by-side testing. We ended up finding Google's search results better, as they included both YouTube videos and highly relevant links, but the Perk results were still decent. We also enjoyed watching our Perk Point ticker go up a notch every few searches.
But racking up points through individual searches can take a long time. Online shoppers will get the biggest benefits from Perk, as the company has partnered with more than 2,000 merchants to offer Perk Points for shopping online. Major partners include Macy's, Petsmart, Nordstrom and Gamestop, most of which offer a point per dollar spent, with a few outliers offering up to five times as many Perk Points. Many websites also offer additional coupons, saving additional money off the total bill or shipping charges.
Perk Points can be exchanged for various offers, including cash, Bitcoins, gift cards, charity donations and prizes. The cheapest prize was a Perk sticker, which cost just 150 points. The least expensive cash exchange is 1100 points for $10. The Perk store offers premium prizes as well, including an 11-inch MacBook Air for 110,000 points or a FlyBoard for 890,000 points.
While we weren't quite ready to switch our main browser to Perk, we could definitely see the benefit from switching all our online shopping to the new Internet browser. Retail partners and online deals were plentiful and points could really add up fast for the avid ecommerce shopper.