Jun 23, 2008

I-Deal Instructions

This post is dedicated to helping you figure out the ins and outs of I-Deal sites!

These sites are a combination of Do It Yourself Sites and Referral Sites. USUALLY, their referral sites are for gifts valued more than $500. SO...if the gift is $500, it...again USUALLY...requires 0 referrals..meaning none. Always check this in your terms and conditions first, though, before moving on with the offers.

Here are some other helpful points to remember with this company.

Number one, you cannot wait around for manual credit. This means, if credit doesn't come thru for some of the offers, just suck it up and do a few more. So, for example, if you need to do 8 offers to get the gift, I usually have 3 extra offers I know I can do if the credit doesn't come thru on the others.

So, in my mind, it will probably be more like 11 offers for that particular gift. If it comes in as less, great!

Why do I like I-Deal? They are fast.

This is one of the fastest companies in regards to receiving your money/gift card/prize.

I also like this company because they have a HUGE list of offers to pick from, while other sites are sometimes lacking in the offers available. This parent company gives you lots of choices.

So, before you get started. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Set up a new Yahoo, Hotmail or any free email address specifically for this site. Then, read the terms and conditions to see what I-Deal company it belongs to, such as Top Notch, etc. Going forward, as you do more I-Deal sites...every time you do one owned by this same sub-company. Top Notch, etc, you will HAVE to use this same email address. Only one email address per household per company.

2. Register by clicking on any of the offers on my side bar under I-Deal. I will keep this updated everytime I find new offers from them. Complete all the required information needed. Use your new email address. You will get TONS of junk mail. DO NOT send to your personal email account.

3. You will next be taken through many offers ( these do NOT count as your gift ). On each page, click NO to each offer, unless you are interested. If there is a list of offers, scroll to the bottom to see if there is a SKIP button. If not, manually go through and click NO to each offer. ( HINT: On the long list of offers, if you click NO to them all, and it says you need to select YES for one...click YES on the very last one. It will then open a window for that offer, and on that page you can click NO. )

4. Once you finally get through all those initial offers ( sometimes it takes as long as 5 minutes ), you will get to a page that says LAST STEPS in red..usually. It will go on to say Congratulations and tell you the steps you need to take to qualify. You are now at the pages you need to complete to get your gift.

5. Scroll down and click on the button that says go to Gold Offers. On the next page, click on the button that says go to Platinum Offers. You ALWAYS want to start with the last page FIRST. Then, once you have completed the needed offers, click back to the Gold and then the Silver.

6. When picking which offers to do ( for example, 2 offers on the 1st page, 2 offers on the 2nd page and 4 offers on the 3rd page ), always make sure you don't do an offer from the same parent company. For example, the last page may have a Scholastic Book Trial for Dr. Suess books. But, there might be a completely different offer for Scholastic Books for Disney Princess Books. You canNOT do both with this company. All your offers have to be from separate parent companies. Some companies are VERY hard to tell if they are related, so please research. The easiest way to tell is if they have the same address. Do a search in their terms on BBB.org or a general search online to see if they have the same address. If that fails, call them to check. Read my FAQ for more suggestions on determining if two companies are related.

7. Also, try to find offers your family needs, enjoys or is interested in. I highly recommend trying to find offers you can actually use. These companies are providing us great incentives to actually try these products, evaluate and if we like...hopefully become customers.

8. Before you do each offer, you need to make sure it registers with this site. To do that, click on an offer. Leave the window open, but don't complete it yet. Next, open the site again and relog in ( to do that, on the first page click on the Check Gift Status button near the lower left side ). Once you are on your page, see if your offer is showing up as Pending yet. If it is, you can go back to your open window for the offer and complete it. If not, do a refresh on the site again to see if it shows up in about 5 to 10 minutes. If it still doesn't, close out of the offer and try again! It needs to show up on your page before you complete the offer, otherwise you won't get credit.

9. As you complete your offers, keep a spreadsheet of the day, the cost, copies of your welcome emails and screen prints of terms/conditions, if any. Also, mark in your planner, email calendar and cell phone calendar the day your trials end for each offer along with the phone number/email address of the company in case you need to call them with any questions. PLEASE complete all offers in one sitting. This is very important, as you only have 60 days from when you sign up on the website to get everything completed.

10. After you have completed all the offers, you just need to wait for credit. The way I-Deal works is that they USUALLY approve on a 10 day or 20 day cycle. This means, the 11th day after you sign up for your offers, you will probably log in and see most of them have been approved. At this time, anything that didn't get approved...probably will never be approved. So, it is time to do the replacement offers for those few. Then, the same cycle should take place again for those new offers. I do NOT recommend waiting for the 20 day cycle ( unless nothing has credited ) before doing replacement offers because you are then pushing it close to your 60 day limit by the time they credit.

11. Please remember when doing these offers, the company is hoping you like a few. So, please.....if you do like a program, consider it before cancelling. These companies are able to offer us all this free money because they are advertising for these companies.

12. Once everything is approved, you will receive certificates on the site to send in to get your gift. These must be postmarked and sent it quickly! Keep copies for yourself and check your status to see when they receive them. I like to do delivery confirmation on mine ( NOT signature confirmation...as that will cause problems ), so I know when they receive them.

13. Once your status shows you have qualified, then sit back and wait for your gift to arrive. I still check my status quite regularly to make sure nothing has changed and all is well. And, be patient, it can take awhile to get your gift.

Last time, it took me 2 months to get it. Other companies have been as long as 8 months.

Any questions? PLEASE, PLEASE click here to ask questions for I-Deal sites. I will respond ASAP. I am always here to help.


HeatherLow said...

Hey there. I am a newbie. I have a question. I am looking at the platinum offers and I read your tip about staying in longer than the free trial period to get credit. I clicked on the terms and conditions of credit check offer. Where would I find that it tells me if I have to stay longer than the free period to get credit? Is it here or would it be on the ideal site? Thanks

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


I am so sorry for the delay in answering.

I usually check the I Deal Questions/Answers pos to see if I have any to answer, but I hadn't checked the instructions post in a few days...I apologize.

Anyway, on I-Deal sites, there really is no way of knowing when or how you will get credit.

If you are doing a Netblue site, then a pop up window will appear that tells you the stipulations of what you need to do in order to get credit...but not with I-Deal.

Unfortunately, you have to sign up...wait the 10 days...then see what credits and what doesn't. Then, you just have to do replacemetns for what doesn't.

Amy said...

I was wondering around how much taxes you have to end up paying on these offers. I have completed the $500 gas card offer and am just waiting for it to come in and I just completed a $500 visa offer and an going to send the paperwork off for that tomorrow. So I have a total of $1000 in giftcards coming my way. Is there a certain amount that requires you to file all this on your taxes, and if so around how much would you end up paying for a $500 giftcard. All these offers sound great right now but I was just wondering how much I would have to fork out when it comes to income tax time!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


Which tax bracket are you in?

If you don't know, look it up and then set that much aside from your earnings to pay taxes.

Of course, depending on what deductions you can take for that year ( new baby, capital losses, mortgage taxes etc, etc ) will also affect how much taxes you end up paying ultimately.

As we all know, taxes come out different for each individual family depending on so many factors.

But, my husband and I, just to be safe, know what tax bracket our family is in and we take that percentage out to set aside. We figure it isn't our money to begin with...just like when he gets his paycheck and the government takes a percentage out before we even get the paycheck.

As of yet, we have never had to use it all...so it comes as an even bigger bonus at the end of the year.

And, the bonus...even though that portion is potentially the govnts money...instead of them taking in initially...we get to hold it in a High Interest account and earn money on it. Woo, hoo.

Wish we could do that with my husbands paychecks!

Misty said...

Hi, I'm also a newbie. Thanks for posting all of the great information! I love when people help people. Ok, my question is, with your experience, how goes it with doing a free discover card as part of the platinum deal? Is it just signing up, or do you have to put something on the card? Does it take longer than some of the other offers? Thanks in advance for your help!!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Hi Misty,


On Discover cards, if you read their terms/conditions, you do need to activate and make your first purchase.

Obviously, since they have to mail it to you and you have to use it...it probably will take longer than the 12 days to do that. :-)

Misty said...

Hi Carrie, Thanks for your quick response!! I'm on my way to my first $500 visa gift card :). I have one more question. A lot of the offers are for cheap product, and if you are not satisfied, you have to send it back. Do you usually pay for the s/h to send it back too? Is that what you included in what you paid vs what you got (to calculate your profit)? Thanks again!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


If you find you don't care for a product and need to ship it back, then the s/h charges I calculate as a reduction of my profit.

Mandy said...

Hi Carrie. I am working on the $500 gas card offer. When I clicked on the Disney movie club offer last night, I minimized the window & logged in to consumer-rewardzone.com to check my gift status. The Disney movie offer showed up at 9:45 p.m. as pending. After I signed up, I logged back in again, and it disappeared completely. However, I am still signed up for the Disney movie club. I e-mailed customer service for consumer-reward zone. They were definitely not helpful in their response. What should I do?

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Not much you can do. Their terms are pretty specific in the fact that they won't work with you on offers that don't come thru.

I would finish all your offers, and on the 12th day, etc...just chalk that up to a replacement offer. I would wait to replace it until that day.

We may be surprised and it shows up again, but it may not.

That is odd, though. I have never heard of it showing up and then being gone altogether.

Misty said...

Hi Carrie,
In your experience with I-Deals, I know you said you normally have to do replacement offers, was it usually the platinum? I'm only on day 5, and all 4 of my (2 silver and 2 gold) 'smaller' offers have already been approved. I'm just waiting on the 4 platinum (I did 5 just in case). Should these pop up on day 10? Thanks again!!

Helen said...

Misty, I'm in the same boat as you. My gold and silver have both gone through in about 5 days but NONE of my platinum ones have. Like I told Carrie, I'm waiting not so patiently! :)

Cyndie said...


I'm on day 6 and my silver and gold have been approved! I'm sooo excited to be actually doing this - instead of just talking about it.
If I get to a point where I need to return an item from an offer - should I just sent it first class or send it delivery confirmation? What do you do?

Also, when do you start a new deal? After all certificates have been mailed and you're just waiting - or do you typically start two at once?
Thanks for all your help and advice!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


I usually have a few going at once, from different companies.

So, an I-Deal, a Nuitech and a Netblue, for example.

It just all depends on what offers are available, etc. Sometimes, it isn't really possible to have more than one going, if there are no new offers to try.

I really just kind of play it by ear, BUT try to have multiple going at once, if possible.

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

I found your site and was SO impressed at the clear instructions! I've always just thought these deals were scams, but after reading your explanations I decided to try one. I'm in the middle of a $500 Visa card offer. My silver and gold offers have been approved, so now I'm just waiting on my platinum offers. It has only been 3.5 days, but I'm still sort of nervous to see if they actually go through. :) I sure hope this works because boy, could we ever use an extra $500! (Well, $470, after the money I'm spending to get it, but still!) :)

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


Keep me posted! I am excited for you!

megs92 said...

Hi Carrie! I was SO excited to log onto my I-Deal account today (I'm doing the $500 Visa gift card) to see that all of my offers have been approved! I'm going to print out the paperwork tonight and get it sent in. I wanted to encourage Emily as well: Like you, my silver and gold offers were approved after 3-5 days, and I was getting nervous about the platinum offers, but on the 10th day they were ALL approved - hurray! I'm hoping the same will happen for you :) Thanks again for all the help and encouragement, Carrie! ~Megan

Jennifer said...


I had to copy and paste my certificate into a word doc because it opens up in a window that does not maximize or have any options to print. Do you think this will be a problem to send to them?

Casey said...

Hi Carrie,
Thank you for directing me to this newer blog! I also hope to check out your live cast on facebook tonight!!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


I do the same thing! No problems with it yet.


Glad this helps you out a bit more.

Casey said...

Hi Carrie,
Great webcast last night! I have a listing of products that are owned by the same company for Ideals, could I list them here? I am not sure if you will get in trouble or not

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


Let's not list it on my site...just to be safe. How about I create a special Discussion on the Facebook page where people can discuss this of their own free will...outside of my control. :) I'll go set it up now and you can post out there.

Email me first..will ya?

Delores said...

Hi Carrie,

thanks for all of your help. I really need some ASAP, please. I just logged in to my account. I registered on the site on Feb 3rd, and it is saying that my offer has expired but it has not been over 60 days. All my offers were approved, which surprised me. I am just feeling sort of confused because I realized I did some things maybe wrong -- I didn't check back on my status right away. Or weekly, today was the first day I checked since I didn't think I could check before today (I should have paid more attention to your post). Oh, it is the Top Notch Media gas card offer. So, here is my question: should I try and call and argue the point or not? I have not spent that much money on it and while I hate to "waste" the money I would definitely think of this as money well spent on the learning process. While I am not trying to whine -- since my husband has been laid off recently I really am trying to be more proactive in 'earning' what money I can. So -- any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!! And keep up the great work.

Kim P said...

Hi Carrie - I emailed you but thought I'd try here too in case anyone is having a similar problem.

Having some trouble... I did my 8 offers on Aril 6th. Today (4/18) I sat down to do 4 replacements, 3 platinum and 1 silver. I got the new platinums done. I'm trying to do the last silver one. When I do the check to see if it comes up as pending I cannot get any new ones to come up as pending. There are a few deals on there that say pending from the first night that I did not complete. I was just looking at different ones. There are five deals showing up in the silver section total. Is there a max number that will show up or something? I have tried pulling up several silver deals this morning and they just won't show up. What do you recommend I do? I thought about completing one of the deals that I looked at on the first night that are showing as pending, but I am worried that it won't register with IDeal since the others aren't showing up. Thanks!Kim

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


I have never had this problem before...but if anyone has...please let us know.

But, I would do what you were statig. I would pick one of the current pending offers that you never did and try one of those.

I have no idea if it will pull thru, but it is your best chance.

If that doesn't work, I would send an email to their customer service.

I would simply state that you try to click on different offers you want to do, but they never show up on your status page as pending...is there something wrong with your account.

See what they say.

Keep us posted and let us know what happens.

Kim P said...

Hi Carrie - It still isn't working. I emailed them on Saturday and I got back the "we won't help you for thirty days" email. In the message I sent them I went into more detail. So I tried emailing again last night and just saying what you said about something being wrong with my account. We'll see...I also thought I might try to get out my old laptop and try it from another computer...who knows. I'm starting to get worried that I'm not going to recover what I spent already.

Kim P said...

Another questions -

One of the replacement silvers that I did on Saturday is not showing up, but the other two are. (So I have 3/4 total in platinum). You say that it usually takes a couple days for replacement offers to post. Should I give up on the last platinum offer showing up as well?

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

You got it. If the other replacements came thru except for that one, then it won't come thru ( or at least not usually ).

I don't like to wait around, so I then would do a replacement for the replacement that didn't come thru.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

So, you have no current pending offers out there right now that you can click on it and then do that offer?

Kim P said...

Sorry to leave you hanging for a couple days there. I finally got some to go through. I actually tried it on my other computer and it worked. I had to try several different offers in order to get one to show up as pending. But I got more replacements done.

So here is my status as of now: Silver- I have one approved and did one replacement tonight.
Gold- All are approved from first night.
Platinum- Three are approved, one from the first night, two from my first round of replacements and I am waiting on one more replacement I did tonight.

So, altogether I have done 13 offers, but it will still be worth it. Thank you so much for your help, I will keep you posted. (on a side note I am also doing the Netblue $150 gift card)

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Thanks for keeping us updated, Kim!

Jennifer R said...

Hi Carrie,

I am doing an offer that needs 2 referrals. How do you go about getting referrals? I thought I read it somewhere but now I can't seem to find it. Thanks!


Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


I usually don't recommend referral programs ( personally don't care for them myself ), but I know some others do like them.

If you need referrals, you usually want to refer people you know. So, check with family/friends, etc.

The problem, and why I don't like them, is that someone is always last. So, you might refer them and you get your gift...but they then need to find someone, and if they don't...then they are out. Not fun!

There is also a site called Referral Swapper, but not sure if it is still any good. I haven't been out on it in over a year. And, I have heard others try it and not have had much luck.

Jen T. said...

Thanks so much for the clear and precise instructions! I received my $500 Visa Gift card by FedEx today!!!

A-Mazing is all I can say!!!

Thanks again!

Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater said...

I'm on Day 8 of doing my 2nd offer, and none of my Platinums have approved! Last time, all but one approved by day 5, with one approving at day 8 and one never getting approved (did an additional offer to make up the difference). I will not be happy if I have to do 4 more expensive offers :(

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

The majority of the Platinum offers approve on Day 10 ( when you log in on Day 11...usually ).

If they approved before that last time, that was a fluke. That does not happen for most of us.

Make sure to read the specific IDeal instructions on when they approve.

Keep us posted if none of them do.

Anonymous said...

Some of the Free trials I signed up for expire in 7 days. Will I still get credit for those if I cancel before it is approved on the I deal site?

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

There really is no way of telling which will approve and which won't. In general, usually 2 to 4 won't approve..and sometimes they all do.

Either way, you can do replacements for the ones that don't go thru.

I just always advise everyone to honestly try the products during the trial and decide yay or nay whether they like the product on their own.

You may or may not get credit if you cancel..but there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to if they will approve or not and why.

Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater said...

Carrie, so many of the offers this time were diet products. I was bummed. I joined Netflix last time and we've continued that.

A Bookish Mom, this is purely anecdotal, but I did cancel 2 offers before the trials were over, and they both did approve. The post-trial cost was just too high and not worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

I filled out all of my offers yesterday, and This morning both of my silvers were approved! Happy dance.. I just hope the others go as well.

I know you can only do 2 every 6 months totaling 1000, but I would love to hear more on other companies that work as quickly as this. Thataren't related!

I am so excited. Thank you so much for putting this info outthere to us@!

Anonymous said...

You have been approved by the sponsor(s). Your redemption certificate was processed on Jun 29 2009 3:37PM. Your free gift will be mailed out within 6 to 8 weeks of the processing date.

WOO HOO!!!! Thank you so much Carrie! You are Awesome!

krazyelwoodkids said...

I'm confused..If I've done one Top Notch $500 offer (Wii and Ea Trainer), can I do another Top Notch offer ($500 Visa Gift card)?

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

I would contact Top Notch and ask them the value of the Wii and EA on their books.

If it is $500 or less, then you can also do the $500 Visa.

krazyelwoodkids said...


I'm new at this and want to make sure I understand.

I can do two Top Notch offers as long as they don't exceed $1000. I could also do two different I-Deal offers as long as they don't exceed $1000.

How do you and so many others do more than two offers in a six month period? I'm curious how you keep your OOP so low. It seems that once you complete one offer, the next time you do another (Let's say a 2nd IDeal offer) The OOP will be even greater? Does that make any sense?


Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


Yes, you can do $1000 every 6 months with IDeal.

After 6 months, you can do $1,000 again and can do offers from the same parent company again.

I don't do all IDeal, that is how I have always had offers to do. I do IDeal, Nuitech and Netblue.

By switching between all the companies, I never ran out of ones to do and with the other companies, they don't have the duplicate offers criteria.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for all the advice! It's much appreciated. I'm a newbie to this so I'm still learning. I just started the $500 gift card offer and was wondering a couple questions. I accidentally did offers from the same parent company. Will I automatically be DQ'ed or will I have to do those two offers again? Have you ever had a problem where none of your offers had approved?

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

There is no way of telling yet. Until day 10 rolls around and you see if they both approved.

If they both approve, then there is chance you will be DQ'd after you send your paperwork into them.

Doing extra offers won't help, though.

I have never heard of all of the offers not approving before.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Good question.

You can do $1,000 per sub company.

So, you can do $1,000 for eSolutions Media and $1,000 for MarketLabs

Anonymous said...

Hey carrie when you say day 10 do you mean 10 regular days or 10 business days?

Just did the 500 visa and @ of my silver offers were approved and i signed up yesterday.. excited I am!

Anonymous said...

is it 10 regular days or 10 business days? thanks! 2 of my silver offers are approved and i just signed up yesterday!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

10 actual days..counting weekends.

Susan said...

Hi Carrie,
Thanks for all the great information. I was just wondering, would it be easier to do the smaller offers, say $150 ones, and would those be less costly?
Thanks again,

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...


Personally, I would recommend the $500 ones to start.

When you do the smaller ones, your profit is much smaller as well as your return on investment.

The larger the offer, usually, the better return you get on the money you put into it.

Hope that helps.