**This is in no way affiliated with Kobo or Kobo Super Points! It is simply my take on using the service over the last year!**
I was really excited when Kobo announced they were starting a rewards program last year. My Kobo is my main eReader; I just use my Kindle for review copies. So when I have a book that I really want to buy, I purchase it for my Kobo. (Unless it is an Amazon/Kindle exclusive, but that is another story). That means, every year, Kobo gets a lot of my money and the idea that I would be getting some of that back, made me really happy!
At first, I was going just keep the regular program (which is free) but the idea of getting an additional 10%, a free book and double the points (all for the low price of $10/year) had me wanting to give VIP a try.
How Does it Work?
Kobo Super Points has two reward programs: Regular & VIP.
So roughly, you get 10 points for every $1 you spend. And then, once you collect enough points, you can redeem them for a book from a set list of titles.
VIP ($10/year or 4000 points):
As a VIP, you get roughly 20 points for every $1 you spend. The 10% works on most indie reads but not so much on bestsellers/mainstream titles (though they seem to update the applicable titles throughout the year). The book choices for the Free Book are pretty decent as well (I got Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast). And, of course, you can use your points to redeem for other (applicable) books throughout the year.
Anyone with a Kobo account automatically collects Super Points for their purchases. They have the regular/basic (free) point system.
If you are interested in the VIP program, it’s super easy to switch over to. You just visit the Super Point homepage and opted in. You can have the renewal as an auto-subscribe so that when your 12 months of VIP privileges are done, they just keep continuing without interruption.
–How do you Collect Points?–
Literally every book you purchase on Kobo automatically gets you points. So you don’t have to even think about it!
They do have weekend promotions where you get double/triple the points as well and they do a good job of advertising that both on their site and if you are on their email list.
–Qualifying Titles for Point Redemption–
I really liked that Kobo lets you browse what titles you can redeem at any time. And if a title you are looking at purchasing qualifies, you can see if they get the VIP 10% discount (if applicable) and how many points it would take to redeem to get it on the main page for the title.
Now, what titles are these exactly? I find most of them are your reads from the smaller publishers or self-publishers. I classify them as Indie reads; you aren’t likely to find your big-name publishers’ works here. But, some of your favourite authors likely have titles with these smaller publishing companies so give it a search! You might be surprised.
I personally don’t mind the collection of titles. These are the books I would be buying from Kobo anyways because I can’t find them anywhere else (the big name titles my library has). So it works in my favour and it’s why I upgraded to VIP.
–Titles Qualifying for 10% VIP Discount–
The titles that qualify for this tend to be the same as the ones that you can use points for.
I think it’s important to note that the 10% doesn’t work on all titles on the site. You get points for any book you purchase (regardless of regular or VIP status; and regardless of its publisher) but the 10% is only for select titles. These select titles are clearly marked on their site (a red VIP circle is beside the price–see above) while browsing and on the title’s description page.
And one additional bonus of the VIP 10% is that on some weekend promotions, where select titles are (ex.) 30% off, you can combine the sale % off and your VIP 10% off! (ex. instead of 30% you get 40% off).
–Is the VIP Program Really Worth the $10 a Year?–
Because most of the books I buy qualify for the VIP discount, I decided that $10 for a year would probably pay itself back. Getting a free book was a nice bonus and because I really only buy books under $5, the double points aspect was nice. More bang for my buck if you will.
But I really wasn’t sure if I did get my money’s worth this past year because I have curbed my book buying habits and bought fewer books than I expected. So, I decided to crunch the numbers!
Points Earned as VIP (February 16 – January 17, 2017) — 2328
Amount Saved via VIP Discount (Feb 16 – January 17, 2017) — $11.21
A month before my VIP membership was about to expire, Kobo sent me a reminder email and actually told me how much I saved. My breakdown:
Free Book Redemption: $6
VIP 10% Savings so far: $15
Total Savings: $21
Now, I know that there is a discrepancy between my calculated discount savings and theirs but I’m actually more inclined to believe their number. My number is really my best guesstimate on how much I’ve saved by browsing my purchasing history and seeing what titles would have qualified. I have no doubt that I missed a few of the titles that are no longer available (and it doesn’t show on the receipt) or I miscalculated how much I saved (it could have been a 30% off weekend for example and not just a 10% off).
So basically: I made back my $10 for the membership in savings; got a “free” book; and got enough points to get a $2 book.
Do I recommend VIP?
If you are a frequent eBook purchaser, it is a great way to get some of your money back. Just make sure the books you see listed as applicable are actually books you want to read. It wouldn’t be worth it if the books don’t appeal to you.
So, Am I Keeping It?
Back in December, I turned off the auto-renewal on my Kobo VIP Membership. I did this because I made a resolution to myself that I was only going to buy books if they were under $2 in 2017. I have so many great books waiting on my Kobo to be read and I can never seem to get to them! My hope is that I can read more books than I buy this year. It just didn’t seem like it would be worth the $10 this time around when I could use that $10 to buy ~10 books. I’m going to accumulate as many points as I can so I can use them on a book I wouldn’t normally by for myself (read >$5 in price).
But it is definitely something I will look into again in the future when my Kobo library is smaller in number 😉
Do you use Kobo Super Points? Any tips or feedback on the service?