How to Save Money with Mobile Coupons

October 24, 2008

Who doesn’t like coupons?  Does it matter to you whether they’re clipped from the paper or delivered to your cell phone?  In previous coverage of mobile money we talked with Kim Dushinski, author of the upcoming book the Mobile Marketing Handbook about avoiding mobile spam and how consumers can benefit from mobile deals.  Today we’ll look closer at how you can go about signing up for mobile coupons, the associated costs, and examples of mobile deals.

Can you briefly walk us through the process of opting into receiving mobile communications from businesses and how we’d go about redeeming any deals or offers sent to us?

Sure. You will see something like “Text OFFERS to 12345” to receive a certain benefit. You simply go into your messaging area of your phone and enter in the five or six digit code as if it were a phone number. Then in the body of the message you put only the word that they said to text in. Hit send and you will be opted in.

There will either be a statement that this will cost a certain amount of money per message or it will say something like standard text messaging rates apply.  If you are signing up for a premium text (it will cost you something) you will have to agree a second time that you agree to pay the amount.

Then when the business sends a text message to you it will tell you how to redeem it. With some offers you will enter a code into your order (if you use a kiosk or online ordering). With others you will simply show your phone to the clerk who will take care of it for you.

Are there any costs to consumers for receiving mobile offers from businesses?

That depends on the offer. If you are responding to a mobile advertisement that you saw online and just use the mobile web, there are no costs to you above and beyond the data plan charges for using the internet. If you are getting a Bluetooth offer there are no charges. If you are opting in to a text message campaign you will likely be opting into a standard text message rates apply situation.

This means that if you have a certain number of text messages in your plan that you get per month, one of the message credits will be used toward receiving this message. If you don’t  have a text message plan then your cell phone carrier will put a charge on your bill to receive the message. Typically this is 15 to 20 cents per text.

Can you recommend any specific offers from businesses that people can sign up for today to save money or get good deals?

Yes.  My absolute favorite discount via mobile coupon is from Redbox movie rental. They do such a great job of putting in everything you need to know to redeem their offer and it is totally free. I highly recommend this offer.

Redbox Free Movie Rental
Get a free movie rental code every Monday from Redbox. Sign up online at

Another great way to get coupons on your phone is to sign up with CellFire. Just go online (on your regular computer) at and you will be walked step by step through set up. They have a lot of major retailers onboard including Kroger, Hollywood Video and GameStop.

Some other useful things you can do on your mobile phone:

Order a Pizza Using the Mobile Web or SMS
Go to on your mobile browser and order a pizza. Next, set up your account so you have SMS ordering capability and then order a pizza using only text messaging.

Try Amazon’s TextBuyIt Feature
Send a text message to ‘AMAZON’ (262966) with the any keyword (e.g. item name, author, artist, etc.) or ISBN/UPC code.  You can then buy with one click (after the first time when you’ll be called to verify the order) or get more information.

Mobile Coupon Summary

Thanks to Kim for taking the time talk about mobile deals and how we can take advantage of them. Let us know if you try out any of the sites, what you think of them, or if you already receive and use mobile coupons.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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