I have been taking some time for myself since being made redundant in October, however, with no desire to blow through all of my savings, I need to consider making money. Realistically, I knew I would have to look at getting a job soon but I also recently looked at ways I could make money by walking (Seeing as I was doing it anyway). I didn’t find much in the way of getting rich but I did come across an app called Stepbet.
There are actually quite a few apps out there, claiming to reward you for walking more and some can genuinely be useful. (Check out my article from when I tried to establish if Sweatcoin is a scam.) However, Stepbet is slightly different from the others
What Is Stepbet
Stepbet is an app that brings people together into a competitive community. There are several challenges that can be created by people using Stepbet or the people who run the app. To take part, you select a challenge and Stepbet will tell you what your personal targets are. You can then pay your bet amount into the pot, and you just need to hit your target number of footsteps every day for the duration of the challenge to be in with a chance of winning.
Within each challenge, there is a comment thread to share your results and you can even invite friends to join until the end of week 1 of the challenge.
As with most apps, Stepbet has a premium membership and free service and the user experience can vary depending on the plan.
Winning On Stepbet
Unlike other walking rewards apps, the rewards on Stepbet all come from the users within the community. You are kind of betting on yourself, against strangers from around the world. Every single person will pay the same amount to take part in each challenge and that sum of money will all go into the challenge’s “pot”.
At the end of the challenge, the pot will be split across everyone who completed it. So the size of your payout will depend on how many people were in your challenge, how much the bet was and how many people dropped out before the end.
I am in 2 challenges that have $43000 and $60000 dollar pots due to the number of users. However, how much I get will be dependant on the percentage of users who make it to the end. Assuming I make it to the end, of course (I will).
How Much Is The Bet?
The Stepbet-bet value differs from challenge to challenge however, the most common I have seen is $40. All bets are in USD and I have seen them as cheap as $10. I haven’t seen any challenges for more than a $40 bet.
What Are My Stepbet Targets?
The targets will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, when the challenge is initially created, the creator will set the difficulty, the number of active days, power days, and rest days per week. This information will be available to you before you agree to the challenge. Then when you begin the signup process for a challenge, Stepbet asks for data from one of your apps. I used Garmin Connect but I could have used my Apple Health app also. I saw an option for Fitbit too and while I didn’t see one for Samsung Health, I figure that’s just because I am an iPhone user. I can’t imagine they only allow iPhones.
When you grant Stepbet access to your health data, it will calculate how many steps you would personally need on your active days and power days. At this point you are still not committed, you can still turn down the challenge. However, if you think those targets are realistic, then you can throw your money in and join the challenge.
I have entered 2 challenges,
Fit & Friendly
- 2 Rest days
- 2 Power days – 14,111 steps
- 3 Active days – 11,671 steps
Spring Step – Member Classic
- 1 Rest day
- 2 Power days – 14,833 steps
- 4 Active days – 12,268 steps
While Stepbet does state that targets are set based on my averages, I am not sure how they are calculated as I did not check my average before I signed up. However, this week my average over the last 7 days is 16490 yet when I calculate my targets for a new challenge it is barely more than the two I am already in.
How Long Does A Stepbet Challenge Last?
Again this depends on each challenge but so far 6 weeks seems to be a pretty standard duration. However long the challenge lasts, it will be broken up by week and you can not carry over your performance. For example, if you do 7 power days in week one, this will not buy you an easier time in week two. Similarly, if you have too many rest days one week, you will not have the option to make it up in the following weeks. The weeks run from Monday to Sunday so if you do choose to sign up, my advice is to get your power days in early, then your active days and save your rest day (or days) for the end of the week if you can.
Is There A Grace Period?
In the first 2 days, if you get buyer’s remorse, you can drop out of the challenge and get your money back. However, if you miss this deadline you have the whole of the first week to get used to your new challenge. No one is eliminated in the first week so if you can work out any difficulties in your schedule etc.
After the first week, you will be committed to the challenge so you need to continue hitting your targets to be in with a chance of getting any money out at the end. However, Stepbet does send a lot of helpful notifications to let you know when you have hit your targets for the day and week.
Stepbet Premium Versus The Free Version
There are 4 tabs for you to select at the bottom of the screen when you are using Stepbet, one of which is “search”. If you select the search tab you will automatically have 2 “featured games” on the landing page with a button that states “see all games” It is in this tab you will notice the first difference.
Several of the challenges have been clearly marked for members only and have a very noticeable comment saying “split the whole pot”. I dug down into the T&Cs; and it explains that Stepbet keeps 15% of the pot in none member games. This means you could lose money even if you complete the challenge if less than 15% of participants drop out before the end.
While the games marked for members only will split the entire pot, if members join the non-member challenges, they will also only receive a share of the pot after Stepbet has taken their share.
The second difference is the challenge details. Members-only challenges can include more rest days and easier targets as well as additional prizes like member sweepstakes.
The third difference is the number of challenges a user can participate in. While non-members can participate one at a time, members are able to participate in 3 simultaneous challenges.
The final difference I can see is the price, £49.99 for one-year membership buys you access to the premium benefits, whereas non-members will kind of pay their dues out of the pot. In the unlikely event, everyone finishes the challenge on a $40 bet, you will pay $6 per challenge you complete.
The Case For Stepbet
There is an opportunity to make a little bit of money even if you do not pay for a premium membership. However, I give more credit to the motivation side of things. People who are money-driven but struggle with motivation walk could throw in the money and be determined not to lose it.
In that respect, I see the value of Stepbet as paying for the motivation, if it gets you active in ways that you have previously not achieved then that is priceless. The chance of winning money is just kind of a gimmick.
The Case Against Stepbet
It is going to seem like I am against Stepbet because there is more negative than positive. However, I am actually not against it. These are all just potential tripping hazards and whether or not I recommend Stepbet will be dependant on you, not on my opinion of the app.
My first potential negative the biggest; the money element. It is all well and good tempting people in with the money they could win but if this is the primary reason someone signs up, then I would draw the following red flags.
- In order to win money, someone else has to lose it. If 10 people bet 40 dollars and 1 person drops out, the other 9 people will win slightly more than 4 dollars on top of their initial investment. I don’t know what 40 dollars meant to the one who lost it but I am guessing it is more than the 4 dollars means to the winners.
- None members lose 15% then have to rely on people dropping out to claw that back. Assuming that same 10 person bet is a non-member game, that 4 dollars per person will not even cover what was paid to Stepbet.
- At £49.99 GBP, upfront to be able to gamble without Stepbet taking a piece of each bet, it’s not the kind of money-making scheme I would really consider.
The next risk is if something happens to you or your ability to track data. If you lose your phone or break your smartwatch you may be left without a way to prove you are completing the challenge. Thankfully step bet allows you to update your data weekly as long as it is synced within 24 hours of the week finishing. However, If you lose your ability to track the data on a Friday and you still have targets to complete, if you have not found an alternative way to both record your steps and sync it all to Stepbet by the following Tuesday, you will lose out.
Do I Recommend Stepbet?
I found Stepbet on the matrix of trying to make money by walking and looking for walking rewards apps. I did decide to pay a £49.99 (GBP) membership fee and $80 (USD) on entering 2 bets at $40 each. However, not because it is a good walking rewards app and not because it was a potential way to monetize the walking I was already doing.
I saw 2 merits for taking part and I would guess one of them does not apply to you. I wanted to write a review for my readers and I thought the best way to do that would be by going all in. That’s right, I chucked up about £115 at the current exchange rate because I love my readers. So even if I don’t come out with a profit, that’s ok, I got what I wanted.
The second merit was the one I feel will benefit some of you and is the only reason I would recommend for people to use Stepbet, and even then I have some conditions. I already mentioned the motivation side of it, I am 1 week into 2 challenges and I am determined not to lose all of my investment. I have engaged with the app every day and would encourage you to try it if you tick all of the following boxes
- You are confident you understand the potential costs of the challenges available on the premium and free memberships.
- Any money you front up is money you are willing to lose.
- You are confident your personal targets are realistic.
- You are confident that a bet with Stepbet will add the motivation you need and you are willing to pay at least one time to get it.
I believe Stepbet can motivate people in a way that is engaging, helpful, and entertaining. I do not believe Stepbet is a smart way of trying to make money… well, not for the users, Stepbet themselves seem to be doing pretty well financially.
What Do You Think Of Stepbet?
So as far as innovative walking apps go, Stepbet seems to be quite interesting but what do you think? Have you tried Stepbet before, maybe this is the first time you have seen it? either way, I would love to hear what you think of Stepbet as a walking-for-rewards app, as a motivation app, or as a community in general.