Our Frequently Asked Questions are listed below. If you still need help after reading a relevant question, get in touch with BetterPoints by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I?
Can I refer my friends and earn a BetterPoints bonus?
Yes go to the "Refer a Friend" page and share your code with a friend - if they join, you may both get bonus BetterPoints.
What are BetterPoints?
BetterPoints are reward points that you can use to reward yourself by exchanging points for high street vouchers, or you can donate to charities or community groups. We run localised programmes with different incentives for different activities, and national rewards for the UK if you’re not in those local areas. See the Programmes section for what you can be rewarded for in your local area.
Where do my points go?
Your points are banked in your account until you'd like to spend them, either on a 'reward' for a gift voucher or 'donate' them to a charity or community group. They are yours unless you don't spend or earn points for 18 months, at which point they would be removed.
Who is behind BetterPoints and why are you giving them out?
BetterPoints is the customer brand used by BetterPoints Ltd., a private limited company with a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) subsidiary. Our vision is to create local self-supporting programmes that deliver sustainability, carbon reduction, improved resident self-health and social care, as well as community cohesion. We do this by working with Local Authorities, Public Transport Organisations, and major sustainability, academic and social non-profit organisations. BetterPoints are funded through partner programme contracts, grants, donations and sponsorship.
Why do people in different areas have different rewards?
We run programmes in different areas to motivate participation in certain activities, e.g. rewarding residents of a council borough for visiting parks, paid for by public bodies such as councils, or non-profit organisations that want to see people change. You can see what you are able to earn for different activities by going to 'Programmes'. If you are outside of our focused areas, we do have national rewards that anyone is able to take part in labelled 'UK National Rewards'.
Why do you track location data?
We track location using GPS (Global Positioning System) to work out an accurate distance travelled for an activity such as walking or cycling. We do not share your personal location with anyone else, including partners, and your location data is not used by us for any other purposes. Sometimes location data is aggregated and anonymised across all users to help public bodies make decisions such as working out whether a pedestrianised bridge is being used, or which parks are being used most in a city.
Why is there an age restriction of 14 for using the BetterPoints app?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) passed in 1998 protects every child under the age of 13. The Act requires that operators of websites and online services provide notice and obtain permission from a child’s parents before collecting personal information — such as name, address, phone number and screen name — from that child. Companies also cannot collect geolocation data that could identify the city street, and any image, video or audio files containing the child’s image or voice. Anything that can identify what the child is using, like cookies, IP addresses or the unique device identifier (UDID) for mobile devices is restricted by COPPA. But COPPA doesn’t work if a 9-year-old claims they are 13. When a social network account is created for a child under 13, or when a child uses a false birthdate, this Federal law cannot protect their personal information from being collected and shared with third party advertisers.
How do I earn points for a car share activity?
To be rewarded for a car share activity, both the driver and the passenger must be registered and have downloaded the smartphone app. The driver starts the activity 'car share' and a QR code appears. The passenger then selects start new activity and "Scan QR code" and then you will both earn rewards on your car share activity.
How do I see my latest activities in the activities list?
Simply pull down and the app will refresh your list.
How do you record an activity?
To start recording an activity, follow these simple steps:
When you arrive at your destination, tap "Complete" to send the journey to BetterPoints and get BetterPoints after the activity has been processed.
Can I earn BetterPoints if I do not have a smartphone or tablet?
Unfortunately we only allow activities to be logged via our app run on a smartphone or tablet and not by our website, as most activities are verified by GPS location and/or the motion of a handheld device.
Can I earn BetterPoints if I have a Windows Smartphone?
There are currently no plans to develop an app for the Windows Smartphone due to the smaller percentage of handsets that run this operating system.
Can I link my BetterPoints account to Strava/Garmin or any other fitness tracking device?
It is not possible to link any other fitness account or device, but many of our users do run other apps alongside the BetterPoints app. Keep in mind that we're not only tracking distance via GPS, but also speed and waypoints for each activity, so the qualifying distance may vary from the Strava log for example.
Can I use a WiFi-only iPad?
WiFi-only iPads, without 3G connectivity, do not have GPS capability either. Therefore activity tracking will not work properly with one, unless if you're in a built up area with lots of wifi networks, you may be able to be tracked by these if you have WiFi turned on.
Can I use BetterPoints on a tablet?
If your tablet (iPad or Android) can determine your location by GPS, then it can run the BetterPoints app as well as a smartphone. You need to login to the app while connected to a data source but the activity tracking will work without data, should you not have a 3G or Wifi connection whilst doing the activity.
How much data is used by the app?
The BetterPoints app does not require a data connection to track activities, so it should not drain the data you have. Though if any app seems to be using an unreasonably large amount you can usually go into the settings to disable background data just for that app.
The app does not have to cost anything at all on data. You can have a phone with the data turned off completely and use the app just on WiFi. The tracking itself does not use any data (only GPS), but it will then just need the WiFi connection at the start and end of activities to sync when you complete them. Otherwise very little data is used at the beginning of an activity if the WiFi is not available.
What does "processing" next to my activity mean?
Processing means that the server is processing many activities. Your activity is saved in your phone and has yet to be analysed for what BetterPoints, vouchers or medals you will receive from it.
What is the minimum specification smartphone for running the app?
For the latest version of the app to run properly, you'll need iPhone iOS 8 or above (for Background Tracking iPhone 5s or newer) or Android 4.1 or above.
Can I get points if my device fails to track an activity?
Whilst we make an enormous effort to get our app to work on as many phones as possible, there are issues that can prevent activities from properly tracking on certain devices. Other running apps, GPS issues, internal memory and speed can all affect performance and cause activities to fail. Whilst we cannot award points for activities that fail to track, we can offer assistance in helping you to assure the app is running as well as possible on your device.
1. If you are having trouble getting the app to track your activities, make sure there are not other activity trackers running alongside our app such as MapMyRun, Strava, etc.
2. Other mobile applications that stay active and take up a lot of memory such as Facebook, Twitter, or Battery saving apps should be closed before running the app unless you've tested this and they work together fine.
3. When having consistent tracking issues, make sure your phone is in a location where it can get a proper signal. Not all phones are equal when it comes to GPS, so make sure yours is not in a location, such as the bottom of your bag, where it might not be getting a good signal. Please refer to the GPS optimization FAQ for further details.
4. We recommend that you have at least 500MB of RAM and 1GB of memory on your phone in order to run our app. Phones with a lower spec might work, but issues may occur.
How can I get a better GPS signal?
When taking part in an activity, if your position is not shown accurately on the map, there are some things you can do to help. However there are other things, like a gloomy day or the age of your phone which aren't factors that you can easily change! Here are some tips at getting the best out of your phone's GPS capability:
1. When you start your activity on the app, check that your position is accurate on the map before moving. When you complete the activity, wait until your position is shown accurately on the map.
2. Check your GPS settings. It might help to turn GPS off and then on again to reset which satellites your phone is communicating with.
3. Get your phone out in the open air. GPS signals find it harder to go through things you cannot see through. This includes tall buildings and trees - not only can they block signals but can give you reflected signals which may not be as accurate.
4. Keep your phone battery charged. It will keep a better signal and performance.
5. Don't put your phone in a case.
6. Start your GPS while you are stationary, before you set off for your journey. There's no time limit or minimum speed so why not start the activity on the app a few minutes before you start your journey?
7. Learn where your phone's GPS receiver is located. If this is pointed upwards it might get a better signal.
8. Update your phone's operating system. Software is improving all the time, so make sure you have downloaded and applied the latest software for your phone.
9. Start your activity with WiFi turned on or be connected to a WiFi source.
I haven't got any BetterPoints for an activity - why?
Firstly check that your activity has qualified for BetterPoints by looking at the activity rewards for in your Programmes.
Activity rewards often have rules, for example a minimum distance, or a maximum frequency per day or week. The week or monthly bonuses have a minimum of a certain amount of days per week that you need to record one activity.
I haven't received my confirmation email, where is it?
When you register, you will be sent a confirmation email to the address that you've entered. Please check your email inboxes thoroughly including spam folders. If you haven't got it, please enter your email address in the 'forgot password' section and your email address will be validated and you can choose a new password.
I recorded an activity, but the app says it was not valid. Why?
The BetterPoints system uses various tools and algorithms to test a journey's validity, such as the motion of your phone and (for some programmes) the path that you took was not on a bus route. There may be situations where the data read by the phone and sent to the app are incorrect, or the GPS signal does not have enough strength to allow the app to check the path and assign BetterPoints.
I recorded an activity, where is it in my timeline?
Sometimes when a lot of activities are being done, the BetterPoints system can get a bit slower. Don't worry: your journey is still saved in the phone memory to be processed at a later time.
Why can't I collect points on the same device as another user?
The app prevents the collection of points for a second user who uses a device within a calendar week. This is to prevent cheating. To use BetterPoints, one user will need access to a different device than another user.
Why can't I use my Argos voucher in store?
We have had reports of employees of ARGOS not knowing the procedure for keying in the voucher codes. The procedure is as follows, according to ARGOS customer care. From the Tender Screen on the till, select F5 - Vouchers when promoted for appropriate tender, then F6 -Argos Collection Codes When prompted for the serial number, enter the 10 digit Collection Code presented by the customer. The till will validate that the Collection Code can be used with the transaction and deduct the correct amount from the total.
Why hasn't part of my journey been tracked?
This is normally due to a poor GPS signal, which could be for many different reasons, many of which are out of our control. Please read “How can I get a better GPS signal?”.
If part of your journey hasn’t been tracked accurately, the app will use the accurate waypoints to work out your route and will assign some points anyway using the waypoints that were taken, this may result in a straight line as-the-crow-flies which is shorter than your real journey. However if this doesn’t happen because too much of your journey is missing and you don’t get your points, please let us know by contacting us, sending the activity details such as your start and stop time, and we will look at your activity details.
Why isn't the app running on my phone?
There are over 550 variations of phones that have logged activities with BetterPoints. Whilst we make an enormous effort to make sure the app works as well as possible on most makes of phone, we cannot guarantee that the app will run problem-free for you. We are not liable for missed points due to failed activities that are not caused by a bug in our software. Please refer to the FAQ files for GPS optimisation and activity failure if you have issues.
Why isn't the map loading while doing an activity?
If you do not have a data connection, the map will be blank, however you may still be tracked using GPS which does not depend on a data connection.
Can my smartphone run Background Tracking?
To run background tracking, your smartphone must have something called a motion co-processor or accelerometer that monitors movement of your phone. These smartphones can run background tracking:
Any handsets earlier (including the iPhone 5c) will not be able to run background tracking and it will not appear on your handset. You can still track all your activities manually using the select activity function.
Using battery saving mode may also impact how accurately background tracking works.
How do I track a particular activity whilst background tracking is on?
If you want to make sure that your activity type is totally accurate, or want to set an activity type such as use of public transport, you will need to manually start the activity. You can do this while background tracking is set to on – the activity type you set will override the estimated activity type. When you complete your activity, the background tracking will need to be switched on again.
How does Background Tracking work?
The app monitors movement of the phone and will start registering a movement when the device has moved a significant distance. This can sometimes mean it appears a bit slow at picking up the start of an activity (especially on iOS, we have found). Once recording, waypoints are uploaded to the server as you move. When the waypoints stop for a significant time (about five minutes) we mark the activity as complete. The activity will be listed on the app if it is longer than five minutes total duration, and four "moving and qualifying" minutes. Activities like walking around your home will not be picked up. Once an activity is registered as complete, points can be applied to it.
The background tracking doesn't seem to track me well
On some Android smartphones, there is a power-saving feature that switches the BetterPoints app off. Go to settings, select battery and then from the sub-menu select battery optimisation. If the setting on your smartphone is to "optimise" usage for the BetterPoints app, the app will stop working in the background if you've not interacted with it for a long time. Select ‘not optimised’ to improve the background tracking.
What is Background Tracking and what can be recognised?
This feature can be switched on to track your methods of travel automatically instead of manually selecting the activity type yourself.
It can detect: walking, running, cycling and being in a vehicle (by default this assumes the sole occupancy of a car.)
It cannot detect: public transport journeys, car-sharing and scooting.
Background tracking is only available in some BetterPoints programmes. This will be specified in your programme description. If you need help finding this or understanding more about what is or isn't available in your area please contact us using the Help function in the app.
Things to note with background tracking:
The app works better if the phone is in your pocket rather than a bag, especially for detecting cycling.
The amount of BetterPoints you can earn will not be different if you use background tracking – it just might help you have an accurate record of activities if you sometimes forget to track your journeys.
Most current smartphones will support background tracking, including iPhone 5S or above and nearly all Android phones.
Activities recorded by background tracking will not show up on your device straight away, as it can take up to 15 minutes from stopping an activity for it to appear in your timeline.
Will background tracking affect my battery life?
The app will use slightly more battery life this way, so we recommend you charge your mobile overnight. Once it detects movement, the app will turn the GPS on and when stationary or not moving much – it turns off (so it shouldn't use too much battery when still.)
Will background tracking affect my battery life?
The app will use slightly more battery life this way, so we recommend you charge your mobile overnight. Once it detects movement, the app will turn the GPS on and when stationary or not moving much, it turns off (so it shouldn't use too much battery when still.)
Can BetterPoints be used in a Corporate or Workplace setting?
Yes, BetterPoints can be used to facilitate and track outcomes for CSR and Employee Wellbeing programmes, or to incentivise car-sharing or other initiatives. Please download our brochure here and/or contact us for further information.
How can I administrate a listed charity or community group account?
We have listed thousands of charities and community groups to invite people to donate their BetterPoints to them. If you work for a charity or organisation that is listed, you can we get access to this account by emailing the customer care team on email@example.com, preferably from your official/work email address. You can then administrate the partner account yourself using a login.
How do I create a charity or organisation listing?
Firstly, search for your name in the Donate section, as we may already list your charity or organisation. If you cannot find it, you can create a partner account by registering for our site as a normal user, then under ‘My Account’ click ‘Create Partner’. This then sends an email to us for approval and we’ll let you know when it is live, then it is ready to receive donations.
How does BetterPoints work for a Local Authority?
BetterPoints can be applied to any behaviour change or engagement challenge you can imagine. This may be a short-term initiative such as a summer of activities in the park or a longer-term intervention to meet public health or climate change goals. The flexibility of our system, coupled with the combined expertise of our team in rewards, marketing, psychology, social media and technical development means we can customise our behaviour change system to your needs.
I'm a retailer, how can we offer goods or vouchers for purchase with BetterPoints?
You can create a partner account by registering for our site as a normal user, then under ‘My Account’ click ‘Create Partner’. This then sends an email to us for approval and we’ll let you know when it is live. You can then administrate your own Partner account, creating vouchers from the Partner Admin area.
I'm interested in commissioning a programme using BetterPoints, how do I find out more?
Our programmes are designed to suit each individual project and we are happy to chat about what best fits your needs and budget. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the benefits of joining BetterPoints for a charity or retailer?
BetterPoints are a financially backed digital currency. This means that when someone donates BetterPoints to your charity or exchanges BetterPoints for a voucher for your shop, you get the full value in real cash. The BetterPoints community is growing fast and our portal and app offer great promotional channels for your organisation or business. Many users have enough BetterPoints to redeem on a regular basis and letting people donate or spend their points with you will help introduce you to new customers or help your customers spend with you more regularly.