Pepsi will Venmo you if you buy enough junk food

Illustration for article titled Pepsi will Venmo you if you buy enough junk food
Photo: Skarie20 (iStock)

Was anyone else as devoted to redeeming My Coke Rewards as I was in the mid-2000s? I was working in a restaurant that bought plenty of bulk Coke products, and the valuable codes on those babies were all mine. I amassed enough to redeem them for a waffle iron and a panini press, both of which came to college with me. I still have the waffle iron.


PepsiCo today introduced its own version of a rewards system, but with an even more practical payoff: You can turn the points into actual cash. In a press release announcing the new PepCoin program, PepsiCo lays out the details: When you buy specially marked PepsiCo beverage and Frito-Lay snack together, scan the codes on the bags or caps with your phone. Link the program to your PayPal or Venmo, and PepsiCo will automatically deposit $2 every time you accrue enough points.

So the big question: How many snack purchases would that take? A PepsiCo spokesperson tells The Takeout that each transaction would earn a person about 37 cents, roughly 10% the cost of a snack and soda. So, after five or six purchases, you’d find $2 in your Venmo or PayPal account. Whether the hassle of creating a PepCoin account, scanning codes, and linking your Venmo account to a corporation is worth it depends on your individual “time is money” calculation. If you regularly purchase sodas and snacks and don’t mind giving up some personal info, then hey, free money.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.



I don’t see a proof of purchase requirement. Couldn’t you just go to a gas station and scan a bunch of them?