My perception of how AP works and is obtained for education and knowledge purposes!
Method 1: Free Videos Offers
This is a method used by Aeria via a number of sponsor supported offers and is very direct in it’s means.
Essentially the supporting merchant company gets paid by the sponsor for each user that does a task ‘X’ be it watching a video, making a mobile purchase, doing surveys or signing up to email offers. The merchant then indicates to aeria that the user had completed the offer and then the user is paid.
The merchant pays Aeria in order to advertise the sponsors and in turn the sponsors recieve more user activity on thier website. This method allows the user to obtain ingame credits without physically spending money, but rather time, bandwidth and sometimes mental effort. Thus the rate of $0.00/1ap+ can appear deceptive.
Method 2: Credit card/Bank-supported methods
This is one of the more simpler methods that allows users to obtain credit by paying through a bank or paypal transfer. Aeria rewards players who regulary buy ap with more as a reward for ongoing dedicated support to the company. Ranges from $0.01/1.75 to $0.01/1ap
Method 3: Physical Outlet purchase
A number of physical outlets sell Aeria games cards and cards that can be used with the website. They are typically follow the typical $0.01/1ap ratio perfectly.
Method 4: Mobile payment
As of recently new methods have sprung up that allow users (often without other means of obtaining credit) to obtain Aeria points through the usage of mobile credit. Although somewhat lossy due to processing fees by merchant companies, it provides a greater level of anonymity whilst maintaining the same level of simplicity that Credit card/Bank transfer methods have. Typically they provide $0.01/.75ap ratio or less.