Microsoft Rewards is a free program. Anyone can sign up for a Microsoft account and start earning points. All you have to do is use Microsoft’s products and services.
This is a complete Microsoft Rewards review from my personal experience. I’ve racked up over 100,000 points and will show you how to do the same. I’ll show you the benefits and drawbacks of the program. You can then better determine if you want to participate.
What is the Microsoft Rewards Program?
To repeat, Microsoft Rewards is a free program that anyone can use. There are no sign up fees or commitments. It only requires a free Microsoft account. Once you’ve created an account, stay signed in, and complete the daily activities for points.
The main way to earn points is by searching with Bing on desktop or mobile. And here’s a more thorough list of reward opportunities…
- Search on Bing
- Buy Products through the Microsoft Store
- Complete Surveys
- Search with Microsoft Edge Browser
- Take Fun Quizzes
- Buy Products through Xbox Live
This is a customer rewards program that incentivizes customers to stay within Microsoft’s ecosystem. Then once you’ve built up enough points, you can unlock some cool prizes and money…
Microsoft Rewards Gift Cards and Prizes
When redeeming your Microsoft points, there are three categories: Win, Donate, or Shop. And when I started out, I spent most of my Microsoft points trying to win sweepstakes for things like a $1,000 Microsoft Gift card or a New Xbox Bundle… but no luck.
So I did a 180 and now let my points build up so I can buy gift cards. The saying goes… a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
One benefit is that you’re not only limited to Microsoft gift cards. A few of the other gift cards include: Amazon, Starbucks, Burger King, Hulu, Target, Walmart, REI, Sephora, etc.
You can trade in 5,250 points for one of the $5 gift cards above. Although, you can get better rates on the Microsoft Gift cards. The Microsoft $5 gift card starts at 5,000 points and when you reach level two, it drops to 4,650 points. On top of that, the discount gets better when unlocking larger amounts at one time. You can claim a $100 gift card for 91,000 points. Delayed gratification is a powerful thing.
Microsoft also offers special trade-in deals throughout the year. So before holiday sales, I plan to trade in all of my points for Microsoft Gift cards or something better that comes along – maybe Xbox gift cards for a break from writing. 🙂
How to Earn Microsoft Reward Points and Daily Limits
The main way to earn points is by searching on Bing. Always make sure you’re logged into your Microsoft account. You can then receive five points for each search and it caps out at 250 per day. This is the limit for level 2 rewards… and to reach and keep level 2 status, all you have to do is earn 500 Microsoft Rewards points each month – no matter how you earn points, they all count towards your status.
It’s easy to do and level 2 members can earn five times more points on Bing.com. You can save up to 10% on rewards from Microsoft products and services. You also get access to exclusive offers. The image below shows the difference in levels.
The 250 points is the sum of 150 points from PC searches and 100 points from mobile. You get five points per search and using Microsoft Edge can also bring in a few extra points each day.
On top of that, you get points for spending money in the online Microsoft store. At level 2, you get about 1% back for every dollar you spend. It’s not huge… but it can be worthwhile if you’re already planning some big purchases from the Microsoft store. Maybe a new Surface Pro laptop?
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On top of the daily searches, Microsoft has daily point offerings. You can complete one-click polls and fun, short quizzes. Here’s a screenshot of my daily Microsoft Reward activities…
There are three a day and if you complete all of them over consecutive days, you can earn extra points. Completing those 10 days in a row will hand you an additional 150 points.
If you sign up for the Microsoft email updates, they will also send you additional reward point opportunities.
Microsoft Rewards Review – My Strategy
I’ve set the Microsoft Rewards program as a part of my daily routine. It takes about five minutes to earn 300 points and this number fluctuates with the daily offers. Some days I’ve earned over 700 points.
One quick strategy I use to earn points is looking up movies, books or stocks. Bing will give you a feed of other similar results and clicking through them will count as individual searches. Here’s an example…
This approach works but usually I don’t have to use it. Throughout the day, I rack up the maximum points with natural searches. I work on a computer through most of the day. If you do as well, this program can be a nice little bonus with no extra work.
Is the Microsoft Rewards Program Worth It?
If you maximize points in five minutes each day, that works out to about $4 per hour with the best trade in deals. That’s below minimum wage and not necessarily the best use of time.
Although, if you work on a computer all day, that search time is already a sunk cost. If that’s the case, I think the Microsoft Rewards program is totally worth it.
On top of that, searching each day is a learning opportunity. You can section off a little time each day and learn about some new topics on Bing. You can get paid to learn. It’s not much but it adds up overtime.
How to Redeem Your Microsoft Rewards Points
Once you’ve racked up some points, it’s time for the fun part. You can spend them…
At the top right of a Bing search, you’ll see your account name and total reward points. If you click on your points or the reward icon, you can see more details. Then clicking on Microsoft Rewards will take you to your account page.
From there, you can click the Redeem Tab to see the reward points store. Go ahead and browse the deals to determine what you want. You can also set goals that show you how many points you still need to earn for the reward.
As I mentioned before, I’m sticking to gift cards but there are some pretty sweet sweepstakes and deals. If you win anything I’d love to hear about your success.
Microsoft Rewards Complaints and Legal Notes
Even though Microsoft is a top brand, this program isn’t perfect. Let’s look at some complaints and legal notes…
First up, if you live outside of the United States, it would be good to double check that the program is offered in your country. Microsoft has expanded the rewards program to other countries but it’s good to check its availability.
Some users have also had their total points jump around. I haven’t personally experienced this and believe it was fixed in earlier versions. But it’s still good to double check to make sure you’re earning points and your total is correct.
Another complaint I’ve heard about is Microsoft banning users when they try to cash out. They didn’t receive an explanation but likely violated the Terms of Service (ToS) – maybe unknowingly. So it’s good to review the ToS page and don’t try to scam the system.
That ToS page will give you more insight and two last notes… there’s a limit of 550,000 that you can redeem in any calendar year… and unredeemed points expire if you don’t earn or redeem points for 18 months.
Getting used to reading the fine print is a good habit in all areas of life.
The Microsoft Rewards Program is a nice bonus system. It’s a legitimate program that’s easy to add to your daily routine. You’re not going to make a fortune from it (unless you win the big sweepstakes entries)… but it’s free and worth a try.
There are lots of reward programs that add up over time. Paying attention to these little incentives can improve your financial health and wellbeing.
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