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As I mentioned in our Swagbucks review, your options to earn extra money has expanded to simply signing up for programs and getting paid for what you already do online: search.
Microsoft Rewards is a program offered by Microsoft that enables you to earn rewards by simply searching with Bing and trying new Microsoft features and products. You earn credits when you search and those credits can be redeemed for gift cards as they accumulate.
I’m sure it goes without saying, but just in case: Bing is Microsoft’s version of Google. It’s their search engine.
How does Microsoft Rewards work?
You must have a free Microsoft account to be eligible to participate. Once signed in simple go to the Microsoft Rewards site to sign up.
You can also download the Bing Bar and click on the Microsoft Rewards button to join. The Bing bar has a credit counter that shows you how many credits you’ve earned while searching.
Your credit counter is available depending on where you search from. On the web, it’s visible in the upper right corner of any Bing.com page as long as you’re signed into your account. On your mobile device, it’s available on your Microsoft rewards dashboard.
Related: The Best Cashback Sites
What kinds of Microsoft rewards can you earn?
In short, you can shop, donate, or enter sweepstakes to win with your credits. Here are a few examples I found while visiting the rewards page:
- $5 Amazon gift card for 475 credits
- $5 Chipotle gift card for 475 credits
- Donate $1 to Boys and Girls Clubs of America for 100 credits
- 5 Sweepstakes Entries: 1 Winner–LEGO® Jurassic World Prize Pack for 50 credits
If you like earning money online for things you are already doing, such as shopping, check out Swagbucks. They offer a $5 signup bonus, if you earn 2,500 Swagbucks within the first 60 days of membership. Check out our full Swagbucks review here.
How do you receive your Microsoft rewards?
Simply go to the rewards page to redeem credits once accumulated. Microsoft rewards are typically sent to your email address within 24 hours.
There are three status levels for rewards: Member, Silver and Gold. You start with the Member level and move up as you meet the qualifications for the next level. Each level offers additional perks through the program.
- Membership: You earn credits for searching with Bing and completing daily offers after joining the program
- Silver: One-time bonus of 50 credits after completing the Welcome to Rewards Tour, redeeming credits for your first reward and earning 200 lifetime credits
- Gold: 10% discount when redeeming rewards after earning 750 lifetime credits
Lifetime credits are the total credits you’ve earned since joining the program. You can’t ever lose your silver status, but keep in mind that you can move back to Silver from Gold if you don’t meet monthly search requirements (150 rewardable searches per month).
Are their limits to the rewards you can receive? As of right now it doesn’t look like it. Here’s what Microsoft says on their website: “Microsoft may limit the quantity of credits or rewards per person, per household, or over a set period (e.g. per day). Any limits on rewards per person or per household will be reflected in the Redemption Center.”
Another popular cashback site is Ebates. They give cash back for shopping at the online stores they have relationships with (Yes, Amazon is on the list). Check out our full Ebates review here.
Advantages of Microsoft Rewards
- Earn while you search: Seriously, who doesn’t love to earn a little extra money just by searching on the web and doing what you do every day. The investment on your part is zero.
- Ability to try new features: Microsoft reward members get to try new features. I assume some features are first available to reward members, but can say for certain. Still, you’ll receive notification from Microsoft to try out new features and products.
- Your budget is rewarded: Most importantly, gift cards can replace the cash you need to budget. If you run a business online and conduct a lot of searches while researching, you can benefit even more than the average user.
Disadvantages of Microsoft Rewards
I can’t really think of too many disadvantages, but we all know nothing comes for free.
- By creating an account, Microsoft knows everything you search on the web. They can learn a lot about you and your interests. This may not be a big deal for many of you, but just know your search information is valuable to Microsoft just as it would be to Google or your information and habits are to Facebook on their social platform. It’s all business.
- All or nothing. If you want to leverage this program, just know you should be all in. This may not be a disadvantage as much as it is strategy. It’s not going to do you any good to conduct searches on Google half the time and then Bing the other half. I would recommend signing up and trying Bing for two or three months and see if you like it. Switch back if you don’t.
You aren’t going to get rich with Microsoft Rewards, but it doesn’t cost anything either. If a $5 gift card every now and then is worth it then Microsoft Rewards might be right for you.
Ready to get started searching with Bing? Learn more by visiting the Microsoft Rewards website.
Are you already a Microsoft Rewards member? If so, let us know in the comments how you like it, and searching with Bing in general.