You might need to change your browsing and search habits, but Microsoft Rewards can earn you money-saving vouchers or let you support worthy causes. I saved £5 on a recent purchase. Nice!
If you have a Microsoft account, such as Outlook, OneDrive, Microsoft 365, Xbox and so on, you can earn reward points. These can be exchanged for a wide range of items, from giving to good causes, to sweepstakes to win a prize, to gift cards that you can spend at popular stores and save money on your purchases.
What are Microsoft Rewards points worth? How many points do you need?
It varies with the item you want and some, such as entry into a sweepstakes for an item, requires as little as 200 points. Gift cards that are worth UK £5 at various retailers require 7,600 points.
Some items are more valuable and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is 14,000 points. A UK £15 Uber Gift Card is 22,500 points. That seems to be the most valuable item and the one requiring the most points.
There will be differences depending on which country you live in and here in the UK I see UK retailers and services, and UK gift cards, but in the US, you will see US retailers, services and gift cards.
How do you earn Microsoft Rewards? Let’s take a look at what you can do. Everything works on a Windows PC or Apple Mac. You can even earn points on a phone too.
1: Sign in with Bing
Go to bing.com and at the top of the search screen is a menu bar. Make sure you are signed in to your Microsoft Account. This is so that rewards are associated with you.
Whenever you visit bing.com, you will see your reward points total at the top of the page. Whenever you perform a search, you will earn reward points.
2: Earn extra points
You don’t have to use Edge browser, but you will earn extra points if you do. Click the rewards icon at the top and a panel opens. The contents change frequently, so you may not see the same as in my screenshot.
At the top is a link to view the Microsoft Rewards Dashboard, and below are some ways to earn extra points. You don’t need to do any of them and points are earned just by using the Bing search engine instead of Google or whatever you usually use. However, you might find it fun to take part in quizzes, polls and other activities.
3: Install the extension
There is a Microsoft Rewards Extension. It is optional and you do not have to install it, but you earn more points if you do. Basically, it shows the same panel as the one at the top of the Bing search screen.
It means you can see your points and take part in activities at any time, not just when you are on Bing. Extensions are disabled by default, so open the menu, click Extensions, click Manage Extensions and turn it on. Also, click the puzzle piece icon in the toolbar and show the icon to make it easier to access.
There is a Microsoft Rewards extension for Chrome too, but I use Edge for most things these days.
4: View the Microsoft Rewards dashboard
When you have earned some reward points, visit the Microsoft Rewards dashboard. You can enter the URL into the browser yourself, click the rewards button on the Bing home page, or click the rewards extension button.
The page changes as offers come and go, and as you claim rewards, so what you see will probably be different to my screenshot above. You can see that I claimed a £5 Currys PC World voucher, which I put towards the Huawei Band 7 I bought recently.
There are quizzes, polls, goals, suggested rewards and more.
5: Redeem Microsoft Rewards
Go to the Rewards dashboard and click the Redeem link in the horizontal menu a little way down from the top of the page. A menu appears at the left side and there are All categories, Shop, Win and Donate. You can turn rewards into money for yourself or you can give it to others. It is your choice.
6: View your Rewards status
Click Status in the horizontal menu near the top and you can see the lifetime points earned, lifetime points redeemed and your level. Earn more than a certain number of points in a month and you level up, which provides extra benefits.
As this table shows, it increases the daily points limit and daily cap. Points are earned when you buy items in the Microsoft Store and you earn more on level 2 and 3.
Microsoft Rewards is something you can set and then forget. Set bing.com as your browser start page and default search. As you use the web and search with Bing, you earn a few points each time.
It takes a long time to accumulate a significant amount, but you can take part in various activities to earn extra points if you want. Eventually, you will have enough to buy a gift card for yourself or you can donate to a worthy cause.
It is basically a way to get people to use Bing search more. I find Bing good for most searches and I prefer it to Google for some things. Only if I cannot find what I want, do I go to Google, which seems to find some of the more obscure things I need, like tech.