While Microsoft’s Game Pass for PC is scheduled to greater than double in price because it comes out of beta this week, do not despair! Microsoft Rewards is your ticket to getting the very best deal in gaming, free of charge.
Microsoft Rewards is principally free cash, and never sufficient of you know the way to make use of it. We’re going to indicate you find out how to use Microsoft Rewards to assist purchase all of the belongings you need—an Xbox Series X! Starbucks! Amazon present playing cards!—starting with the superior Game Pass for PC subscription.
Like the title says, Microsoft Rewards is Microsoft’s incentive program for utilizing its shopper companies. Using Bing earns you factors. Playing Xbox video games can earn you factors. Playing PC video games can earn you factors. You can “chase points” as a lot as you’d like, and earn increasingly more. Or you’ll be able to chill, go about your day by day actions as you usually would, and nonetheless earn factors. All of those factors might be traded in for stuff you will really need.
We’ll use the awesome Xbox Game Pass for PC, which prices $4.99 per 30 days, as our goal. Game Pass for PC is a part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s “Netflix-for-games” subscription, which we’ve already proven might be purchased for peanuts if you already know the trick. But why pay in any respect? Microsoft Rewards is the reply to that.
What are you able to earn with Microsoft Rewards?
As we undergo our tutorial, hold your eye on the prize: a one-month Game Pass for PC subscription is 7,000 factors. You pays 5,000 factors for a $5 Microsoft present card, although that may solely be utilized to video games, apps, motion pictures/TV exhibits, or gadgets like a Surface or Xbox—not Game Pass.
But the Microsoft Rewards redemption page affords all types of prospects: Microsoft present playing cards and Game Pass subscriptions, together with Game Pass Ultimate; present playing cards to retailers like Amazon, Target, REI, Sephora, and Walmart; meals affords at Starbucks, Burger King, Dominos, UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub. You may even donate your factors (and their money worth) to the World Wildlife Foundation, Girls Who Code, the American Red Cross, The Trevor Project, and extra. Microsoft will typically “pay” you factors to double your donation.
Here’s a small, consultant pattern:
- $5 Amazon present card: 5,250 factors
- $10 Microsoft present card: 10,000 factors
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (1 mo): 12,000 factors
- $15 DoorDash present card: 19,500 factors
You may even gamble factors, with video games equivalent to “Select Three” or “Whack-a-Pinata” providing the prospect at $250,000, 500 Xbox One S consoles or different prizes for 300 factors a pop.
Microsoft has an odd tiering system, which affords reductions after progressing from Level 1 (at 500 factors or much less) to Level 2. That means you’ll spend even much less to “buy” what you need with Rewards factors as you earn extra all through the month.
Using Microsoft Rewards for PC (and cell)
There’s one prerequisite: Microsoft Rewards requires a Microsoft account. You’ll most likely should sign up to your account while you go to the Microsoft Rewards introductory page. Quickly click on by to the Microsoft Rewards Dashboard page (the picture on the prime of this story) to open the door to your free stuff. If you’re signed up and logged in, Microsoft Rewards factors will mechanically accumulate—there’s nothing extra it’s essential do.
There are two massive methods to earn Microsoft Rewards on the PC: looking through Bing, and doing enjoyable quizzes. Each day, Microsoft will “pay” you as much as 150 factors for looking with Bing in your PC, as much as 5 factors per search. If you search with Bing in your smartphone, you’ll be able to obtain 100 factors extra (5 factors per search). Using the solid Microsoft Edge browser nets you a bonus of as much as 20 factors, too.
(“But that means I have to use Bing,” a few of you could whine. I’m a ordinary Bing consumer; I switched to Bing in 2017, again to Chrome when Bing fell down, hard; and again to Bing over the previous yr or so after Microsoft fastened Bing’s points. You may nonetheless use Google in a pinch.)
In impact, doing nothing greater than utilizing Edge and Bing to look in your PC (30 days x 150 factors, pus 30 days x 20 factors = 5,100 factors) will earn you the equal of $5 per 30 days with none further effort in your half.
If you’d like, you can even gamify the method. Every day Microsoft affords you three decisions: a “daily set” of a quiz, a ballot, and a reality. Clicking every of them will typically earn you an extra 50 factors a day. Microsoft may even add bonus factors for 3 successive days that you simply carry out day by day units, equivalent to 45 factors per three-day streak. If you miss a day, your daily-set streak resets. But don’t really feel too unhealthy, as a few of the quizzes will mechanically archive down decrease within the dashboard.
If you retain up along with your “daily sets,” the 1,500 factors you’ll obtain plus the 5,100 factors from looking will get you near our goal of seven,000 factors. Add that to the bonuses ought to put you at, or very close to, that 7,000 determine. Victory! But why cease there?
If there’s one space in Microsoft Rewards has uncared for, it’s incomes factors for enjoying PC video games—one thing we’ll speak about within the subsequent part. But you can even earn Rewards factors for getting them, utilizing precise money. In August 2020, for instance, Microsoft was providing 5,000 factors alone for spending $50 on sport purchases. And should you lease or purchased any three motion pictures in August, you possibly can earn one other 2,500. It’s one thing to bear in mind should you’re contemplating renting a film on-line.
Using Microsoft Rewards on Xbox
Accumulating Microsoft Rewards factors on the Xbox is all about enjoying video games. Initially, Microsoft Rewards was primarily a PC-only endeavor. Now, there are arguably extra methods to build up Rewards factors on Microsoft’s console than wherever else.
While there’s no Microsoft Rewards app for the PC or Android, there’s one for the Xbox. Go to the Microsoft Store app to obtain it. Once there, you’ll have to ensure you’re logged in after you open it up.
Not surprisingly, Microsoft makes enjoying video games itself a sport. Every week, you’ll have the chance to do the Rewards Weekly Set, with three duties: you would possibly merely should log in on three successive days, or watch a trailer for an upcoming sport, or accumulate three Xbox Achievements in any sport. Keep doing this, and also you’ll earn factors, plus massive 1,000-point and even 2.500-point bonuses when you hit milestones just like the ten-week mark. Note you could nonetheless earn Achievements from enjoying PC video games, however they should be downloaded through the Windows 10 Xbox app, and the developer has to have Achievements enabled.
But wait, there’s extra!
Way down on the backside of the Microsoft Rewards app, there’s one thing referred to as “Other ways to earn.” While that part serves as a abstract of your PC searches in your PC and cell, it additionally results in one other part referred to as “Game Pass Quests,” the place even extra Rewards factors lurk.
In common, Game Pass Quests are chump change. You’ll obtain a handful of factors for taking part in a sport in Game Pass (for PC or Xbox) and incomes achievements in Game Pass video games. Quests might be achieved day by day (like logging into the Game Pass app for Android) or weekly, and continually change. They might be so simple as 50 factors only for logging into an app, or require extra advanced accomplishments like surviving for 50 days in Cities: Skylines. However, there’s typically a pretty big reward (1,000 factors) for finishing a succession of weekly and day by day quests.
There’s one catch: Unlike each different Rewards activity, you have to redeem Game Pass Quests manually. Other Microsoft Rewards factors that you simply earn are mechanically added to your complete. You do not want to go browsing to your Xbox to do that, nevertheless, because the Xbox Game Pass app for Android lets you redeem Quest factors, too.
Other methods to win Rewards factors
Until not too long ago, Microsoft would ship you a weekly e-mail with the chance to win Rewards factors by clicking by hyperlinks, in addition to the occasional “hidden link” which awarded much more. That appears to have gone away in favor of the expanded Xbox alternatives.
There are occasional crumbs hidden away, too. Microsoft Rewards extension for Chrome guarantees some extra factors, and the Bing app for Android used to (that implementation has been damaged on my telephone for months).
How many factors are you able to earn from Microsoft Rewards per 30 days?
Microsoft Rewards is all the time in flux, so the worth of particular person duties and the full quantity of Rewards factors out there is continually altering. Sharp-eyed Rewards hawks hold an eye fixed out for reductions on present playing cards, stretching your Rewards even additional. Special promotions continually pop up.
With that mentioned, one member of Reddit calculated you could earn as much as 18,000 factors per 30 days, or about $22.50. At that time, the quantity of effort required to chase each Rewards level wouldn’t appear to be price your time.
Smart Rewards customers, then, steadiness their time towards their potential rewards. Sure, you’ll be able to most likely afford an additional $5 per 30 days for Microsoft’s Game Pass for PC. But there’s one thing oddly rewarding about simply “getting it for free”—and Microsoft Rewards scratches that itch.
This story was initially printed on Aug. 6, and up to date to replicate the change in Microsoft Game Pass for PC’s standing.