Microsoft desperately wants you to use its Edge web browser and Bing search engine. In fact, Microsoft will literally pay you to use it. Microsoft pays in Amazon gift certificates, which are as good as cash if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper.
If you used Bing Rewards in the past, you’ll be familiar with this. The program has been rebranded “Microsoft Rewards” and also rewards you for using Microsoft Edge. It’s still only available to US residents. Here’s how it works.
Microsoft Is Giving Away $5 Amazon Gift Cards
Rewards programs are only interesting if they have good rewards. So let’s look at what Microsoft offers. You can purchase sweepstakes tickets for a chance at winning Microsoft products like the Surface Book and Xbox One S. You can also redeem rewards like a Windows Store gift card, Xbox gift card, and Skype credits. The most interesting options are lower down on the page: $5 gift cards for Amazon.com, Starbucks, and GameStop.
If you’re a frequent Amazon.com shopper, a $5 gift card is just as good as $5 cash. That $5 becomes part of your Amazon gift card balance and you can use it on anything–it won’t even expire. Microsoft’s rewards program would be much less interesting without this reward.
You Can Earn at Least $10 in Amazon Credit Every Month
A $5 Amazon.com gift card costs 5250 points. You can earn up to 150 points per day from searching with Bing.com on your PC (5 points per search), 100 points per day from searching Bing on your phone (5 points per search), and 150 points per month from actively browsing with Microsoft Edge (5 points per hour).
There are also other bonus offers–when we wrote this, there were 170 points extra worth of bonus offers in the Rewards dashboard. Microsoft offers a new batch of bonuses once per day, too. These bonus offers just require you to search for specific things on Bing and visit other Microsoft websites, like MSN.
Initially, you can only earn 50 points per day from Bing searches on your PC. You’ll need to earn 500 points each month to get a “Level 2” account that lets you earn 250 points per day.
So let’s do some quick math. At thirty days in a month, you can earn roughly 12750 points per month without spending a dime. That would leave you enough points to buy you $10 of free Amazon credit with some points left over. That’s about $12.14 of Amazon credit you could earn per month. You probably won’t max this out every month–but you could still easily earn $5 or $10 of Amazon credit every month.
The only downside? Well, as we said…you have to use Edge and Bing. But for some, that may not be a huge issue.
How to Start Earning Rewards
To get started, head to the Microsoft Rewards website and opt into the program. When you’re signed into your Microsoft account and searching in Bing, you’ll see a point tracker that helps you earn points. You’ll earn them by searching and clicking the bonus offers.
To earn points for searching from mobile, you’ll need to search with Bing on your phone and be logged into your Microsoft account in the mobile browser you’re searching with.
To earn points for using Edge, you’ll have to use the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows 10 and be signed into Windows with the same Microsoft account you use for the Rewards program. Microsoft explains how rewards for using Edge work.
If you stay signed in and just use Edge and Bing, you’ll naturally earn points just for searching and browsing normally. You can also earn more rewards from doing the special offers that are easily accessible from Bing.com, but you don’t even have to do that.
Is Microsoft Rewards Worth It?
If you’re happy with Bing and Edge for your searching and browsing, this program is basically free money–money you can only spend on Amazon, of course. If you can’t give up Google and Chrome, the promise of some free Amazon credit may not be enough to tempt you.
But Edge isn’t mandatory–you can earn most of the points from just searching with Bing in Google Chrome, Firefox, or whatever other browser you prefer.
I’ve personally dabbled with Bing Rewards in the past and was able to get about $10 each month in free Amazon.com credit. I can confirm that Microsoft does indeed pay out.
Ultimately, I went back to using Google because it was better for more obscure, technical searches. But, if you’re happy with Bing, Microsoft’s rewards program will give you free stuff with no real downside.