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Microsoft Rewards: Is it Worth it?

Screenshot of the

No matter how you slice it, there is nothing free on the internet. There is a maxim that goes “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product”. Spelled out, if you are not paying for a service with money, you are paying with your data. It is that simple. Many websites use ads as a means of paying for supporting their website. Many sites use ads that are targeted towards your interests because it will end up making more money than using generic ads.

Larger companies sometimes have the opportunity to entice people to use their services with incentives. One example is Microsoft and their Microsoft Rewards program.

Microsoft Rewards

Microsoft Rewards is a program that allows you to perform various tasks, like performing searches, completing polls, and performing other tasks. The tasks are not just limited to Bing, but you can also complete tasks on your Xbox or Windows PC. Each of these tasks will reward you some points. The number of points vary on the task. Here are some of the points that you can earn.

You can earn up to 150 points, per day, by searching on the desktop. You can earn up to 100 points per day for searching on a mobile device.

You can earn points by playing games on your Xbox, or in the Xbox Mobile app. You can also earn points by completing weekly, and monthly, quests on your Xbox.

There is no definitive consensus as to how much you can earn per month, but it is close to 20,000 points, if you perform all of the tasks, provided you live in a region where you can earn all of the points.

Once you have earned enough points, you can trade in your points for gift cards, or you can donate your points.

Microsoft Rewards Daily Set Screenshot
Screenshot of the daily set status

My Experience

I went back and looked at when I first signed up for Bing Rewards, the predecessor to Microsoft Rewards. The earliest email I could find was from 2014. Therefore, I have been using it for nearly 10 years. Over that time I have earned just over 650,000 points. I am sure I could have earned more over that time, but I know there was a time when I did not complete my daily searches, and therefore did not earn points.

As you perform the daily tasks on the Bing website you will start a streak. As you lengthen your streak you will end up earning additional points for continuing the streak. These points are on top of the regular daily points.

For the last few years I have been trying to make a concerted effort to complete the daily tasks and searches to earn a lot of points. I did not have any particular goal in mind, but just enough to redeem some points. It took me years of searching and playing Xbox games, but eventually I did earn a lot of points.

As of this writing, I have a streak of 364 days. This means that for the last 364 days I have done the daily tasks on the Bing website. I have absolutely been doing the tasks for longer than that, but the Bing website decided, on multiple occasions, to decide that my activities did not count as a streak. This has happened multiple times over the last few years.

Each time that the streak breaks, it requires me to start the streak again. The streak, in itself, only matters because it would allow me to get a badge. The current set of badges include:

  • Office Mate: 1997 lifetime points
  • Dos Boss: 8088 lifetime points
  • Audiofile: 35,000 lifetime points
  • Local Hero: 98052 lifetime points
  • Founder: 441,975 lifetime points
  • 7-day set
  • 30-day set
  • 180-day set
  • 365-day set
  • 999-day set
Badges for Microsoft Rewards
Screenshot of the available badges

I have earned all but the 999 set. It would take me 21 months to get the 999-day set badge. Honestly, the thought of continuing to do the daily tasks for that length of time is, in a word, tiring.

I have mostly been doing the Microsoft Rewards tasks to be able to automatically redeem a 1-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The automatic redemption reduces the number of points needed to redeem a code. For the length of time that I had been doing the auto redemption

In December, I redeemed a vast majority of my points for Game Pass Ultimate. I did this not only because it made sense, but also because I have heard horror stories of some people losing access to Microsoft Rewards, and I opted to redeem my points instead of losing them.

Now that we have covered my experience, let us look at some recent changes.

Recent Changes

Over the last few months Microsoft has been making massive changes to the Rewards Program. They have reduced the amount of points that you receive for various tasks. You are still able to receive enough points to redeem Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, or other gift cards, but the points have been reduced.

Another set of changes that they have made recently is that you can only earn up to 25 points by clicking on items. Now, you must perform searches in order to redeem points. Beyond this, Microsoft has implemented a delay between all searches in order to receive points. I can understand wanting to put some delay, in order to stop bots, and this is entirely understandable. However, adding a significant delay also means that it takes an increasingly longer amount of time to complete the daily searches.

Decision to Stop Earning Rewards

Even though you can still earn enough to redeem a gift card, or Game Pass Ultimate, every month, it takes a lot of time to complete the searches every day. In addition to this, the Xbox Rewards apps, on both iOS and Xbox, also take a lot of time.

Beyond the time, the apps do not always trigger the rewards, even though you have completed the tasks. With the delay, app issues, and the overall amount of time needed to complete everything, I have opted to stop doing the searches. I am not entirely sure when I will stop but it will likely be when I’m able to redeem another 3-month Game Pass Ultimate. This would end up being the last of my points, which seems like a good time to stop.

I have already stopped my monthly auto-redemption of my 1-month Game Pass Ultimate and since it is just half-way through the month, it is likely that I will redeem the 3-month Game Pass Ultimate towards the end of the month, and then that will be it for Microsoft Rewards.

Closing Thoughts

There are times in life when you have more time than money. There are other times when you have more money than time. I am in the latter portion. Now, I end up paying for things with my own money. I do this instead of using coupons, or in the case of Microsoft Rewards, allowing Microsoft to use my data to, in exchange for free rewards that I can redeem.

As outlined above, this is because it takes entirely too much time and effort for, what in me, is not worth the trade off. I am not discouraging anybody to use Microsoft Rewards, but for me, it is no longer worth my time. If you want to be able to get rewards, including gift cards, Microsoft Rewards may be worth your time, but expect additional changes in the future.