When it’s time to search the web, approximately 85% of users turn to Google. It’s such a prevalent search engine that we’ve turned its usage into a verb — Googling. But other options are available, and some will pay you to use them.
Microsoft’s search competitor, Bing, holds a bit under 10% of the market, but if you decide to switch, you’ll find fantastic benefits. Thanks to Microsoft Rewards, you can earn points to redeem gift cards every time you search.
Let’s take a break from Google and dive into Bing to see how you can reap the rewards from some of your favorite companies, including the Microsoft Store, Starbucks, Amazon and Grubhub.
What Is the Microsoft Rewards Program?
Microsoft Rewards is the software giant’s loyalty program, which offers benefits in exchange for using services such as Bing or Microsoft Edge. As you use specific Microsoft products, you’ll earn points that can then be redeemed for select rewards. Gift cards are our favorite offering and are available for a wide selection of places such as:
If gift cards aren’t your thing, you can enter sweepstakes for more elaborate prizes, such as a brand-new Xbox Series X, a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, a $5,000 Amazon gift card or even a chance to meet WNBA star Rhyne Howard. Charitable donations are also an option if you feel generous with your reward points.
How to Earn Microsoft Rewards Points
Earning points with Microsoft Rewards is simple. Visit Bing.com and ensure that you are logged in with a Microsoft account — you can do so by clicking on the profile icon in the upper right corner.
Once logged in, you will notice an award icon at the top of the Bing homepage; your profile and a notification icon flank it. The award icon will notify you of how many points you have earned and how close you are to your goal.
Click on the award icon to see a breakdown of how many points you earned and additional activities you can take part in to earn points. You can earn 150 points a day using Bing on your PC, 100 points a day using Bing on your smartphone and 20 points for utilizing the Microsoft Edge web browser.
In our testing, we found that every web search we performed awarded us an additional five points. If you’re a student or someone who frequently conducts research using a search engine, you’ll earn points quite rapidly.
We also recommend participating in those additional daily activities that we mentioned are accessible by clicking on the award icon. To see a complete list of daily tasks that you can complete, click on your dashboard for all the details. We found it easy to earn points (nearly 150 extra) by clicking on links and taking short quizzes — no email address required.
Are you an Xbox gamer? If so, Microsoft also offers ways to earn points while playing your favorite games.
How to Redeem Microsoft Rewards Points
There is no point in earning Microsoft Rewards points if you aren’t going to use them. By heading to your Rewards Dashboard (aka the rewards page) and clicking on the Redeem tab at the top of the page, you can “cash in” your points for prizes — it’s just like being at the arcade!
We found three primary rewards available from the program: gift cards, sweepstakes and donations. With gift cards, you are cashing in a voucher to one of your favorite companies or services (what could be better than free coffee?). We found that most $5 gift cards (5,000 points) can be acquired after only a few weeks of searching the net as you normally might.
Alternatively, you can enter a sweepstakes to win a more elaborate prize.
Donating to charity is a third option for those with a heart of gold. You can donate your points, which Microsoft will convert into a cash donation, to a charitable organization. Some notable organizations available include Teach for America, the Nature Conservancy, the Trevor Project and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Want to give to your favorite charities automatically? By visiting the Give with Bing page, you can set your account up to automatically have earned rewards points donated. If you want to promote your cause, Bing can even help you create free promotional material.
Is Bing Better Than Google?
If you’ve seen an ad for Bing, you may have taken a moment to wonder whether it’s a viable alternative to Google. Microsoft Rewards is a compelling way to move Googlers over into the world of Microsoft, but users won’t stay long unless the search engine delivers results.
We’ve tested Google and Bing for quite some time and have found that both search engines perform about equally with general searches. Google tends to have an advantage in our testing when it comes to surfacing answers for more niche topics. Still, both offer a solid everyday search experience for the typical user.
Microsoft Rewards may be a tempting offer to switch over to Bing and earn points; we don’t think you’ll have many regrets if you do. We especially enjoy the daily Bing image, which is an aesthetically pleasing alternative to Google’s plain homepage.
If you wish to compare Google vs. Bing side by side, check out a website like bvsg.org, which lets you see precisely what each search engine will surface for a query. The results might surprise you.
If you prefer to use an app on your smartphone to carry out web searches and earn Microsoft Rewards, Bing provides options for Android and iOS devices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Searching with Bing is the easiest way to earn Microsoft Rewards points. Make sure that you are logged into your Microsoft account on the Bing homepage and begin searching. You can earn up to 150 points per day when searching on your computer and up to 100 points per day on mobile.
Microsoft Rewards does, indeed, give you free stuff, including gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants, the Microsoft Store and more. When you use Bing, Microsoft can monetize your searches (in the same way Google does) and produce a profit. Microsoft Rewards passes on some of this money to you in exchange for using the service.
While signed into your Microsoft account, check your rewards points by visiting the Bing homepage and looking for the rewards icon. Next to the icon will be a number representing your current point balance. You can also visit the Microsoft Rewards Dashboard (aka the rewards page).
Microsoft Rewards, which offers points and gifts in exchange for using Bing, can be worth it. We found Bing’s search engine results to be on par with Google’s. The best way to see if Bing is worth it is to use the service yourself and earn points.
Yes, you can earn Robux for the popular Roblox game platform. Microsoft is currently offering a special promotion in which you can get a 100 Robux digital card by signing up for Microsoft Rewards and searching with Bing using Microsoft Edge for five days.
There is no dedicated Microsoft Rewards app, but you can earn points and check your program status using the Bing app for Android and iOS. If you are serious about earning Microsoft Rewards points fast, it’s not a bad idea to keep it on hand.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer with The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.