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Video games already take enough of our hard-earned money, don’t they?
With the ‘games as a service’ business model becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that if a company can keep you on a paid subscription model for access to a product forever then that is exactly what ‘she will do, coupled with the rising price of video games both physical and digital, this recipe makes for an expensive hobby, unless of course you are looking for best game deals under $1because there are also many hidden treasures.
Also thanks to a universal shortage of semiconductors and/or the inability to produce said components, manufactured goods like toasters and Teslas and everything in between experienced a shortage leading to an increase in RRP.
Technology has been particularly affected by this combination of high demand and limited supply, meaning the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are very hard to come by. And if you can find them, you’re going to pay way more than you normally would.
So in light of that, we’ve compiled a way by which through a system implemented by Microsoft itself, you can acquire what is essentially “free money” for video games, subscriptions, gift cards and all sorts of things you can benefit from.
Points make prizes
It has changed name and form several times over the years, and while it was previously limited to the Xbox One, Microsoft expanded its rewards program to its browser and search engine, these being respectively Edge and Bing.
Now, I know to suggest any of these things in 2022 comes with an element of ridiculousness since Chrome and Google are the go-tos for most of the general public, but the shift to Microsoft services and products you will accumulate points which you can use to redeem for much better and more useful things which we will cover below.
Quick quick note, you’ll get more out of it if you have access to it if you have an Xbox One/Xbox Series S/X, and can get even more out of it if you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, but we’ll get to that over time. as we progress.
In search of gold
So we’ll start with the simplest, and the elements of it that are completely free. First of all, if you are using a device that has Windows installed, you will most likely already have access to the Microsoft Edge web browser.
Alternatively, using your current web browser, download Microsoft’s successor to Internet Explorer or you can download here.
Once done, sign in to your Microsoft account (or create a if you don’t already have one) so that your points can be assigned to your profile. If you don’t log in, everything you do will be lost because points can’t be assigned to an account, and we don’t want that.
Once logged in, you can start earning points.
You can earn points simply by using Edge and/or Bing instead of the Alphabet-owned product or any other search engine, but you are limited each day to the number of points you can earn per day through search. The ratio, however, is 3:1, with three points for each search, with a bonus for using Bing in Edge.
You can see a breakdown of how points work in the image below:
As you can see above, there are other ways to earn points using various services and apps on other Microsoft products, but we’ll get to that.
Points are also awarded by participating in activities such as surveys, quizzes (most of which can very rarely be “failed”), keeping a streak of earned points days, punch cards, and much more.
You can also compound this point accumulation by installing the Edge and Bing apps on your mobile device or by changing your device’s default search engine used by your web browser app in your settings.
The following will be additional ways for people to earn points for those who have any Xbox and/or signed up for Xbox Game Pass. If this doesn’t apply to you, feel free to skip to “The Good Stuff” where we cover the rewards themselves and how to redeem them.
If you own an Xbox One or Series S/X, you will have access to an app on your device called “Microsoft Rewards on Xbox”. Catchy name.
Either way, here you can earn more points to contribute to your overall total. Most require a simple press of the A button, which you can immediately exit from the selected option. No need to watch the linked video or read what’s in front of you (unless you want to, of course).
There are also more involved options like the weekly set which has three criteria to meet, usually involving doing a particular activity for a certain number of days in the week. There are also punch cards which are usually tied to a specific game, movie or service.
These net a lot of points, but you’ll need to be very lucky as you’ll need to own the game already, and it tends to be centered around a new or trending release, so it’s unlikely. This guide is about saving money, not spending it.
Adding XGP to this crucible adds another dimension to the walkthrough, as you get access to daily, weekly, and monthly quests. This usually involves simply playing games included in Game Pass, playing specific games, and earning achievements on Game Pass titles.
If you can do all of this (and stay on top), you’ll be swimming in points in no time.
So you have all these points. Now what about them?
Well I personally cash in my points to collect £5 worth of Microsoft gift cards to save the full price of the games I want to buy but you can use it to buy Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass or enter sweepstakes raffle to win unique prizes (although I personally wouldn’t recommend the endpoint as it’s so long).
However, if you really want to play this system (this will apply more to UK readers, but I imagine there is somewhere you can go where you can take your purchased goods to your area) you could win enough points to grab a £25 Currys PC World gift card, and use it to buy any game or accessory in that price range, then redeem that ‘free’ item at an exchange location to get some real money.
True, you will almost certainly receive less “real money” in return, but that is money that is not tied to a specific source.
Play with the system
Although the last example requires a bit more virtual work, even if you just use the Microsoft Rewards program to earn a few dollars/pounds/euros here and there, it’s worth it for the amount of effort you have to put into it .
We hope you’ve picked up some, if only a little, economic conversational inspiration from our little guide.
Good savings, dear player.