Microsoft’s Bing search engine has been around for years, but while we’ve found it to be perfectly good, not many people use it compared to the 3.5 billion searches made each day using Google.
To change that, Microsoft has launched (another) Rewards programme which gives you points each time you search using Bing. And you know what points mean: prizes.
Well, you can enter competitions to win prizes (including an Xbox One S and other Microsoft hardware) but there are other options that guarantee you an actual reward, rather than merely the chance of one.
Which countries are part of the programme?
The scheme is new only in the UK: it launched in the States a while back. In fact, Microsoft has already tried incentivising Bing by launching Bing Rewards back in 2010 which allowed you to earn ‘credits’ which you could use to enter sweepstakes, donate to charity or exchange for things including gift vouchers.
In effect, this new programme is much the same thing, and it’s coming to France, Germany and Canada “in the coming weeks and months as part of the international roll-out”.
How does Microsoft Rewards work?
First you have to go to Rewards.Microsoft.com and sign up to the programme using your Microsoft ID and password. Obviously, you can create a free account if you don’t have one.
Once that’s done, you simply need to be signed in to your account whenever you use Bing to accrue points. Each search gives you three points, and you can earn points on 10 searches per day.
The scheme is gamified, so if you get a minimum of 500 points in a month, you’ll graduate from Level 1 to Level 2. Then you can earn points on 50 searches per day, 30 on a PC and 20 on a mobile device.
Any searches you make that day after earning maximum points won’t earn you anything. However, you can still get more points by answering quizzes (and searching for answers on Bing) and by buying things from the Microsoft, Windows or Xbox stores: each £1 gets you one point.
What can I use the points for?
You can enter competitions for 200 points, and be in with a chance of winning an Xbox One S or a Surface Pro.
Or, if you’re willing to save up for a while, you could exchange 9500 points for a month’s access to Groove Music Pass – Microsoft’s Spotify alternative.
A month’s Xbox Live Gold membership requires 6000 points, and a whole year is 29000 points.
£5 of Skype credit will take 1250 points.
Alternatively you can donate to charities including UK Youth, AbilityNet and Special Olympics.
You can set a reward as a goal, and then keep track of your progress. And when you use Bing, you’ll see your running points total at the top right of the page.
So there’s a clear incentive to make it your homepage as well as the default search engine in all the browsers you use, whether on Windows or on Android or iOS.