I had no idea that I had Microsoft Rewards points. You probably have some, too: You get them by doing Bing searches and other gratuitous Microsoft web activities and can redeem them for things like Amazon gift cards, Diablo 4 battle pass tiers, and PC Game Pass subscriptions.
Be warned, though: To get anything good, you have to do a lot of Bing searches, and probably not for anything you actually want to know about.
If you're using Windows 11 and you're logged into a Microsoft account, you can find your Microsoft Rewards points total by clicking on the search field in the taskbar. Your current points balance appears next to a medal icon at the top of the search menu, and clicking the medal opens rewards.bing.com—in Edge, of course, regardless of your default browser setting.
There, you can earn points by doing activities like searching for "holiday cookies recipes" on Bing and then redeem those points for gift cards, apparel (like a hat that says "Microsoft" on it), subscriptions, and in-game stuff for games like Sea of Thieves and Minecraft. You can also get points by buying stuff in the Microsoft Store and playing games on Xbox consoles and doing Xbox Game Pass quests.
Microsoft Rewards are new to me, but they've been around for years, and there's a whole subreddit dedicated to optimizing point acquisition. I just earned 30 points for taking a quiz about home cleaning tips, and another 10 for answering a poll about whether I've ever been to a Scandinavian Festival. (I have not.) I got 50 more points by going to some Microsoft Rewards informational pages and then doing a 10 question quiz about cats. I have 140 points in total right now.
I'm a long way from turning these tickets from the world's least-fun arcade in for anything of value, of course. Here are some of the gaming-related rewards and how much they cost:
- PC Game Pass, one month subscription - 9,250 points
- Diablo 4 Premium Battle Pass - 9,000 points
- 330 Minecraft Minecoins - 2,500 points
- 200 Overwatch Coins - 1,800 points
- Two Diablo 4 Battle Pass tier skips - 1,700 points
You can currently get your first 14 days of PC Game Pass for $1 with the introductory promotion, so that might not be the best use of 9,250 points, but if you've already exhausted that trial period, a month of PC Game Pass normally costs $10. The Diablo 4 Premium Battle Pass also costs $10, and can be redeemed for 250 fewer points, so the points don't map to currency consistently.
It'll take a while, but you can get enough Microsoft Rewards points to get things you want—one PC Gamer editor used to grind them for Overwatch points—and there are worse things you could do to save money on videogames than look at the search results for "cauliflower," which I just got 5 points for.
You might even learn something from Bing now and then. I now know that cauliflower is "rich in sulforaphane," for instance. I don't know what sulforaphane is, but maybe I'll find out tomorrow when I pick up a few more points. (Or, perhaps more likely, I will never open Bing again.)