When looking at web search engines, does a compelling reason exist for choosing Bing over the giant that is Google? While there are some search result formatting improvements with Microsoft’s search service compared to Google, Bing Rewards might be the best reason for you to forego Google’s web search. Rewards is an extra feature from Microsoft that actually “pays” you in gift cards or other retail deals almost every time you search the Internet.
Does the possibility of saving money or earning gift cards simply for performing web searches make you take notice? Well, let’s take a closer look at Bing Rewards and see if it is worth switching from Google to Bing.
Setting upa Bing Rewards Account is Easy
A Rewards account simply piggybacks onto an already existing Microsoft or Facebook account, so if you already have one of those, you should be good to go. If you have accounts on both services, consider using your Microsoft account if you don’t want your Rewards activity broadcast on your Facebook friends’ news feeds.
Once you’ve signed on to Rewards, make sure you choose the option to stay signed in, lest you miss out on earning any credits. Your account page allows you to enter your address and phone number, as well as peruse Microsoft’s privacy page to see how they end up using that information.
Three Different Account Levels
Bing Rewards features three different account status levels: titled Gold, Silver, and Member respectively. Obviously, everyone starts off at the Member status level, with upgrades to higher statuses earned by accomplishing a variety of tasks. Getting to Silver level is pretty easy — you need to take a tour of the service, set an earnings goal from one of the retailers, and earn your first 200 credits. Your prize is 50 additional credits.
Gold level offers a 10 percent discount when redeeming credits, which can add up on some of the better rewards. Of course, that status level is more difficult to achieve and maintain; staying Gold requires 150 searches each month, along with earning an initial 750 credits and redeeming credits for your first reward.
How Do You Earn Bing Rewards Credits?
Obviously, using Bing for your web searches is the easiest way to earn credits on the service. Each day you are able to earn one credit for every two Bing searches — up to 15 credits per day on your desktop or laptop computer, and up to 10 credits per day on your mobile device. There are also special search and other contests every day that provide additional opportunities to earn a single credit.
Inviting your friends to use Bing Rewards might be the most lucrative method of earning credits. You gain 500 credits for each invited friend that reaches Silver status — up to 50,000 credits total. Trying Skype for the first time also gains you an additional 100 credits. The bottom line is using Bing for your Internet search needs — without thinking too closely about it — is the best way to get those credits to pile up over time.
So What About Those Rewards?
A host of retailers offer gift cards and other deals on the Bing Rewards service. Taking a look at Amazon’s Gift Card on the program is a good way to figure out the value of an individual Bing credit. A $5 Amazon Gift Card “costs” 525 credits, so each credit is worth around one penny — more or less.
Occasionally, there are special redemption deals, such as the currently available $15 ProFlowers eCoupon for only 100 credits. Most rewards, however come in at around 500 credits for $5 in savings, like the Amazon Gift Card example. It is also possible to earn miles or travel points from a host of popular travel services.
Other retailers offering deals on the service include Burger King, Applebee’s, Domino’s, GameStop, Groupon, Fandango, and many more. Of course, Microsoft themselves provide specials on Xbox Live, the Surface Tablet, and consumer-level Cloud services, among many other savings options from Redmond.
Whether or not Bing Rewards provides enough savings to warrant leaving Google for Bing is up to the individual user. If you spend significant time searching the web every day, Bing might be your best option to get a little back for your Internet activity.
Photo Credit: Carl Donovan