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Bing has come a long way since its debut in 2009. Multiple interface lifts and backend improvements have turned what was once the butt of many jokes into a competent and capable competitor to Google.

I’ve been using Bing as my main search engine for 15 months (as of writing this) and the experience has been surprisingly pleasant. It has come to point where I actually dislike Google’s search engine and actively avoid using it. Go figure!

And though Bing is technically strong enough to stand on its own What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesn't? What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesn't? While Google has everything that you might need, it has its shortcomings when pitted against some of the features Bing and Yahoo! have. Google isn't perfect, and I'm here to tell you why. Read More , it has a reputation to overcome. Microsoft is confident that you’ll like Bing as long as you give it an honest try. That’s where the Bing Rewards Program comes into play.

What Is Bing Rewards?

The premise of Bing Rewards is that you can earn credits for searching with Bing. These credits accumulate on your account and can be redeemed for rewards (we’ll go over this in more detail later).

The program is entirely free to participate in as long as you have a residential United States address and are over the age of 13. The only other restriction is that each person may only have one Bing Rewards account and each household may not exceed five accounts.

Once enrolled, Bing Rewards is accessible by desktop and mobile.

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When searching from a desktop, you’ll earn 1 credit for every 2 searches you perform with a daily earning limit of 15 credits. When searching from a mobile device, you’ll earn 1 credit for every 2 searches you perform with a daily earning limit of 10 credits.

These limits are separate from each other, so you can potentially earn up to 25 credits per day just from searches. One thing to note is that these values may change from time to time (e.g. desktop searches were once valued at 1 credit per 3 searches).

Almost every search on Bing.com counts for credits, including image and video searches. The only exceptions are searches on Bing Maps, Bing Help, and Bing Blogs.

bing-rewards-membership-tiers

As a member of Bing Rewards, your account can be one of three tiers (they’re all free):

  • Member: All new accounts start here. Member accounts have full access to all features of Bing Rewards and aren’t limited or restricted in any artificial way.
  • Silver: When you complete the Rewards tour, earn 200 lifetime credits, and redeem your first reward, your account becomes Silver status. Other than a one-time 50 credit bonus, Silver doesn’t unlock anything special.
  • Gold: After becoming Silver status, earning 750 lifetime credits, and performing 150 credit-worthy searches in a month, you become Gold status. This unlocks a 10% credit discount when redeeming rewards. You must perform 150 credit-worthy searches every month to maintain Gold status.

One final way to earn credits is through referrals. Every time you refer a friend who creates a Bing Rewards account, you’ll earn a one-time bonus of 150 credits when they reach Silver status. There’s a maximum limit of 5 friends per account, capping out at 750 potential credits for you.

Other Features and Recent Changes

By now it should be obvious (if it wasn’t from the start) that Bing Rewards is a gambit by Microsoft to get people using Bing over Google. The credit-based gamification system Why Gamification Is Not The Magic Bullet Everyone Thinks It Is Why Gamification Is Not The Magic Bullet Everyone Thinks It Is Gamification is spreading across the web like a plague, as if slapping on a few badges and leaderboards is enough engage users. The truth? Gamification can harmful. Read More works well here, keeping me around long enough to realize that I actually do prefer Bing over Google.

But Bing Rewards isn’t just a marketing ploy. Microsoft also uses it to raise awareness for various features that users may not know exist.

bing-rewards-predicts-wwc

Every day, Microsoft presents anywhere from one to three different actionable links that each reward you with 1 credit if you click on them, and these links usually demonstrate some hidden function of Bing. It’s a clever move that helps people realize that Bing is more than just a simple search engine.

For example, there’s a feature called Bing Predicts How Bing Predicts Has Become So Good How Bing Predicts Has Become So Good Time to quit your day job and start gambling via Bing Predictions? Not quite, but let's have a look at how Bing has become just so good at predicting the future. Read More which aims to predict the likelihood of phenomena occurrences (e.g. time and location of snowfall) and event outcomes (e.g. who will win a sporting match). Most people, even Bing users, don’t know that Bing does this.

So, during the United States Senate elections, Microsoft regularly offered 1-credit actionable links for Bing Rewards users, and clicking on these links led to the Bing Predicts page for the predicted election results. (Side note: More than 95% of those predictions turned out accurate.)

bing-rewards-predicts-senate

Another neat feature is Trivia Tuesdays, an optional weekly event that poses you with three trivia questions. Every correct answer is a 1-credit reward. It’s simple, easy, and ultimately insignificant, but a fun way to see Bing searches in action.

On top of everything already mentioned, Bing occasionally runs Double Credit Days (which raise the desktop credit earning limit from 15 to 30 for one day) and Monthly Bonuses (a one-time credit bonus if you run 525 credit-worthy searches in a month).

Why You Should Use Bing Rewards

The main reason to enroll in the Bing Rewards program is for the rewards, so let’s look at what you can redeem:

  • Gift Cards: $5 gift cards can be redeemed for 525 credits (or 475 credits if you’re Gold status). There are dozens to choose from, including Amazon, Domino’s, GameStop, and Sephora.
  • Subscriptions: 1-month subscriptions are available for services like Hulu, Skype, and Xbox Live for anywhere from 300 credits to 700 credits.
  • Sweepstakes: If you’re more of a gambler at heart, Microsoft regularly runs big-prize sweepstakes (e.g. Lumia devices, Surface devices, $500 Target gift cards, etc.) that cost anywhere from 20 credits to 50 credits per entry.
  • Donations: If you’re more of a giver than a taker 7 Apps and Websites to Help You Give Money to Charity 7 Apps and Websites to Help You Give Money to Charity Give more money to charity and become a more engaged human citizen by using these 7 apps and websites. Read More , you can give up your credits and Microsoft will make a donation on your behalf to one of their partnered charities, including Kids In Need and Teach For America.

A lot of people refuse to take part in Bing Rewards because it feels like taking a bribe from Microsoft, but I don’t see it like that. Is it bribery to use a promotional coupon that was given to you by a retailer? Not really, and that’s how I see Bing Rewards: an extended promotional coupon.

bing-rewards-redeem-prizes

At my current rate, I usually earn about 700 credits per month, which means every month I get to claim one or two $5 Amazon gift cards. This leads us to our final and most important question: Is Bing Rewards worth it?

Absolutely.

Sure, the program only earns me the equivalent of a quarter every day, but I’m not doing any extra work for it. As someone who’s constantly doing research and looking things up on the web, I’d be running over 100 daily search queries whether I was enrolled or not, so for me it’s just free money.

bing-rewards-tablet-dashboard

But even if you don’t search a lot, it’s still worth it. A $5 gift card every two months might not seem like much, but it’s better than nothing, isn’t it?

If you’re interested, it’s easy to get started with Bing Rewards Get Paid To Search With The Bing Rewards Program Get Paid To Search With The Bing Rewards Program Google is king, but Bing is pushing its case. The Bing Rewards Program helps you earn credits while you discover the Web. It's a simple way earn little rewards for your browsing. Read More . You can be set up and earning credits within minutes. For best results, make sure to change your browser’s default search engine How To Change Your Browser's Default Search Engine How To Change Your Browser's Default Search Engine So, what are you searching with? Bing? Google? You might know how to use any search engine you want on the Internet, but do you know how to change the default search engine for your... Read More  to Bing!

What do you think about Bing Rewards? Are you using it? If not, will you be giving it a try? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!

  1. rainman0211
    July 24, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    I like the program. Rewarding me to do what I'd be doing anyway gets my thumbs up. Just got a free year of Xbox Live service... nice reward.

    • Joel Lee
      July 29, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      That's exactly how I feel. I'm searching all day every day anyway, why not earn a few gift cards while I'm at it? Thanks for sharing, rainman. :)

  2. mick
    March 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I ended up here (after searching on not-Bing) to check if it was a real thing. I got an email about it. It said you are getting this email because you joined Bing Rewards, which I have no recollection of doing. Maybe they join you up automatically when you upgrade to Win 10 or something. I've never used Bing once since it came out, I normally use Norton Safe Search, and occasionally Google. And the email didn't come from a Microsoft address. I was suspicious enough that I didn't open it.

    Your article did get my attention though, I think I'll give Bing a try.

    They could make the Rewards email look a little less scam-ish. I can't be the only person who thought it might be dodgy.

    • Joel Lee
      April 1, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Ha, yeah you have a point. I could see how one might think it was a scam or something like that. Let us know how you like Bing Rewards. :)

  3. Nala D.
    July 23, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Heavy Google user here, I would actually and seriously give Bing a try if their Rewards becomes available in my country.

  4. David Tiroletto
    July 11, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Hahaha this is hilarious. After years of going "pleeeease use our search engine. please?" now they've resorted to "pleeeeease use our search engine. will give you free stuff! you want free stuff right? someone? please?"

    MS needs to accept they lost and move on already. They're just getting pathetic.

    • Joel Lee
      July 11, 2015 at 1:39 am

      Nice try but Bing Rewards has been around since 2010. :)

    • John Smith
      October 30, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Well I think it's a good idea.

  5. Satyan Bajaj
    July 10, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Both BING and Google have done this. At least not available where I live.
    Sucks big time

  6. Eric Jay Palomar
    July 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    F8ck Bing rewards.
    It's over five years since the launch and they still limit the availability to US residents.
    US based companies should always know that the world doesn't always revolve in US.
    One reason to just stay with google then.

    • João Louro
      July 10, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      IT never those...

    • Joel Lee
      July 11, 2015 at 1:40 am

      There are obvious logistical issues with going international, but I feel your pain. The question is, would you use Bing Rewards if it were available to you?

      • Eric Jay Palomar
        July 11, 2015 at 1:50 am

        But logistical issues with going international doesn't really apply to everyone.
        And yes Joel, I would definitely use it.

      • João Louro
        July 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        No. I feel it's a bit stupid to reward me to use some engine I don't want to. What I need is the result of the search, so invest in that being the best and as fast as possible.

  7. nolanz
    July 9, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I visit makeuseof daily to keep up with the latest information.
    Is it time to have a divided makeuseof, one for those who live in the good ol USA, and the other peasants who live in the real world.

    If Microsoft find it too hard to globalise their rewards, is it not a surprise that we outside the USA will choose to use alternatives to Bing.
    I had thought to give Bing a go when I move up to Windows 10, but now because I feel discriminated against, I will cut my nose off to spite my face and stick with another search engine.

    As pointed out by others, if makeuseof is intended for all, should the "exclusive to America" postings have a Stars Spangled Banner at the beginning as a warning, or better still a "Them and UsA" section.

    • João Louro
      July 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      I would definitely keep reading the peasant version.

    • Joel Lee
      July 11, 2015 at 1:55 am

      My mistake. I should've noted the article as US-only, sorry.

      • João Louro
        July 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm

        Don't be. When I search 90% of the time is for international result, and tow I'm from Portugal, both my SO and engine results are in English.

    • Camille Taylor
      August 23, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Could you use a vpn to access the rewards?

      • Joel Lee
        September 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm

        Hi Camille. Honestly, I'm not sure as I haven't tried. I suspect that would be against Microsoft's TOS though, and if you were caught, you'd probably forfeit whatever points you accumulated.

  8. Robert Michael Largent III
    July 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    WAIT!! What is this crazy talk? No one outside the USA uses the internet. Al Gore invented the internet just for Americans.

    I use Bing rewards to keep my free Hulu account free.

    • João Louro
      July 10, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Fck. How did It escape?

    • Mike Gilligan
      July 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Robert, I'd be keen to link my Hulu account too. Can you tell me how tho?

      • Robert Michael Largent III
        July 15, 2015 at 1:11 am

        Mike, In Bing Rewards, just look for the Hulu reward.

        They raised my Hulu reward redemption from 420 points to 680 points.

  9. João Louro
    July 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    This only available in the US so ... I'm sticking with Google for now ...
    also I can't disable the initial image, and search those note suggest words, no major issues but I'll keep goggling.

  10. Jason Maggard
    July 9, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I just won one of their Surface Pro 3 giveaways.... And I'm typing this on my new Surface Pro 3!

    Bing rewards is pretty cool.

  11. Greg Kristan
    July 9, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    This is a great summary. I love this part in your post at the very beginning. "And though Bing is technically strong enough to stand on its own, it has a reputation to overcome".

    I am hoping that Windows 10 and Cortana will give people a new look at what Bing can really do

    -Greg

    • Joel Lee
      July 11, 2015 at 1:57 am

      Thanks Greg! A lot is riding on how Windows 10 turns out, and I think a successful launch and smart integration will do a lot to soften people's attitudes towards Bing. A lot has changed over the past 5+ years!

  12. Nate
    July 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    I've used it mainly for getting Amazon gift cards. Takes a while, but it works.

    Here's my referral link...https://www.bing.com/explore/rewards?PUBL=REFERAFRIEND&CREA=RAW&rrid=_ed3384af-fdf9-6177-85b3-a77e1dd29b78?

  13. Chinmay Sarupria
    July 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    You should add US in the title because many such things in the past on MakeUseOf are US only. 95.57% of the world population has nothing to do with this article.

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