Microsoft has quietly launched a beta of a new service called Earn that will allow users to collect credits when paying for items at retailers and restaurants. Later these credits can be used to get items from Microsoft's retail stores at a discount.
At the moment, the beta is only available in three US states: Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington. Once a user links their credit or debit cards to their account for free, they can earn 5% to 10% in credits.
Purchases must be made through participating outlets, including Petsmart, Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Whole Foods and more. Those credits can be used to get items from the Microsoft Stores in those states such as a Surface 3, an Xbox One or other hardware and software products.
"Enroll your cards with Earn. Shop and dine at participating merchants to Earn Credits. And when you make a purchase at your local Microsoft Store with your enrolled card, you'll receive a credit on your bank card statement, up to your Earn Credits balance."
This service seems to have just started, so it may be a while before Microsoft expands it to other states. This new effort is similar to Microsoft's Bing Rewards, which lets US users earn credits when searching on Bing that can later be exchanged for e-gift cards.