Microsoft Rewards is the best Xbox feature you might not be using

Microsoft Rewards
Microsoft Rewards (Image credit: Windows Central)

Did you know that Microsoft Rewards on the Xbox? Did you also know that it's one of the best places to earn those reward points by doing very little?

File this under one of those "I thought everyone knew" things, but having discussed it with a friend over the holidays who was completely oblivious to the program, perhaps it's not all that well known.

So here's the deal. If you're not using it, then you should start, immediately. Especially if you have an Xbox Series S. But whether you're new or an old hand, you might find this helpful in maximizing your use of the program.

Get rewarded for buying and playing games

Microsoft Rewards

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The first thing you should do is make sure you have the dedicated Microsoft Rewards Xbox app (opens in new tab) installed on your console. It's your gateway to a whole bunch of Xbox-specific chances to increase your points, in many cases without doing much at all.

There are some regular features, like Game Pass Quests, which you can earn small rewards from daily and weekly, with bonuses for hitting monthly goals. We're not talking anything tough either, literally just playing a Game Pass game every day or unlocking achievements is all it takes. If you're playing these games anyway, why not monetize them? Over time, lots of small amounts soon add up.

Then there are the bigger bonuses. The recent holiday sale, for example, offered a 5,000 point bonus on meeting a minimum spend (£35 where I am) on almost all games in the promotion. If you're buying new games from the Microsoft Store in a sale — and this is where it makes even more sense for Xbox Series S owners — anyway, 5,000 points is a pretty big chunk.

Microsoft Rewards

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

It's almost enough on it's own to get five bucks/pounds added to your account to put towards another game. Using Microsoft Rewards points I earned with very little effort I took £15 off the price of Cyberpunk 2077. Who doesn't like free money?

The key is to keep checking the app on your Xbox and activate relevant punch cards. At the time of writing this there are sizeable bonuses for people who play Apex Legends, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six Siege, as well as for purchasing media.

Sure, a lot of the higher tier rewards are linked to buying stuff, but if you're buying it anyway, what's the harm? Again...it's all free money.

Auto-redeem for the best rates

Microsoft Rewards

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

When it comes to getting something for your (hard) earned points, there's a lot to choose from. You can enter contests, get subscriptions to Gold or Game Pass Ultimate, donate some to charitable causes or you can cash them in for Xbox gift cards to credit onto your account.

And if you set up an auto-redeem, which has its own tab in the Microsoft Rewards app, you'll get a better redemption rate and make your points go a little further each time.

For example, I currently get a £5 credit for 5,500 points on auto-redeem, compared to 5,850 without. It's not much, but I'd rather save those points over time than not.

Combine it with the desktop

Microsoft Rewards

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

How much you earn and how much you can redeem will depend on how active you are in the program. It also covers desktop use, of course, so if you're searching with Bing, especially in Microsoft Edge, you'll earn points every day.

You'll also be able to earn on purchases from the Microsoft Store, be that apps and games (including when you buy Xbox games), digital video content or even items like a new Surface. There are plenty of opportunities to earn rewards points and use them towards more discounts on new games.

There are exemptions, for example, on Xbox you won't earn points on microtransactions, but there's plenty of information (opens in new tab) readily available on what is eligible. And the web portal (opens in new tab) is always worth visiting for a few extra opportunities to top up on points.

If you're not already using the program though, definitely get the app installed or visit the website, get signed up and get earning. You'd be silly not to.

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Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

19 Comments
  • Yep, this is a great unheralded perk. I've used points recently towards $800 in gift cards for both the Surface Duo ($400) and a Series X ($400). Between MS Rewards points on PC, mobile and Xbox, you could save a ton of money. I know people who waste the gift cards on in-game content for the free to play games (Apex, Fortnite, etc), but if that's what you're into, you could do that too...
  • Don't forget about Xbox Game Pass Quests! The only thing I wish they would do is allow viewing of the Xbox rewards on the PC or Mobile app. It is annoying to have to be on the console to active those rewards.
  • Yup got those mentioned :)
  • Sorry, probably passed right over that one.
  • Seconed on that comment
  • I paid for my Series X console using rewards accumulated over 18 months... Let that sink in. My shiny new console cost me nothing.
  • Well, time, but still. In only 18 months? Wow.
  • It's okay, but it's dependence on Game Pass rather than just giving you a steady trickle like Bing Rewards does makes it very ignorable by comparison.
  • They have actually been merged, your Bing points contribute to this and vice versa, it's just Microsoft Rewards now.
  • Actually, Xbox rewards are separate from the Xbox Game Pass reward quests. This means you can do your weekly streaks and daily achievement bonus without a GP sub, but you get WAY more if you have GP.
  • Yeah, it's awesome, but not available in Finland.
  • Unfortunately it's useless in the UK. Hopefully they will make it more worthwhile outside the US with more rewards and perks.
    It's gotten slowly better, slowly. Must be some licencing issues or something.
  • Useless? I’ve claimed 20 quid in gift cards just in December alone. Dunno about you but I like free money.
  • I've been using reward points to pay for my Xbox Live Gold for ages now and when they offered to convert that to Game Pass Ultimate I took advantage of the 3 years Gold converted to 3 Years Game Pass Ultimate, but yes when I do run out in 2022, I will use my points to get more Game Pass Ultimate, it's a shame though because in the first month of XGP Quests, they were giving you 4000 points a month, but soon reduced it to half of that by month two which is a damn shame, but I'm still doing it and collecting points everyday!!! Very useful!!!
  • I haven't paid for a Live subscription since 2013. Also snagged a lot of games & movie rentals with points.
  • Microsoft Rewards...You don't even imagine how many e-mails and feedback I've sent to Microsoft about this program isn't available in Portugal...🤔😑😪
  • Or any other country. It's not so much the unavailability that nags me, but rather the PR that makes it sound like they assume everyone has all the same services as in the US, so of course they're the best.
    Maybe the PR-people are blissfully unaware. Still hurts every time though 😭
  • Sorry to rub more salt into the wound of those that don't have it. They are putting a other 10,000 points for gamers core promotion on again in the Rewards app. It starts on the 6th I believe.
  • Every morning I check my Rewards dashboard on my phone and do the easy ones that you just have to click on things to get points. Then I click on the 0/60 mobile search rewards for the day. That gives you the top trending stories of the day. I click through each of those and get points for each. If I play Xbox that day, I get the similarly easy bonuses by clicking on those in the Xbox app. If I get any achievements, I make sure to claim the bonus for that as well. Then I use Bing in Edge anyway. Other than rewards, there are a couple other things I like about it, especially Microsoft Search to check your business results as well in the same place. So those natural searches count toward the desktop rewards. Even just doing that - not buying anything - I get the equivalent of $5-$10 a month. I used to use it mainly for Xbox Live Gold, but eventually decided I didn't really need Live Gold. Now I put it toward movie rentals or buying games. I certainly felt better about the $30 Canadian rental price tag on Wonder Woman 84 knowing it was paid by points.