Bing Rewards – An easy way to score free Amazon Gift Cards, Hulu Plus Subscriptions, XBOX Live, and more.
Ever heard of Bing Rewards? No? That’s too bad. Even if you don’t like Bing you can still spend a few minutes using it each day to quickly rack up rewards points that can be cashed in for free Amazon gift cards, Hulu Plus subscriptions, XBOX Live subscriptions and several other prizes. Getting it set-up is easy. Using it takes anywhere from two to ten minutes a day depending on how much you decide to abuse the system, and believe me it’s easy to abuse. In the past three months of use I’ve cashed in several $5.00 Amazon Gift vouchers and padded out my Hulu Plus subscription through the end of the year. I’d much rather spend a few minutes each day doing bogus searches on a search engine I don’t even like to use than spend hours doing surveys to earn pennies towards the same kind of rewards you can get from Bing Rewards.
Getting the hang of Bing Rewards can be a little confusing at first. That’s what this guide is meant to address. I’ll show you the basic set-up, how to quickly earn points, how to cash those points in, and how to avoid getting your account banned for abusing the system. Did I mention I’m going to show you how to abuse the system? Well I am.
Setting up a Bing Rewards account.
The first thing you have to do is set up your first account at Bing Rewards. This is pretty easy to do. Just click on any one of the links I’ve provided to get to the sign-up page. There are a bunch of them already in this post, but here is one more just for kicks. Bing Rewards. You’ll be presented with the following screen.
Click on the yellow button that says, “Try it now, Free!” and you’ll get the following screen.
Here you have a couple of options. If you already have a Microsoft Live account you can use it to login. If not, click the Sign up now link in the lower right corner. Put in your basic info on the following screen and click the blue Create Account button. You can use your legit info for this part or make something up. I used my legit info for the first account. Microsoft actually doesn’t spam your email address so long as you are careful to opt out of any offers they try to hit you for, like the one right above the Create Account button. You’ll get the following screen.
Your account has bee successfully created. You’ll get an email at the address that you signed up with. You need to click the verification link in that email to complete the account setup. You are now ready to start using Bing Rewards.
Bing Rewards Layout
Now let’s look at the Bing Rewards layout. This is the top menu bar.
Starting in the top right corner you’ll see three icons. The gear will take you to preferences, which I’ll cover in the sidebar since it’s there as well. The second one will be a generic avatar with a drop down menu. You’ll see your name and how many points you currently have. Clicking the drop down lets you logout or connect your Facebook account. It’ll also short link you to some of the other menu items. The little speech bubble will be yellow and have a number beside it if you have unread notifications, which you can read by clicking on it.
Moving to the left, you’ll have several menu options. You generally only need worry about the first four. The Account link takes you to settings just like the gear icon. The FAQ link is just the help files should you need them. The important ones are as follows.
This is the home page where you end up when you login to the rewards system. You can go ahead and take the mini-tour at the top to get it off the screen and get an idea of how the system is laid out. Your account Status will be on the right and a reward you have set as a goal will appear below once you’ve taken the time to set one. On the left you’ll see a couple of lists.
The first one is called Earn and Explore. This is where the notifications telling you about ways to earn points appear. Clicking on any of these that have not been readwill generally give you one or more free points each day. All you have to do is click them and then close the tab it opens to receive the point. There is no need to actually read them.
Below that area will be Everyday ways to earn. This generally has only two things listed, sharing the Bing Rewards system, and doing searches.
The sharing system is basically a referral program. When you refer friends through social media or the direct link provided you can receive a set amount of points when they use the system and reach Silver status. Generally this is 200 points, but they occasionally run a promotion. At the time I’m writing this, you can get 500 points per referral.
The search section shows how many points you can earn doing searches each day. You usually get one point for every two search for a maximum of fifteen points per day. Sometimes there are promotions that let you get double or triple points on certain days. Oddly, I have one account that requires three searches to earn one point, but let’s me get a maximum on thirty points per day. I’m not sure why and I’m not about to ask for fear they’ll change it on me.
The next menu item is Tours. On this page, under the sub-menu section called Welcome, you’ll see three tours you can take to help you get use to the system. They are very short and you don’t even have to take them. Just click on each one and close the tab it opens to complete the tour. Click on the sub-menu item called Explore Bing to find more tours. Complete them in the same way. This is a necessary step to reach Silver Status. You only have to do it this once.
The next menu item is Redeem. This is where you shop for an redeem rewards using your points. There are sub-menu items that help sort them for, you but there aren’t a huge amount so you can just view them all on the main page. Go ahead and browse for something that interests you and click on it. I’ll choose the $5.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Under the name of the reward you’ll see how many points it costs. You’ll also see something called the Gold Price. The cost of a reward drops once you reach Gold Status. Go ahead and click the blue Set as goal button. This will complete another requirement for Silver Status and your Dashboard will now show which reward you are currently aiming for. Once you get enough points for a reward you will use this same page to redeem those points.
The Status page shows what Member Level you are at and what you need to do to progress to the next level. After doing everything I’ve listed so far your page should look like this.
At this point you are a basic member but all you need to do to reach Silver status is earn 200 lifetime points. Lifetime points are the total points you’ve acquired regardless of whether they’ve been spent or not. This may take a little time but you are well on your way.
Let’s take a look at the left sidebar now. There isn’t too much to see here. The Bing logo will take you to the search engine page. The History button shows your search history. The Rewards button takes you back to the Dashboard. The Settings button will take you to the Account Settings page. Let’s take a look at that. You’ll need to complete some of this information in order to claim your rewards.
The General tab just controls some of your basic search preferences. There is no need to change anything here except maybe your SafeSearch preferences.
The Web page controls a little more advances set of search preferences. Again, there is no need to change anything here.
The News tab just controls how new results are shown.
The Rewards Account tab is the important one. You need to complete this information in order to claim your rewards. Basically you need to input a valid address and phone number.
The Worldwide tab let’s you choose a Bing search engine in another part of the world. There is nothing to worry about on this tab.
Searching for Points
Let’s start searching for points. Go to the Bing Search Engine.
You’ll notice that you have the same icons on the top right that give you info on your Bing Rewards account. So just start searching. Pretty much any type of search counts. You’ll see your points start counting up as you search. The total will stop going up when you reach your daily limit. I usually pick a topic and just click the Related Searches in the right hand sidebar to get all my points in couple of minutes. The image search is also good for this since Related Searches are shown across the top of the page. When you go back to your Dashboard you’ll see your updated total under your Status area and under the Everyday ways to earn section you’ll see that you have completed you allotment of searches for the day.
Once you get enough points you’ll want to start redeeming them for rewards. Since this account I’m showing you is newly set-up for this guide I don’t have many points to spare. I have 40 points after completing all my searches so I can redeem one of the sweepstakes entries in the Redeem tab.
Choose your reward and click the blue Redeem button. You can jump directly to the reward you have set as a goal from the Dashboard page.
On this page you need to click the blue Confirm button. Since you already setup your address and phone number in account settings there is nothing else you need to do. If you didn’t set these up, it will make you do so before you can confirm the order. When you order something like and Amazon card or Hulu Plus subscription you’ll get an email with the prize code and instructions on how to use it. This varies depending on the reward you choose. Here is an example.
Abusing the System
Abusing the system is easy if you follow a few simple rules. The Bing Rewards TOS allows for up to 5 accounts per household as of the date this article was written. That means you can use up to 5 accounts at any one location to accrue points so long as you do it under different credentials. This is meant for families. A single person can easily exploit it though. First lets cover some basic rules to avoid getting your account banned.
- Use a different name, email address, and phone number.
- Don’t start a new account too soon after the previous one. Give it a couple of weeks if using the same address.
- Don’t start too many accounts from the same IP address.
- If you want more accounts setup faster use different addresses and set them up from different locations so your IP address isn’t being logged too often. This is a bogus way of detecting abuse since most consumer IP addresses are dynamic and change from time to time, but what can you do?
- If possible, do your searches from different locations. A bunch of searches from one IP address can trigger their system to ban you as well.
Even if you are careful on these points, you can still get banned. In all honesty their detection system is terrible. There are plenty of topics by people who were running legitimate accounts, such as a few family members using the program from one household, and still got banned for no reason. Some were successful at getting the accounts reactivated, but many were not. Just be aware of what you are getting into by attempting to exploit the system.
The best way to abuse the system is via referrals. At the bottom of your Dashboard, click the Refer Friends link. This will take you to a page where you can use various social media options or a direct copy and paste link to invite friends to the program. When friends sign up via this link you will receive bonus points once they reach Silver Status. I always use the copy and past link to refer myself when I want to setup a new account. If you run the maximum of five accounts from one household and you referred the new ones from your main account then you just got 800 free points or at the current time 2000 free points due to the bonus promotion going on.
Using these methods you can accrue points quickly. With multiple accounts running, it’s easy to cash in rewards and stack them on your accounts. My Hulu account is paid for the rest of the year and I am stacking up Amazon codes on my account to pay for Prime when it comes due. The other big one will obviously be the XBOX Live credits. I only wish there were PSN rewards. I hope this helps you get some freebies. I’m sure we can all use something for free these days.