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Earn 12 Months of Free Xbox Live Gold with Microsoft Rewards Points

If you already have Xbox Live Gold, use your points to enter sweepstakes, earn Microsoft swag or donate to a good cause.
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Microsoft is offering free 12-month Xbox Live Gold Memberships to Microsoft Rewards members who accumulate 22,500 Rewards Points before August 15th or while supplies last.

Outside of this promotion, 12 months of free Xbox Live Gold is worth 29,000 Rewards Points, so if you manage to hit the goal in the next couple weeks you can save yourself 6,500 points. For reference, an Xbox Live Gold Membership retails at $9.99 per month or $59.99 for a 12-month subscription.

According to Slickdeals user zdiddy987, this is a "pretty rare" deal that comes around "maybe only once per year." Unfortunately, they also point out, "these never last to the end of the sale window," so if you want to get Xbox Live Gold with your Rewards Points, you might want to "buy sooner rather than later."

While an August 15th end date may be wishful thinking, the good news is you can sign up for Microsoft Rewards today and start earning rewards points for free. If you're just signing up now, it might be difficult for you to reach 22,500 points in the next couple weeks, but it's still a good idea to start saving up.

What Is Microsoft Rewards and How Does It Work?

Microsoft Rewards is a free-to-join loyalty program that gives you Rewards Points for using Microsoft products and services. You can redeem points for all kinds of things, including sweepstakes entries, apps, movie rentals gift cards and even charitable donations.

To sign up for Microsoft Rewards:

  1. Navigate to Microsoft Rewards homepage and click "Sign Up For Free."
  2. You'll be prompted to log into your Microsoft account (or to create a new account if you don't already have one). If you have an Xbox Live account, use the same login info here.
  3. Answer the questions that pop up about your preference in Microsoft products and rewards, then you're good to go.

How Do You Earn Points?

Once your account is set up, there are a variety of ways to earn Rewards Points, including:

  • Search with Microsoft Search Engines: The most common way to earn Microsoft Rewards Points is by searching using the Bing search engine. However, using the Bing app, Microsoft Edge or the Windows Search Box can also generate points, but you're capped by daily and monthly limits on how many points you can earn through searching.
  • Shop the Microsoft Store: You get points for any purchases you make from the Microsoft Store, as long as you're signed in with your Microsoft account when you make the purchase. For Level 1 members, every dollar spent equals one Rewards Point, though Level 2 members get 10 points for every dollar they spend. Plus, if you're a Level 2 member with Xbox Live Gold, you get an additional 10 points per dollar (20 points total).
  • Complete Quizzes and Surveys: The Microsoft Rewards homepage is loaded with silly quizzes and surveys you can complete for points. These types of offers will typically be worth 30-40 points each, and cover a range to categories like history, pop culture and current events. Even if trivia isn't your thing, you usually receive the points regardless of how many correct answers you provide, so just click through for some easy earnings.
  • Look at Microsoft's Promotional Material: Microsoft offers points for reading specific articles on the company's blog, watching featured videos and engaging with other bits of promotional material. Check the Microsoft Rewards homepage to see which pieces of content qualify. While these are usually only worth 10-20 points each, you receive the points the second you click through so most require almost no time investment to capitalize on.

Microsoft will periodically offer special promotions to earn bonus points, so check your account regularly to ensure you catch all the high-point offers.

What's the Difference Between Level 1 and Level 2 Rewards?

When you first sign up for a Microsoft Rewards account you'll be at Level 1. To reach Level 2, you have to earn 500 points in a single month; you then remain Level 2 as long as you continue earning at least 500 points per month.

The primary difference between the two levels is how quickly you accumulate points. A Level 1 user can earn up to 50 points per day from Bing searches (5 points per search, limit 10 searches per day). However, Level 2 users have a considerably higher cap of 50 searches per day (30 desktop and 20 mobile), meaning they can earn up to 250 points in the same time span.

The same principle applies when earning points for purchases on the Microsoft store. Level 1 users receive 1 point for every dollar they spend while shopping through Microsoft, whereas Level 2 users receive 10 points per dollar.

With this in mind, we recommend new users try to reach Level 2 before going after any Bing search or purchase points. There are plenty of other ways to hit 500 points, and if you can hold off you'll receive significantly more overall points for your efforts.

What Types of Rewards Can You Earn?

While 12 months of free Xbox Live Gold is one of the more premium offerings in the Microsoft Rewards program, there are plenty of fun prizes that cost way less than 29,000 points. Notable rewards include:

  • Enter to win an Xbox One X and 12 months of Gamepass Ultimate — Cost: 200 Points
  • Branded Xbox Mug — Cost: 5,000 Points
  • Donate to the World Wildlife Fund — Cost: 1,000 Points per Dollar
  • Enter to win a $500 Dunkin' Donuts Gift Card — Cost: 200 Points
  • Donate to Teach for America — Cost: 1,000 Points per Dollar

In the end, the Microsoft Rewards program is hard to say no to. It's free to sign up for and you don't have to do much to start using your points. While you're at it, why not set up a Deal Alert on some Xbox games or Microsoft products? We'll let you know when they go on sale, and you might even earn some points for your purchase.

Thanks to Joe_Isuzu for posting the original deal thread.

  • Deal Value: Earn 12 months of free Xbox Live Gold by cashing in 22,500 Microsoft Rewards points (regularly 29,000).
  • Timeframe: Now until August 15th, or while supplies last.
  • Things to Remember: Level 2 members earn considerably more points for Bing searches and purchases at the Microsoft store. Many Slickdealers worry Microsoft will run out of stock long before the August 15th end date.

Check out the top Xbox deal from our Frontpage for even more Microsoft discounts and freebies:

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About the Author
Orrin Grey Contributor

Orrin Grey is a freelance writer, editor and amateur film scholar who's always on the lookout for great deals on monster movies (and monster deals on regular movies). He's the author of more than half-a-dozen spooky books, and his short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including several volumes of The Best Horror of the Year.

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