It seems that everyday there is a new rewards program but it never really gets our attention to write a post about it. A few rewards programs came out this year that caught our eye. One of those being Plenti from American Express but it failed to really feature many businesses we frequent. Microsoft has now rolled out a rewards program that does offer two places we shop all the time being Shell Gas and Whole Foods. You could even count 7-Eleven stores in for their gas mainly because they have some of the gas stations on top of Shell.
Earn by Microsoft is a program where you simply enroll your credit cards and you earn 5% to 10% in Earn Credits when you shop at participating national retailers and local restaurants that you can redeem toward product purchases made at the Microsoft Store. Yeah that’s the major catch is that you have to redeem at a Microsoft store. There are many things you can buy at a Microsoft store besides computers and software. Maybe a mouse? We will get to that part later.
Earn by Microsoft is currently in Beta, which means that you can only redeem your Earn Credits in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington for the time being. We are hoping they expand to Texas where they are located in Northpark Mall in Dallas.
It’s still worth signing up to get your $10 Earn by Microsoft Bonus while this offer still lasts. You should be able to earn and redeem your Earn Credits at any Microsoft Store in the U.S. when it comes out of Beta. The $10 sign-up bonus will only be available for a limited time through the referral program, and it will likely be reduced to a $5 bonus in the future.
How To Use Earn by Microsoft:
1. Go here to sign up for Earn by Microsoft and enroll your credit cards and debit cards. It’s free and takes less than a minute. You can only enroll Visa and MasterCard at this time with American Express coming soon. Also, do not enroll cards that are currently in the Rewards Network or Upromise programs as they use the same databases. Just find a card not in the programs.
2. You then make purchases with your enrolled cards at participating national retailers and local restaurants to earn from 5% to 10% in Earn Credits for your purchases.
3. You can then redeem your Earn Credits at your local Microsoft Store toward various products including software and games, hardware such as laptops, tablets, phones, Xbox consoles, headphones, speakers, and more.
The Earn by Microsoft Rewards Program works by shopping and dining at participating merchants to receive 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 for up to your Earn Credits balance.
You may want to just enroll credit cards because transactions where a PIN is entered at checkout do not qualify to receive Earn Credits. Also, during the Beta testing the Earn Credits are only redeemed on purchases made in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington stores. You may be able to earn the at say Whole Foods in Texas but not the local restaurants like you can in Seattle that the program lists.
Participating Merchants for Earn by Microsoft:
1-800-Flowers.com = 10% Earn Credits
7-Eleven = 5% Earn Credits
Papa John’s = 7% Earn Credits
PetSmart = 5% Earn Credits
Shell = 3% Earn Credits (You may be able to stack this with your Fuel Rewards card)
Starbucks = 5% In-Store / 10% Starbucks Card reloads online (not valid at Starbucks stores in airports, hotels, retailers, and grocery stores)
Whole Foods Market = 5% Earn Credits
Various Local Restaurants = 7% Earn Credits
You may receive a maximum of $2,000 Earn Credits per calendar year. Your Earn Credits will expire 1 year following the day on which they are received.
You can still earn your regular points or miles with your credit card such as your Chase Freedom Card at 1% back or 5% back categories. Your Earn Credits are in addition to your other rewards earnings unless its part of a add-on program such as Rewards Network. If you are enrolled in a dining program that is powered by Rewards Network, such as the American Airlines Dining Program or the United Airlines Dining Program, you will not receive Earn Credits for the same transaction in the Microsoft Earn Program.
Redeeming Credits for Earn by Microsoft
Earn Credit redemption only apply to purchases made at local Microsoft Stores below in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington while the beta period is going on. When you make a purchase at your local Microsoft Store with your enrolled card, 100% of your Earn Credit balance will apply toward the purchase in the form of a statement credit. These credits are not redeemable for cash.
Chandler, Chandler Fashion Center
Scottsdale, Scottsdale Fashion Square
Tucson, Park Place
Boston, The Shops at Prudential Center
Burlington, Burlington Mall
Natick, Natick Mall
Bellevue, Bellevue Square Mall
Seattle, Pacific Place
Seattle, University Village
Seattle, Westfield Southcenter