Microsoft Rewards is new to Canada, having replaced Xbox Live Rewards as of the beginning of October. If you’re like me and were impatient for Microsoft Rewards to come to Canada, you may have used the VPN trick to get a headstart. While you could collect Microsoft Rewards while logged in with a U.S. IP address, you couldn’t redeem much of anything. When Microsoft Rewards finally hit Canada, your balance did remain the same as what you’d collected before. One thing I definitely noticed was that — after the initial bonus Rewards points — U.S. Rewards are better on a daily basis over Candian Rewards.
With a simple trick, you can not only continue to claim the U.S. points but you can also double up and claim Microsoft Rewards Canada points as well. Before we get into seeing how you can maximize you Microsoft Rewards points, there’s no telling what may happen to your points total if Microsoft catches wind that you are doing this. Hopefully, they might not just care all that much — after all, it does increase their Microsoft Edge and Bing Search share! Without further ado, let’s take a look how to maximize Microsoft Rewards!
Sign up and get your initial rewards
Once you’ve signed up for Microsoft Rewards, you’ll get a bunch of initial points for taking a tour, setting a goal, and a few quizzes. You can then start in on the daily rewards that consist of PC and mobile searching, as well as points for purchases made at the Microsoft Store. If like me you used the U.S. site previously, you’ll quickly notice that browsing with Edge rewards are not present as a daily method to gain points.
In addition, the number of quizzes is substantially lacking on the Canadian site. Most days I’ve found that for Canadians, you get one quiz and 10 points for clicking on a search result. By contrast, I’ve seen upwards of three daily quizzes and multiple points for clicking on search results for the U.S. site.
Before we get to the next step, make sure you’ve done your daily searches on your computer and through your mobile device while signed in using Bing. If you’re on Android, you can optionally install the new Microsoft Launcher preview which adds a Bing search bar to your homescreen, making things a whole lot easier.
So how do we fix that?
Install a VPN
A VPN is valuable for many reasons, the biggest two are for hiding your traffic activity and for pretending you are in another location than you actually are. There are plenty of VPN solutions out there, I use Private Internet Access after having done some extensive research a couple years ago. Speeds are still quick, they accept multiple forms of payment, and — most importantly — they do not keep VPN traffic logs. The subscription also features a mobile app for your smartphone, which we’ll be using for mobile searches.
Once you’ve installed your VPN, run the program and select a U.S. destination. Once your VPN indicates that you are using a U.S. IP address, load up the Microsoft Rewards site and complete the quizzes, point searches, and daily options. But wait, I already did my daily searches on the Canadian site! As I found out while testing this, the daily earnings are separate and based on IP address so you can easily double up on your searches from both desktop and mobile (if you’ve installed the VPN mobile app on your smartphone).=
U.K., French, and German Rewards
We also tested logging into to a U.K. IP address, and it turns out you can further maximize your points. The first time you check your Microsoft Rewards under a U.K. IP, you’ll receive your initial bonus points as well. Presumably, if you log into France and Germany as well you’d be able to even further leverage your Microsoft Rewards Points. The inverse will probably hold true (we haven’t tested it) if you’re in the U.S. and logged in to a Canadian, U.K., French, or German I.P. address through a VPN.
Now that we have the initial setup done, simply login every morning to the Canadian site then use your VPN to hit up as many of the other options — U.S., U.K., France, and Germany — to maximize Microsoft Rewards points and get to redeeming those points for Xbox Live Gold cards, sweepstakes entries, donate them to charity, or any other prize you might be after.