How? This is the easy part.
Use Bing as your search engine.
Okay, it's a little more complicated than that, but not much.
- Sign up for the Bing Rewards program.
- Use Bing as your search engine.
- Pick an Amazon gift card as your reward. (Yes, there are other rewards available, but Amazon is one of the most useful and easy to get.)
Now here's how to get to those gift cards fast:
Each day, open Bing on your browser.
First, you will see a little bar at the top that will have a badge with your points on it, like this:
(Incidentally, I started this on May 1st. It's May 25, so I will easily make my reward this month.)
Click on this badge and you will get a small sliding window that looks like this:
You want to check this window first, because you will sometimes get double points for searches, but you have to click on the link to activate the double points. On those days you can get 30 points for searching.
At the bottom of the window you will see something like this:
Click on one of those little windows after the first two on the left: it doesn't matter which one. The window will change to a Bing search result about that news story, and the bar will move to the top of the window. You don't have to click on an actual search result to get the points. Just keep clicking on news stories pictures until you've clicked on 29 of them. That will give you your 15 points per day for desktop searches. (If you make Bing your default search engine, and you're online all the time, and you do this at the end of the day, you may have already earned your 15 points, but I do it at the beginning of each day, while I'm still too sleepy to do anything else, in order to make my waking-up time productive.)
If you look at the window which opened when you click on the badge, you'll see other activities you can earn for points. Just click the links, new windows will open, and you'll be good to go.
$5 Amazon gift cards are available for 525 points. But, if you're doing this every day, once you reach 150 points for the month, you'll receive Gold status and get a 10% discount on your reward:
and so, your $5 Amazon gift card will be only 475 points.
When you redeem, you'll get an email with a gift card code. You can simply copy/paste the code to Amazon and that will credit your account. The dollars in your account never expire, so don't be afraid to save up for something big!
So, to do the math, 15 points for searching, times thirty days, will get you 450 points. Add in 30+ more points for the other activities, and you will receive 13 (plus a few leftover points for the next one) $5 gift cards per year.
And yes, you can use your referral link (as I did above) to invite friends, and get some extra points. They have to reach Silver status (get 200 points) within 60 days, plus take the tour. You have to redeem something to get to Silver status; if you're smart, you'll redeem something for 20 points. Don't redeem your gift cards until you reach Gold status, because the discount is worth waiting for (a fifty-point reduction).
You'll notice I haven't mentioned mobile points. I can't get them to work, either with the Bing app or Safari mobile, and evidently many other people can't, either; searches I do on mobile still count as desktop searches. I have a new phone so I'm willing to try once more, but then I'm throwing in the towel. If you manage to get it to work, that's an extra ten points per day, or more than $35 a year extra in Amazon gift cards, which works out to a dollar every three or so days. Not exactly minimum wage, but it comes in handy for your Christmas shopping and those Black Friday deals.
One more way to earn points: with your Hotmail, Live or other Bing-affiliated email address, once a week you'll get an email with an opportunity to earn four more points by clicking the links in the email.
Happy searching and shopping!
Bing sent me a response. Mobile searches work only from phones, not tablets. I don't have an iPhone to test it out, but for Android, install the Bing rewards app. Make sure you are signed in to your account. Now go to the menu (symbol on upper right) and choose "Status." You will see the mobile equivalent of the sliding window (second picture above). Tap on "mobile search" and then search from there. Twenty searches will get you ten points. Yes, it's awkward but it works, and you'll satisfy your idle curiosity when you're away from your phone.
Someone with an iPhone please let me know if mobile searches work for you, and how you did it.