If you’re bargain-hunting this Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, Microsoft may have a secret discount deal waiting for you: Bing Rebates.
Bing Rebates started as a beta program available only to a “select group of Microsoft Rewards members.” But as of October 8, Microsoft has made it live for everyone to use. Bing Rebates can be accessed via the Microsoft Rewards site.
Check out our round-up of the best Amazon Prime Day 2020 deals to find bargains on a host of tech products.
The discounts are tangible: up to 7 percent off from Microsoft, including Xbox games; 10 percent rebates at Verizon, plus rebates at Nvidia, Newegg, Best Buy, Woot!, Staples, and more. Essentially, Bing Rebates takes the discounts available to Microsoft Rewards members—including food, entertainment, and more—and gives back in the form of good old cash.
Of all the deals, the benefits of shopping from Microsoft are (big surprise) the most obvious, though bargains exist throughout the dozens of merchants Bing Rebates interacts with. Granted, the rebate on buying, say, a KitchenAid mixer direct from the manufacturer (5 percent currently) or an Acer Swift 7 from the Acer Store (4 percent off) may already be reflected at Amazon. But you also get things like $45 off of a Verizon FiOS plan, 1 percent off Newegg sitewide, or the ability to grab an Xbox Wireless Elite controller from GameFly for a sitewide discount of 10 percent off.
Microsoft has quietly offered a rewards program for years, which morphed from Bing Rewards to Microsoft Rewards in 2016. Over time, Microsoft Rewards credits you for searching with Bing, using Microsoft services like Outlook, and most recently playing the Xbox console. ”Points” can be redeemed for any number of goodies, from Amazon gift cards to purchases from REI, Target, Walmart, DoorDash, Domino’s Pizza and more, to even an Xbox Series X. To have a chance at earning Bing Rebates, you’ll first need to sign up for Microsoft Rewards.
While Rewards allows you to accumulate points over time, with Bing Rebates your discount is applied whenever you shop. The discounts do seem to change, so it’s worthwhile checking back if a given offer doesn’t grab you.
How to use Bing Rebates
Bing Rebates can be accessed in two ways. First, if you’re using Bing and search for a product like the “Swift 3,” you’ll see a small Bing Rebates icon next to the search result. You can also visit the Bing Rebates page (a link that may or may not work for you, depending upon your status), select a merchant, and begin shopping from the page itself. Either way, any discounts that Bing Rebates supplies should be automatically applied—but not at checkout.
Anything you earn from Bing Rebates eventually will come back to you as cash, but because Microsoft uses PayPal, you’ll need a PayPal account for that money to reach your wallet. (Don’t shop with an ad blocker! It may block the ad “cookie” to apply your rebate.) That money won’t arrive right away: Microsoft says it will wait between 30 to 90 days—basically, beyond the period your purchase is eligible for a return—before it credits your account. If you do return the item, you won’t receive a rebate; if you buy multiple items and return one or more, your rebate will diminish accordingly.
Another catch: For now, the maximum amount of cash back that you can earn in the form of rebates is capped at $1,000, with one loophole. If you think you’re going to exceed that, you can petition Microsoft’s support page and ask for that cap to be raised accordingly.
There doesn’t seem to be any limit on what credit cards or loyalty programs can be used with Bing Rewards. If you have a credit card that already grants you a discount, you should be able to stack it to receive additional discounts with Bing Rewards. Note that most (all?) of the retailers don’t give any discounts on gift cards, and few, if any give discounts on new game consoles. (Again, the exception is Microsoft, as Bing Rewards grants 2 percent off new game consoles—but that’s just $10 off a $499 Xbox Series X.)
Chances are that any discounts Bing Rebates provides will be most effective on new, expensive products, which major retailers haven’t yet purchased in bulk. Case in point: at Amazon, the Sonos Arc soundbar is $800, a dollar more than Sonos charges for the Sonos Arc on its own site. But, with the 7-percent sitewide discount Sonos grants via Bing Rebates, you would save yourself a cool $50.
I’d like to say I’ve been a secret shopper with Bing Rebates for years, but that’s not true. Apparently, I’ve had access to Bing Rebates for a few months now, and I have yet to take advantage of it. As the holiday shopping season looms, however, I certainly plan to start incorporating Rebates into my shopping habits. Are you part of Bing Rebates? If you are, you suddenly have an intriguing new shopping option.
This story was updated on Oct. 8 to note that Bing Rebates is now live for everyone.