Bing is a search engine that in my humble opinion rivals the big king of search engines, namely Google. About the same level of advertising and generally similar search results (and on occasion, results that I find are more relevant, especially on really technical searches). The really cool thing is that Bing also has a rewards program for using their search engine. Unlike some other search and reward programs, this one still actually returns good results that is worth using in most cases and has a couple of really cool features to help the process along.
The devil is in the details and that is where I am heading now. So, to get started, you can click on the picture above or this link to Bing below (disclaimer, yes, there is a limited affiliation reward that comes back to me if you use my link, so you can also go straight to bing.com if you would prefer). Once there you can sign up either through an association with your Facebook account or a Microsoft account that you already have, either of which seems to work just fine. At this point, searching you do using the Bing search engine earn you one point per three searches up to thirty per day (that is a recent change, as it use to be one point for two searches maximum of fifteen daily). Obviously to take the most advantage of the opportunity you may want to change your default search engine to Bing in your browser (ask me if you need help on that and wouldn’t that make a good follow-up blog post).
In addition to the regular search reward listed above, at least one special feature daily will offer an additional point or two. Sometimes this are interested little facts, sometimes they are promotion, and sometimes they are just an interesting search itself. Another option that is pretty cool is to just go to the bing.com home page. It has a featured image overlay that includes usually at least four additional boxes of information that all have an additional predefined search that you can just click. I have found these images most interesting locations usually and the additional searches expose all sorts of interesting facts.
That last and perhaps greatest search assist that I found on the Bing site is the linkage of certain items to Wikipedia. For instance, a search of “things to do in New Orleans” gets a list of wiki related links along the top of interesting things in New Orleans. Each one is a clickable search link that also shows the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry near the top right hand side. If you know me, you know with a good start I can go hours reading link information from Wikipedia. I found a few others, like people will sometimes come up with this kind of option regard people who relate to them – but I can not say I have figured out the exact rhyme or reasoning of when and when it does not on those kind of entries. Bottom line these kind of entries can rack up points quickly.
So, you get the idea. A few searches a day gets a few points a day, up to a limit. But what can you do with the points? For a few points you can enter into some drawings for things from mostly Microsoft, like the new Xbox console game system and supporting equipment. For a few more you can actually purchase games and in games Xbox points. At around 500 points you can also redeem some for gift cards, which is where my interest is, sort of. As of this time the gift card selection is pretty thin, but you can get Swagbuck points with your Bing points, and Swagbucks can be used on a huge array of gift cards, including Bass Pro Shops.
Important to know, you are not going to get wealthy with this. You aren’t going to be swapping points out for a new computer or boat anytime soon, but you can get enough for doing something you probably do a few times a day already(in my case easily a hundred). Go ahead, sign up and give it a whirl. An extra $5.00 gift card a month can help justify that odd additional purchase you are considering.