Microsoft Rewards has been a magnificent program that has been going for nearly 6 years now. It is something that I have invested in daily and religiously without fail with some excellent goodies in return for my persistence. Suddenly though, those at the helm of the service have slammed the brakes on the speed at which you accumulate points. This has left many in the Xbox community understandably confused and annoyed. I can personally understand these frustrations, there has been no explanation from the powers that be as to why these decisions have been implemented.

Those that aren’t in the know may not know what the problem is, but I have seen it coming for some time. As more have cottoned onto the scheme, those that hit the point system in the sweet spot have been able to redeem all manner of greatness. Some have been able to ride month to month and redeem free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or build up their points and purchase full price titles or even hardware such as consoles and controllers. 

The generosity though has dwindled in recent months with some portions of point building being curbed to lower amounts. For instance, the Game Pass section where you could once upon a time build up over 2-3000 points a month has now dropped to a mere 500-1000.

In the space of the last two weeks though, we have seen a huge reduction in opportunities. Bing searches via PC and mobile have now seen cooldown timers added. This takes away the possibility of quick search spamming, it was easy to complete these in a matter of minutes by conducting repetitive or similar searches. In the UK though, you can only perform one search per 15 seconds and in some countries you can only search a maximum of three times every 15 minutes. This raises concerns over whether the program will be gradually wound down to a complete halt.

Despite the annoyance from many over on the former bird app X, there seems to be radio silence about the restructure of the program. I have observed several posts saying that many will ditch the daily grind as it doesn’t seem worth it to them. Personally it’ll be something I keep up with, but only as long as it seems worth it to do so. I can kind of understand why they would put a cooldown timer on searches, but why now after all these years? It does make you wonder whether they want people to drop off so that they can cut costs and save money in the long run. 

As it stands you can still gather around 1000 points every 4 days roughly by conducting the Bing searches along with a few other activities. From what I can see around 35-50% of the points have been cut out of the system over time which is a shame. For me though it will make me more cautious and selective when it comes to redeeming my points personally. It’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft Rewards remains in the long run, or whether it’ll be axed similar to the popular Mixer streaming service back in the day or even the Microsoft Groove music streaming. 

As you can see from some of the Twitter/X community in this article, some mixed feelings across the board. There seems to be a split of people who aren’t phased by the changes and others who are disappointed. Only time will tell how the program will evolve and whether it will phase out or integrate into a totally different method. I think we can all agree that we don’t want it to go away though! 

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