Make an Extra $200 a Year Just By Doing This Online

How'd you like to earn $100 to $200 a year just for searching the Internet? Are you "Binging" yet? That is, have you joined the Bing Rewards program, and are you using Bing as your search engine? If not you're missing out on free money.

The Bing Rewards program pays people to use the Bing search engine. They award credits (points) which can be redeemed for rewards such as gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Applebee's, Fandango, GameStop, iTunes, and more. You can also use the credits to get Hulu Prime, or Xbox Live memberships, or donate your credits to charity.

Participating in the Bing Rewards program is simple and only takes a couple of minutes a day. To make sure you're getting the most out of the program consider the following eight tips below.

1. Max Out Your Points and Go Mobile, Too

Max out the number of credits you can earn each day and receive $100 to $200 a year in free rewards. When you join Bing Rewards you'll be able to earn a certain amount of credits per day. It seems most people earn 15 credits per day searching on their computer or tablet.

Regardless of how many credits you can earn by Binging on your computer or tablet, everyone can earn an additional 10 credits a day by downloading the Bing search engine app on their mobile devices. Add these credits to those earned by searching on your computer and tablet and you're looking at a few extra dollars each month.

2. Bing Every Day

If you want to earn $100 or more a year in free gift cards or other goodies, make sure to use the Bing search engine every day. Sounds easy, right? It is, especially if you use a computer or tablet a lot. Plus, it only takes a few minutes. But here's the thing: Because there is a limit to how many credits you can earn each day (between 15 and 45), it can also feel a bit tedious, too — like it takes an eternity to earn enough points to do anything with. This leads some people to give up, cash in points for smaller rewards, or use the Bing search engine sporadically.

To combat this, many people default their homepage to Bing or download the toolbar to make it easier to remember to use it when searching. That can help, but it's just as important to do it every day. My suggestion is to search for 60 days without thinking about cashing out. Take that pressure off of yourself. Once the time has passed, you'll be more satisfied with the amount of credits you have to work with to get some bigger rewards.

3. Get to Gold Level Status

Why is this important? Because once you hit Gold level, you receive a discount on many of the rewards available, thus increasing the value of your credits. Here's how it works. When you first join Bing Rewards you are a regular "member" as you search and get credits. Once you accrue 200 credits, you are promoted to Silver status, and receive a one-time 50 credit bonus. You also have to redeem some points for something before moving onto Gold level. Choose something small, like a sweepstakes entry, so you keep as many credits as possible for bigger rewards. Continue Binging until you hit Gold level, which is when you hit a total of 700 credits.

Now get ready for discounts on certain rewards. For instance, non-Gold level members redeem 525 credits for a $5 Starbucks gift card, while Gold level members pay 475 credits for the same $5 card. That 50 credit difference adds up over time and can make a difference in your yearly reward earnings. To maintain Gold level status and remain eligible for the discount, you must earn 150 search credits per month. This is very easy to do in a few days if you are maxing out your searches.

4. Don't Forget About the Bonus Credits

Bing offers bonus credits practically every day, and they come in various forms. Sometimes they'll offer double points for a day (or a week or a month), or points for answering trivia questions, or for checking out a product or story they are sponsoring. The credits add to your freebie bottom line and all you have to do is check your Bing rewards dashboard each day that you search to see what's available.

5. Know the Value of Your Credits

How much are Bing credits worth? I like to think of each credit being valued at roughly one cent each. Bing awards a credit for every two searches performed up to the max allotted each day. So one penny is earned for every two search queries. Converting it in this way helps me evaluate the relative value of the rewards available for redemption.

For instance, if I wanted to redeem my points for a $5 Amazon gift card it would cost me 525 credits if I were not a Gold level member. This translates to paying $5.25 for a $5 gift card. Not a bad deal considering it's free. But, if I wait until I am at Gold level, that same $5 Amazon gift card could be mine for 475 Bing credits, or $4.75. Getting a $5 gift card for $4.75 is more like it! Sure the difference is only a quarter, but it adds up over time.

Some rewards are bad even if you are a Gold member. For instance, to get a $5 Tango gift card (Tango is a company that offers gift cards to numerous retailers like Home Depot, Williams Sonoma, Target, and more) you'd have to redeem 575 credits. That's the discounted Gold level price! Hmm. Paying $5.75 for a $5 gift card? I think I'll pass. Speaking of passing…

6. Always Bypass the Sweepstakes Entries

Bing has some wonderful sweepstakes opportunities. At any given time Bingers can win cash, all expenses paid trips to sporting events, computers, and more, all for the price of a few Bing Rewards credits. Don't do it! It's not that the sweepstakes aren't legit. They are. It's just that the odds of winning are so tiny that you're throwing your credits away. I mean, sure Bing offers fabulous prizes, but they are saving money in the end because the more people who enter the sweepstakes the less Bing has to pay out in reward redemptions. Yeah, I'm tempted to enter every now and again, but I think I'll keep my 35 cents, I mean credits.

7. Consider Binging With Someone

You know the saying "Two heads are better than one?" Well the same can be said for Binging. Bing Rewards allows up to five members of the same household to join and earn rewards. While that means free stuff for everyone, there are times when doubling up can increase your spending power. For instance, my husband and I like Groupon because we live in an area where there a lot of offers to places we frequent anyway. Since a $5 Groupon can be had for 470 credits ($4.70) as a Gold member, we'll redeem a number of those, wait until there is a $10 off coupon, and get our deal for free with a discount!

8. Refer Your Friends

Any good rewards program has a referral program, right? Bing is no different. When you refer people to Bing Rewards and they join, you earn referral credits once they hit Silver status (earn 200 credits).

The Bing Rewards program is probably the simplest, lowest effort rewards program out there. But is it worth it? You spend a few minutes a day doing what you're already doing on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. It's almost silly not to do it.

Do you Bing? Sign up today!

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Make an Extra $200 a Year Just By Doing This Online

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Kat S.

I"ve been using Bing for awhile. I've been happy with the payout! I use Bing to get a Hulu + gift card every month! Which is great because I do not subscribe to cable or satellite. Haven't had any referral signups yet, but that's ok.