So what in the fresh heck is Bing? Think Microsoft's version of Google—a search engine that does exactly the same things as Google, only with a few added benefits.
1. I set Bing as my default search engine, since it rewards me daily for surfing the ‘net.
I ditched Google as my default search engine and set it to Bing (sorry, Googs). Now I earn credits without even thinking about it.
Bing benefit: My tenth grader is getting an A in Chemistry, thanks in part to Bing’s interactive periodic table for her chemistry homework! I wish I’d had a resource like this back in…well, we won't say how many years ago that was.
2. I maxed out my 25 daily search engine credits by using my PC and my smartphone.
I earn 1 credit per 2 Bing searches, with a maximum of 15 credits per day on my computer and another 10 credits on my smartphone. This means a total of 25 credits per day, or $5 earnings in 21 days (I perform the other tasks, too, so I got to my $5 in 16 days, which is much faster). Not bad.
Bing benefit: Truth: My third grader knows his multiplication tables better than I do, thanks to Bing’s interactive multiplication table.
3. I earned 8 more credits every day with Bing Rewards by taking quizzes, learning new facts, or playing short games.
I also earn credits from performing simple tasks on the Bing Rewards Dashboard. These opportunities to earn a few points change pretty often, but they typically range from learning about the health benefits of seaweed (kelp me, Rhonda) to taking a short coffee break quiz.
Bing benefit: Bing Translator allows you to translate English into basically every major language in the world. My daughter uses this for her French homework all the time. Mais oui!
4. I invited two friends to earn 100 extra credits. Yay, friends!
Know people? Sure you do. I referred two friends, and once they started using Bing rewards, I was credited an extra 100 credits to my account! (You can invite up to five friends.)
5. By day 16, I was already cashing out 525 credits to make $5…
After a little over two weeks of using Bing, I already had 525 credits in the bank. Most stores participating in Bing rewards require a little over 500 credits to redeem for a $5 gift card to Amazon, Macy's, Sephora, Toys”R”Us, Starbucks, and more.
Bing benefit: Bing’s Scientific Calculator makes math easy! When my kids have a question, they type the problem into Bing, and a scientific calculator pops up with the answer. I use this feature, too, when I want to calculate calories (thanks, bagels with cream cheese).
6. …Or I could pay it forward and donate my money to the Boys & Girls Club of America, Teach for America, or my children’s school.
When I earn, if I prefer, Bing Rewards will also donate my 100 Credits ($1) to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Teach For America, or—even better —my own local school. More specifically, when parents pool 30,000 credits, Microsoft ships a brand new Surface Tablet to my school. If 60 other parents do this (as our PTA is), that’s a brand new tablet every month.
Bing benefit: Go to bing.com/findyourschool to see how many credits have been donated to your school (and how many Microsoft Surface tablets have been earned).
Bonus: Signing up with a Microsoft account or a gmail address took me literally 2 minutes.
I have both a gmail and a Microsoft account, so getting started was simple. If you have neither, estimate about 5 minutes to get set up. It’s pretty darned quick.
Bing benefit: With Bing Definitions, when you type in “define,” “definition,” or “what is” in front of a word in the search engine, the Oxford dictionary definition pops up automatically.