Xbox rewards

Xbox is seemingly ending one easy way to get free money

It looks like Microsoft has ended the Monthly Bonus Round punch card that you could find in the Microsoft Rewards app. This means that one effective method of routinely nabbing rewards points (that you could convert to cash, redeemable within the Xbox Store and other retailers) has been terminated.

If you log into the Rewards app, you’ll note September’s punch card is gone. Nowhere to be found. And that is apparently the same for all Xbox users – though there’s been no official communication from Xbox about this matter, one Reddit user reached out to the platform holder itself to see what’s going on with the situation. Per a response from the company, Microsoft’s “research team found that the offer is currently unavailable in your country at this time.”

The writing was on the wall for the Rewards punch card, though. As of July’s Monthly Bonus Round punch card in the Rewards app on Xbox, there was a significant reduction in the number of Microsoft Rewards points you could earn – it was down from 2,000 to 1,000. And now, well, it’s nothing!

Yes, it’s a shame for the people that logged onto the Xbox rewards app religiously in order to earn points, but – in the scheme of things – 12k points per year isn’t a huge deal. It works out to being just over £10, roughly. I mourn the loss, though, because this method of redeeming points for cash was my way of getting cosmetics in games I otherwise wouldn’t put too much money in – all of my Ornaments in Destiny 2 were purchased with redeemed Xbox Rewards cash, for instance.

This is just the latest in Xbox’s campaign to tighten its belt. Elsewhere, we’ve seen the platform holder suspend its $1 Xbox Game Pass deal (just ahead of Starfield’s launch, no less) and we’ve seen it bump the base price of an Xbox Game Pass sub across all markets.

If this is Xbox’s way of responding to the current economic climate – let’s be real – it’s not too bad: tiny, incremental price hikes and the suspension of almost too-good-to-be-true perks and deals are fine… at least we’re not seeing egregious, sneaky rises in the costs of gaming on the platform elsewhere. And, let’s not forget, this option wasn’t even open to many of the territories that Xbox operates within in the first place!

It’s frustrating that this vehicle to free money has been taken away, but hey – it’s not like there aren’t other ways to lace your account with Xbox cash. You can play Jewel once a day, or boot up Bing (God help you) and do all your searches there. For the thrifty, there’s always an option.

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