Xbox Live Rewards

About time they started to justify the expense of XBL Gold.

The conditions sound like it’s more beneficial to new Gold members or recently lapsed ones. People like me that have been on Gold and subscribed to Netflix don’t get much out unless the points are retroactive.

“Subscribe To Netflix”

“Renew A One Month Gold Subscription”

“Make Your First Purchase On Xbox Live Marketplace”

That’s not so much justifying the expense as offering you $2.50 off…

200 points for renewing a 12 month sub… its a shame I did that last month and got no points. Think I’ll still get 200 points in 11 months when its time to renew again?

Nope. It says “for the next six months” so I think you’re boned.

I just re-upped for the 12 months last night. Ugh.

Oh boy, Microsoft decide to try and roll out some sort of program to reward customers, but:

  1. It favors new adopters rather than already loyal customers, who get hosed
  2. Only for the U.S., as usual
  3. Only available for 6 months, which kinda renders it pointless as a rewards scheme in the long run
  4. Knowing MS, it won’t be retroactive in any way

I realize I’m bitching about free stuff, but seriously. If they’re gonna do something like this, do it right or not at all.

The truth is, most rewards programs are not intended to actually reward the existing customer base but instead to entice new customers. Notice the rewards that amount to “cash back” like credit cards do for marketplace sales… they aren’t trying to give the people who already buy stuff a bonus, they are trying to give the people who haven’t bought a reason to dive in.

Last week. Lame.

By the way, is there a game on the horizon or already released which awards special pieces of clothing etc. to the avatars? There is a category for that on the avatar menu, but I haven’t heard of a game which actually utilizes it.

'Splosion Man and Lips Number One Hits have avatar rewards (I’ve got a few shirts from 'Splosion Man), but that’s all I know of so far.

Xbox360Achievements is covering this new feature. Right now 3 games feature Avatar awards: splosion man, Halo 3: ODST and Lips. I have all the ODST achievements needed for those rewards, except for the Vidmaster: Endure achievement. Those rewards look pretty sweet; especially the Halo ones. They will be unlocked once “Halo Waypoint” comes out on November 5th. I’m not sure what Halo Waypoint is though.

Halo waypoint looks like bungie’s stats site but for the 360. Sort of.

It is very similar. The cool thing is that downloading it and tying your tag to it, nets you a few pieces of Avatar swag.

Ok, I really need to talk to someone else who plays the Rewards game by using Bing every day.

First of all, to the people who don’t follow this stuff, Xbox Live Rewards has been folded in with Microsoft Rewards. You can earn a bunch of points each day by doing Bing searches. Most days I can earn about 330 points, sometimes more. You also earn points for streaks, but there’s always a day or so here and there that I forget to do this, and I lose my streak.

So anyway, let’s talk rewards.

At level 2 (which is pretty easy to reach in a couple of days), here’s the interesting rewards:

Xbox Live Gold 1 Month = 6800 points
Gold 3 Months = 15,000 points
Gold 12 Months = 29,000 points.

So clearly in this case, the 12 months is worth waiting for. It’s less than twice the amount of points it costs to get 3 months. No brainer there.

How about Game Pass though?

Game Pass 1 month = 6,800 points
Game Pass 3 months = 17,000 points

Now, clearly you get a nice discount for going bigger, since 6800 x 3 = 20,400 points.

However, someone mentioned in the Xbox thread that they get one month at a time and have it ready, and use it for the month of a big release (like Forza Horizon 4, for instance). This is actually a pretty smart use of time, I think.

If I got the three month Game Pass, and cashed it in, I’d probably use it with gusto for a month, and then get busy. So maybe just from a time management perspective I’d make better use of three 1 month game passes than I would a 3 month game pass, since I could spread the first three out over months where I have more free time, and am not subscribed to other services like Netflix or Hulu.

@divedivedive, which ones do you aim for?

The other thing that’s possible to buy is Xbox Live Gift Cards, and here we get a more direct comparison for the value of points in terms of money.

$1.25 Gift Card = 1,600 points (1280 points per dollar)
$3 Gift Card = 2,900 points (967 ppd)
$5 GC = 4,650p (930 ppd)
$10 = 9,300p (930 ppd)
$25 = 23,000p (920 ppd)
$50 = 46,000p (920 ppd)
$100 = 91,000p (910 ppd)

So not THAT much of an bonus for buying the bigger denominations. Where do people fall on these? Do you wait until $25 to get 920 ppd? Or just to $5 to get to 930 ppd? It doesn’t sound worth it to wait for $100 just to get 910 ppd.

Edit: Oh, and they do have ways to spend it on other organizations outside Microsoft too. Chipotle Gift Cards, Burger King, AMC, Amazon, Hulu, Target, Walmart. Regal, REI, Sephora, Dominos, NFL Shop, etc.

The going rate for all those seems to be 1050 points = $1. So not too much more than spending the points within Microsoft’s ecosystem.

OK first of all - both Xbox Live Gold And Game Pass periodically go on “sale”, so their point requirement drops. Always wait for these, get the most bang for your buck. And yeah, I always get Live a year at a time and I don’t think you can get Game Pass for a year just yet.

They also do the same thing for MS or Xbox points, so I wait for a decent price before cashing in. For instance, they recently offered a $5 gift card for 2500 points, which is pretty good, but it was a one-shot, you couldn’t buy more than one card. You just have to watch out for stuff like that.

So do these mythical sales take place near holidays and such usually? Close to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, that type of thing?

No, they seem untied to any actual event. Well, I guess they may be around holidays also, but they’re more frequent than that.

Wow, I haven’t been on the Rewards page but once a few years ago, how do I have 9000 points accrued?

Finally, I have concrete proof that dive^3 is not making up the fact that they have deals on these things.

Currently 1 Month Xbox Game Pass is on sale for 5250 points.

Looking at my post above, that’s a 1550 point savings over normal priced single months, or 417 point savings over how much a month costs if you buy it 3 months at a time.

Gosh, they make this stuff so obfuscated. But anyway, I think it’s a good deal. I think 1550 points is what I would earn from Bing for five days worth of clicking and doing searches, so that’s something concrete I can think of.