Many retailers have reward programs which let shoppers build toward free products, these programs incentivize consumers to be loyal shoppers and keep coming back to a certain store. Microsoft may be piloting a similar program where shoppers can earn credit good at Microsoft stores. This credit can be earned from a range of retailers such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, 7 Eleven, and more.
Much like normal rewards programs this program called Earn returns shoppers 5 to 10 percent credit at select stores. These ‘Earn Credits’ apply to purchases of ‘Earn Offers’ which are specific to ‘Earn Merchants.’ Participators accumulate Earn Credits by using the specific Credit or Debit card which was enrolled in the program. The ‘Enrolled Card’ can be credit or debit, however when using a debit card shoppers need to sign at checkout and not enter a PIN. Many popular payment options work with Earn such as Visa, Master Card, American Express, and First Data at launch, and more companies could sign on later.
Most cards should work, unless the card works in a way which obscures which purchase was made such as some corporate cards or non-reloadable Visa gift cards. Shoppers in the Earn program have one year to redeem their Earn Credit before it expires. The Earn program also seems to be connected with Bing Merchants who use Bing results to reach customers.
Currently the Earn program is only open to residents of Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington, but will undoubtedly expand to other States. Due to the restriction on transactions involving a PIN many European countries may not be able to use Earn. Keep in mind this program hasn’t yet been publicly addressed by Microsoft so details and future plans are still scarce.