I recently wrote about how transactions I made at Shell and Whole Foods in Texas earned me Earn by Microsoft credits, despite Texas not being one of the 3 launch states. I suspect that you earn nationwide with Shell and Whole Foods. Contrary to that, a transaction made at Starbucks did not stick.
Well, what can you actually use these credits for? Well, you can use them at Microsoft stores or online:
Spending your Earn Credits is easy. Just make a purchase with your enrolled credit or debit card(s) at the online Microsoft Store or in a participating local Microsoft Store [in Arizona, Massachusetts , or Washington], and you will receive a credit on your next card statement up to your Earn Balance.* You can apply your Earn Credits to anything you purchase, including: software, laptops, tablets, phones, Xbox consoles and games, headphones, speakers, and more. [my emphasis; source: Earn by Microsoft Website]
Now, you maybe you don’t buy from Microsoft because they don’t tend to have the best deals or because you are an Apple fanboy. Note I am typing this from a Hunger Games Special Edition ultra-book won during a the Windows Phone Challenge at my local Microsoft Store. #humblebrag
Anyway, I did a search at the online Microsoft Store and it turns out that for me the Earn by Microsoft credits can be used to purchase T-Mobile refill cards. [Update 1:] Unfortunately, these cards can only be used for pre-paid plans. If you have a post-paid plan, they won’t do you any good. (Thanks to Miles per Day for the clarification!)
Now, I haven’t tested this yet, but I believe the expense should be eligible and I can’t find anything to the contrary in the terms and conditions.
Go ahead and search the online Microsoft Store and see if there is anything you could use. They do sell a very small selection of gift cards.
I suspect that in-store, you may be able to buy Microsoft Store gift cards as well, but beware it has to be in one of the 3 participating states. Those can then be sold fairly easily for residual value.
Enrolling your credit cards in Earn by Microsoft is a no-brainer as any rewards are on top of rewards credit card rewards, even if you are not a typical Microsoft customer.