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Some of the products available to buy with Earn credits (including Apple-owned Beats)
Some of the products available to buy with Earn credits (including Apple-owned Beats)

In a new addition to its rewards programs, Microsoft is giving customers up to 10 percent back on purchases at major retailers and restaurants, and allowing them to use the credits in Microsoft Stores. The program, called Microsoft Earn, is currently being tested in Washington, Arizona and Massachusetts.

Earn is a way for customers to build credits toward technology purchases at Microsoft Stores. Credits can be redeemed for anything available at the physical locations, including Surface tablets, Bluetooth speakers, fitness trackers and, yes, even Apple-owned Beats audio gear.

“We’re committed to delivering the outstanding choice, value and service that our customers expect, and part of that is focusing on this initial pilot program and evaluating its success,” a Microsoft representative said.

Users sign up with their credit or debit card and earn 5 to 10 percent back on purchases at select stores, including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Petsmart, Papa John’s, and 7 Eleven. “Hundreds” of local restaurants are also part of the program, at establishments ranging from Lark and Crush to Roxy’s Diner and Cowgirls Inc. in the Seattle region.

Credits can be used at Microsoft Store locations in the test states for now, but aren’t available for use online. Customers will see a credit on their credit-card or debit-card statements when they use the points to shop.

Earn joins the existing Bing Rewards and Xbox Live Rewards programs from Microsoft. However, this is the first time the Redmond-based company is offering credits in exchange for non-Microsoft-related purchases.

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