What just happened? If you received an email from Microsoft this week offering you free gift cards and assumed it was a scam, check again. The Redmond company has confirmed it sent out 50,000 codes for its store, worth either $10 or $100 each, to US account holders.
Microsoft confirmed to The Verge that it had given 50,000 US customers a virtual gift card for the Microsoft Store via email. Twenty-five thousand of these recipients received a $10 card, while the other 25,000 were lucky enough to find $100 sitting in their inbox.
Reports of the gift cards started landing on social media earlier this week. Several people did assume they were scams, perhaps part of a campaign that entices victims with gifts before stealing their personal details, but these were the real deal.
Check your emails: Microsoft Store is sending emails to random users with up to $100 gift card. Subject title: “Here’s $100 to start your holiday shopping” pic.twitter.com/mHzICdKUJy
Microsoft said the gift card recipients were chosen at random. If you’re one of those chosen, you’ve got until December 31, 2021, to redeem the card on the Microsoft Store. The money must be spent within 90 days of redemption.
Microsoft has plenty of options on its store for spending your free money. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ is currently down from $150 to $100, or you could get one of the new Xbox Wireless Controllers, which are great for PC gaming, for $49.99.
But the best purchase is undoubtedly a Game Pass for PC subscription. It still has an introductory offer of $1 for the first three months, and spending the full $100 will bring 10 months of access. Subscribers can download and play over 100 games, including Age of Empires IV, Battlefield 2042 (when it releases on November 19), and Forza Horizon 5, which is on its way to becoming one of the best-reviewed and most-popular games in years.
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