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Google Play Points Could Help You Save Money. Here's How – CNET

Downloading games and apps could save you money and earn you rewards.
Shelby Brown
Staff Writer
Shelby is a staff writer for CNET, covering software, apps and services. She served as Editor-in-Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as a creative non-fiction editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East and on Louisville.com. Her cats, Puck and Koda, are the best cats ever.
Google Play Points can save you money and let you earn rewards in the Google Play Store. 
If you’re an Android user, you’ll be no stranger to the Google Play Store’s selection of apps, games, books and movies, but have you heard of Google Play Points? It’s a free-to-join rewards program that launched in 2019, and program members can earn points for money spent in the Google Play Store. Members can then use your accumulated points to get discount coupons, in-app items or Google Play credit. 
If you want to get more involved with games, apps and content in the Google Play Store, Play Points is an easy, risk-free way to get started, save money and get rewarded for purchases.
Here’s what you need to know about Google Play Points.
Google Play Points are divided into four tiers – bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Once you reach a new tier, you’ll be locked into it for a full year. Google says if you reach the Gold level, for example, between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, you’ll stay at that level until Dec. 31, 2023, even if you don’t earn any more points. 
You can dig into Google Play Points from the Play Store app.
Here’s how it breaks down: 
First you’ll need to sign up for the program. You can do so with an Android device or on a computer. 
Google Play Points mobile sign up:
1. Tap the Google Play app.
2. Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.
3. Select Play Points.
4. Choose Join for Free.
Google Play Points computer signup: 
1. Search and open the Google Play Store in a browser.
2. Click Play Points in the left menu.
3. Click Join for Free. 
After you follow the directions for either device, you’ll need to add a payment method if you don’t already have one set up. 
A look at some of the offers you might see in the Google Play Points program.
It’s pretty easy to earn Play Points: You can earn Play Points from buying apps or games, as well as in-app purchases. You can also earn them by buying books, movies, TV shows (or individual episodes) in the Google Play or Google Play Movies app. Purchasing games on Stadia’s Android app or subscribing to Google One from Android can also earn you points. 
Whenever you check out in the Play Store – if you’re signed up – you should see how many Play Points you earned with that purchase.
From your main Play Points page, you can tap the Settings dots in the top right corner and tap Point History to see which apps have earned you points, or where you’ve spent points.
In the Play Points section of the Store, you should be able to see how many Points you’ve accrued near the top of the screen, as well as what tier you’re currently in. Tap the Play Points section to explore more ways to earn and use points, as well as perks to take advantage of. 
Under the Earn menu, you’ll see a list of games and apps that you can apply your Points towards for in-app purchases, as well as more general opportunities to earn more points (make two purchases of $9 or more and you’ll earn 300 points, for example). 
Tap Use and you’ll see different games and apps offering special in-game rewards or credit in exchange for Play Points. You can also choose a more general Google Play credit of $1, $2, $5 or $10. A $1 Google Play credit costs 100 Play Points, for example, and the points will be deducted from your balance. The upside is that purchases in the Google Play Store will help you replenish your balance.  
You can use your Play Points to purchase credit for the Play Store.
If you choose a credit, for example, you can apply it to the next app, game, book, movie or TV show you want to purchase. The credit expires after one year. There are also options to donate to nonprofits like the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Child’s Play. 
Lastly, you can claim weekly prizes under the Perks tab. If a prize is available, you can tap to claim it, see what the prize expires, as well as when you can expect the next prize to be available. For example, when I opened my weekly prize, it included six Play Points. 
Your accumulated and unused Play Points expire 12 months after the date of your latest points activity, according to Google Play Points terms of service document. Points also expire if you unenroll from the program or you lose your membership.
For more information, check out Google Play’s list of top apps and games for 2021 and why it’s so tempting to buy a Google Pixel phone.

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