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What Are Google Play Points and How Can You Use Them?

Google Play, Android’s app store, has a reward points system that works like cashback for media and app purchases and in-app purchases.

Whether you only buy apps occasionally or put a lot of money into media purchases and premium in-app features, it might be worth your time to understand what Google Play Points are and how you can use them.

What Are Google Play Points?

If you use Android mobile devices, you probably know Google Play as Android’s app store. However, if you have a Google account for things like email, you also have access to Google Play on desktop. You can use it to buy and manage apps for and across your devices, as well as to buy and rent everything from audiobooks to movies and television shows.

What you may or may not know about Google Play is that it has a reward system called Google Play Points. Google Play Points launched in 2019, but if you have been an Android user longer than that you still need to opt-in to take advantage of it. And, if you created your Google account more recently, you might not have known about Play Points at all.

Basically, when you spend money in the Google Play Store, you get Google Play Points. These points can then be redeemed for in-store credits, used to unlock rewards within apps and games, or even donated to charities.

How to Sign Up and Manage Google Play Points

To sign up for Google Play Points or to view and manage the play points that you’ve already earned, navigate to the Play Points page within the Google Play Store. On the desktop view, this is in the banner column on the left side of the window.

Accessing Google Play on a desktop browser

On your mobile device, open the Google Play Store and tap your user icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Then, select Play Points from the menu that opens.

If you’re already signed up, this brings you to the pages where you manage your points. If you’re not already signed up, tap the Join for free button.

How to Earn Google Play Points

You earn Play Points whenever you spend money in the Play Store. Generally, you get one Play Point per dollar that you spend in the store on apps, in-app purchases, or media purchases and rentals.

However, Google Play offers special rates when you first sign up and special promotions for new purchases and downloads. Some apps also have special events when you can get more points for your purchases.

Special promotions in Google Play

Further, Google Play Points has different tiers that you unlock by earning set amounts of reward points within certain timeframes. The higher your tier, the more Google Play Points you unlock per dollar spent.

How to Redeem Google Play Points

To see how you can spend your Google Play Points, select the Use button at the top of the page.

When you have enough Google Play Points, you can do one of three main things with them: Use them in-game, redeem them for Play Credit that you can spend in the Google Play Store, or redeem them for money that you can donate through the Google Play Store to participating charities.

The kinds of in-app rewards that you get vary wildly based on the app. And not all apps and games are participating. To filter results by the apps and games that you have, select Your apps & games while on the Use page. The other options are more straightforward.

When redeeming Play Points for Play Credit, 100 Play Points usually get you $1 of Play Credit. And that ratio always stays the same; you don’t get special deals on Play Credit if you manage to save up more Play Points before redeeming them.

When you choose to redeem your Play Points for donations, Google is a little more generous. 50 Play Points gets you a $1 donation and so on. Participating charities include:

  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Save the Children
  • World Food Program

Are Google Play Points Worth it?

You might be asking whether it’s “worth it” to sign up for Google Play Points. The better question is whether you’ll ever get anything out of it. Signing up is easy and free, it requires no effort to maintain, and Google already knows everything about you anyway. So, there’s no real reason not to sign up.

However, the spend-to-earn ratio is so steep that you would have to spend a pretty unrealistic amount of money in the Google Play Store to get enough points to actually do anything.

If you use Google Play to watch movies and television, read, and listen to audiobooks, then maybe you’ll rack up points a little faster. But, unless you’re daily dropping dollars on in-app-purchases, it’ll take ages for your Play Points to pay off.

What Will You Do With Google Play Points?

So, Google Play Points is essentially a 1 percent cashback reward program for the app store. Does it hurt to sign up? Not at all. Does it help? That depends on how much much money you spend on your Android apps and media.

If you want to make money through your Google account, you could try signing up to the Google Opinion Rewards program as well.


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