You aren’t using Google Play Store’s best feature – and it just got even better

Google Play Store awards
(Image credit: Google)

Even if you’re an avid gamer on one of the best Android phones, there’s a good chance you aren’t taking advantage of the Play Store’s best feature. You probably have a mountain of Play Points ready to help you earn discounts and goodies in your favorite apps, and (as of recently) real-world items too.

Play Points are the Google Play Store’s reward scheme. Ignoring any promotions which net you bonus points, for every $1 / £1 / AU$1 you spend you get 1 Point. Save up enough Play Points and you can spend them on various items within the Play Store. However the feature is tucked away inside the Play Store, and we often forget to check it to take advantage of the deals it offers – but you definitely don’t want to forget about it. 

The easiest way to spend your Points is to convert them into Play Store Credit, with 100 netting you $1 / £1 / AU$1. You can then spend this credit however you want in the Play Store (you can buy apps, in-game purchases movies, or a range of digital items) – though it will expire after one year if you forget to use the credit.

That said, credit might not be your best pick. If you have something you specifically want to use your credit on – say an in-app purchase in one of the best Android games – you might instead want to pick up a coupon instead. While coupons are tied to specific apps – and typically come with spending restrictions that limit how easy they are to use – they can be a great pick as you typically get a little more bang for your buck. Typically you’ll only need to spend 50 points per $1 / £1 / AU$1, but you can also find some bundles that are an even better value if you have the points to spare.

Phone screens showing you ways to spend Play points like DoorDash deliveries and Google t-shirts

(Image credit: Google)

To earn Play Points you’ll have to join the scheme, and you can do this from your Android smartphone by opening the Play Store app, tapping on your profile icon in the top right of the screen, then tapping Play Points in the menu that appears and finally join on the next screen.

If you’re already part of the scheme, when you tap Play Points you’ll see how many you’ve earned, a list of ways to earn bonus Play Points, and various apps you can spend them in. The list of options is pretty long, so we’d recommend using filters at the top of the page to only show coupons for games you have installed or offers that you can afford.

DoorDash deals and Dino-tastic socks 

Your Play Points won’t just net you virtual goodies, you can get physical benefits too following an announcement in a recent Google blog post– if you live in the US at least.

For 1,000 Play Points you can bag a coupon for  $10-off your next DoorDash order – though you have to get the coupon before June 30, use it before September 30, and the order has to cost over $25.

You can also nab coupons for Instacart to get discounts on your grocery deliveries. 500 Points net you $5-ooff your next order over $35, while 1,000 Points will save you $10. You can also spend 1,000 Play Points to get two months free grocery delivery, or 1,750 ponts to get $15-off an order and two months free delivery. Just like with Doordash, this offer is only usable until September 30.

Alternatively, you can pay full price for your next takeout and instead get a hold of some exclusive Google merch – though expect supplies to run out swiftly. There are some pretty generic branded sunglasses (900 points), water bottles (1,400), and sweatshirts (5,000 points) up for grabs, but by far the best item of the lot is the Chrome Dino socks (2,100). 

Black socks with the Chrome Dino in white running through a white desert full of cacti and bird

(Image credit: Google)

Featuring the pseudo-Chrome mascot running through its desert home we expect these socks will disappear quickly – so head to the Play Store ASAP to be in with a chance of snagging a pair for yourself. Alternatively, you can go to the official Google Merch store and pick up a pair for $18 – though at the time of writing, there are only 145 available.

Hopefully, those more tangible deals will launch outside the US in the future, but even if you’re stuck with virtual-only offers it’s worth seeing what savings are out there – your Play Points won’t last forever so make sure you use them in some way before you lose them.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.