If you're a Google Play Store shopaholic, you might be pleased to hear that you can now be rewarded for purchasing content of any kind on the store. Google is rolling out the "Play Points" rewards program (previously a Japan-exclusive service) to US residents today.
After signing up for this program, every app, movie, book, subscription service, or in-app item you buy will net you Play Points. These points, once you accumulate enough of them, will passively unlock new reward tiers, of which there are four in total -- Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Each tier will increase your point accumulation rate slightly (starting at x1, and growing to x1.4), while also multiplying the points you can snag during special monthly events. There are a couple other perks, too, such as "Premium support from experienced agents" at the Platinum tier, or a "Weekly Gold Level prize up to 200 pts" (whatever that means) for Gold-ranking users, but they don't seem too significant.
Aside from unlocking new reward ranks, your Play Points can be redeemed for in-game or in-app purchases or Google Play Credit. Those options may seem limited at first, but if you pump your points into Google Play Store cash, you can grab virtually anything on the platform.
If you don't like the idea of spending money to earn points, Google has you covered, sort of. There is one way to earn points for free: installing "featured" games & apps, which will presumably rotate over time. We do not know how many points you'll receive by doing so, but if we had to guess, it probably won't be much -- the whole point of the Play Points program (like most other rewards systems) is to get you to spend more cash, after all.
If Play Points sounds like your ideal rewards program, you can sign up for free right now: just open up the Google Play Store on your Android gadget of choice, tap the three-dash menu, and select the new Play Points option. If you don't see it yet, give it a day or two for the program to roll out to your specific device.