If you’re in the market for a streaming device, Google is willing to hand over a Chromecast for free. The catch is that you have to use Google’s Android Pay wallet app to make 10 purchases prior to February 29, 2016 to cash in.
Android Pay is a wallet app that is similar to Apple Pay and Samsung pay, in that it allows you to make physical purchases without a credit card. Instead of fishing around in your wallet or purse for the right card, you launch the app and tap your phone against a compatible credit card reader. The app makes use of near-field communication (NFC) technology to securely transmit credit card data to the merchant, as previously reported by Inquisitr, so a wide variety of Android phones are compatible with the Android Pay app.
The pay-with-your-phone field was already crowded when Google launched Android Pay last fall, and one of the ways that the search giant is attempting to capture market share is through its Android Pay Rewards program. According to a report from Techradar, Google’s latest addition to the Android Pay Rewards program is the Tap 10 promotion, which asks users to swipe their phone instead of a credit card at least 10 times before February 29, 2016.
The process is fairly straightforward, according to Phandroid. In order to gain access to the Android Pay Rewards loyalty program and the Tap 10 promotion, all you need to do is download Android Pay on a compatible phone, add your credit card data, and make 10 purchases prior to February 29, 2016. On the 10th purchase, you’ll qualify for a free Chromecast, which normally retails for $35, as previously reported by Inquisitr.
If you don’t make it to 10 purchases in time, you can still expect a number of lesser rewards. According to Popular Mechanics, the first, second and sixth purchases made via Android Pay during the promotion period will provide you with free music from Google Play, while the 10th qualifies you for a free Chromecast.
Some users have reported a different experience with the promotion, where only free songs are offered, or no promotional codes are provided at all. Although a number of outlets, including Popular Mechanics, have reported that the Chromecast reward is a given once you make 10 purchases, the official rules actually state, “A Reward may be provided to a participant within the first ten (10) Taps made during the Offer Period.”
That wording suggests that the Chromecast, or even lesser rewards like songs, are not guaranteed. However, the Android Pay Rewards loyalty program is an ongoing thing, so even if that is the case, there may be more promotions in the future. For instance, some users received $20 Best Buy gift cards from the program last month.
According to the official rules, the promotion is only available to residents of the United States, and you have to be at least 18 years old. The promotion also requires purchases to be spaced out by at least five minutes, so making 10 purchases one after the other won’t work. There doesn’t appear to be a minimum purchase requirement, but Android Pay is a type of credit card transaction, and some retailers do enforce a minimum purchase amount to use a credit card.
Another important note is that Android Pay may not work if your phone is rooted. Users report that the app will work if a systemless root was used, but it won’t otherwise. In that case, participating in this program would require unrooting your phone in order to use Android Pay.
Google provides a list of participating merchants, but you can participate in the Tap 10 program to try and snag your own free chromecast at any store that has an NFC payment terminal, and some users have even reported success at properly-equipped vending machines.
[Photo by Tony Avelar/AP]