The Google Opinion Rewards app is a good way to get a few bucks of Play Store credit with almost no effort, turning targeted surveys into cash you can spend on apps, books, movies, and games (though there is a cost in terms of privacy). However, those of you raking in credit might want to fire up the app and check your current balance, as there are several recent reports that Play Store credits appear to be expiring en masse and without notice.
Reports of lost credit are widespread between tips we've received and comments at venues such as Reddit, with double-digit losses claimed by some. Others are also reporting that dates for expiring credit (not visible in the app itself, but in the Play Store under "Payment methods") are jumping forward in time drastically, by months in some cases. The last time that happened, Google acknowledged it as a bug, as credits are usually set to expire one year from the date they are issued.
If you think you're among those affected, you may also want to check your recent purchases through Google to confirm you didn't accidentally spend any credit that seems to have disappeared.
Initially, we thought this might have something to do with expiring Pixel 3 credits from last year's promotion, but the fine print on that deal claims those credits were set to expire at the end of 2018.
Although you can't see when credits expire in the Google Opinion Rewards app (left), you can see the next expiration in the Play Store under "Payment methods" (right).
If you're among those with an impending credit expiry (and no way to tell how much is going to expire), spending a few bucks on the Play Store from your balance can potentially push the date back. Promotional credit earned by the Google Opinion Rewards app trickles through smaller separate credits, and although Google doesn't offer a way to view the expiration dates for individual portions of the balance, it does seem to follow a "first in, first out" logic where your oldest/soonest expiring credit is used first. That way, picking up an app on your wish list or a movie rental for tonight might push the date out substantially as the next credit slides up to bat.
We've reached out to Google to see why these credits appear to be expiring for so many all at once and why expiration dates appear to be changing, but no response was forthcoming at the time of writing. We'll be sure to update our coverage if we hear more, or if a concrete explanation is found.
- Terry and David