Buy an Oscar-nominated movie for $4.99, get a $5 gift card
It's kind of like getting the movie for free, assuming you can find a use for the Microsoft gift card. Plus: a super-sweet pocket-drone deal and a OnePlus 3T giveaway!
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
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It's Oscar season, the time when people's thoughts turn to movies -- including the movies that have won Oscars in the past.
Yes, it's true: The Microsoft Store sells digital movies, just like Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. I say that because, well, for many folks it's probably not the first store that comes to mind. And let's be clear, to watch any movie purchased from Microsoft, you'll need some kind of Windows device (or an Xbox). That leaves out your Android phone, iPad, Roku box and so forth.
That said, I'm about to hop on a flight. And of course I'll be bringing my laptop, so why not watch a movie on that?
The deal includes some 30 Oscar winners, all priced at $4.99 -- half of what you'd pay elsewhere for many of them. There are classics ("Gone with the Wind," "The Godfather," "The Sting,") indies ("Silver Linings Playbook," "Whiplash"), crowd-pleasers ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Gladiator") and movies you can't believe ever got nominated. "Django Unchained"? Really?
The $5 gift card can be applied to anything in the Microsoft Store. As the site says, "once the eligible purchase is made, you will receive a follow up email with your gift card before March 7." You could use it for, say, a movie rental, or to defray the cost of a new album.
My question for you: Would you even bother buying media from the Microsoft Store if you're already heavily entrenched in another ecosystem? Or do you not mind a little hoop-jumping when there's a deal to be had?
Bonus deal: There are mini drones, and then there are mini drones. I'm talking about impossibly tiny ones -- like the Aukey Mini Drone, which is roughly the dimensions of a stack of saltine crackers. How does it even fly? Well, it does, and amazingly well at that.
For a limited time, and for Cheapskate readers only, the Aukey Mini Drone is $23.99 (shipped free with Prime) when you apply promo code HEBVQMG4 at checkout. That's for the version that comes with a remote. You can also get the app-powered version for the same price using the same code, though I greatly prefer the responsiveness and simplicity that come from a handheld remote.
This is a really fun little flier for the price! Unlike a lot of tiny, inexpensive drones, this one auto-hovers, making flight a lot easier to master (and more fun). It doesn't have a headless mode, though, nor blade-guards, so it's not ideal for younger kids. But I crashed one into a hard floor from about seven feet up, and it wasn't damaged in the slightest. Small equals tough, in this case.
Bonus deal 2: Amazon is doing something interesting today: You can get $8.62 off any purchase of $50 or more when you apply promo code BIGTHANKS at checkout. Something about the results of a Harris Poll? And Amazon came out on top with a score of 86.2? Anyway, that's a pretty good (and pretty rare) across-the-board discount from Amazon.
Giveaway! Need a new phone? How about a CNET Editors' Choice-winning new phone? Then click yourself over to the OnePlus 3T Giveaway and enter for your chance to win one! All you have to do is complete a super-short form and, bam, you're entered. You've got until March 2 to drop your virtual entry slip into the virtual box. Good luck!