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(Pocket-lint) - Throughout April, Microsoft is offering Xbox Live Rewards members the chance to earn goodies by playing and buying downloadable Arcade games on the Xbox 360.

There are three punchcards on offer that work like reward card schemes in high street stores and cafes. Every time you reach one of the set goals, you get a stamp on the punchcard. Get four stamps and that card is filled, giving you a freebie in the process. If you get all three cards, you get an even bigger goody - a guaranteed spot to be offered VIP exclusives.

The first card will be completed by playing any Xbox Live Arcade titles for up to 20 hours. Each five-hour period awards you a punch. It can be any combination of Arcade games played. A full card will get you an exclusive Avatar item.

The second has a punch added for each Arcade game purchased during April for 400 MS points or more. Fill all four and you'll get a month added to your Xbox Live Gold membership for free.

And the third rewards you for every 800 MS points spent on Arcade games. Spend 3,200 and you get 800 credited to your account for free.

Arcade games to come out during the active period include BattleBlock Theatre, Double Dragon II, Motorcross Madness, Sacred Citadel, God Mode and Monaco. However, all Arcade games on the Xbox Live marketplace are eligible.

To take part you must first sign up for Xbox Live Rewards membership, which is free but can take up to 36 hours to activate. Find out more on rewards.xbox.com.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 16 April 2013.