Microsoft Cloud Partner Program benefits - frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Appropriate roles: MPN partner admin

This article addresses common questions about the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program benefits.

General questions

What does “Benefit Expiry Date” mean?

Benefit expiry date means the last date to activate your benefits.

You've until your renewal date to redeem the benefits available during your one-year enrollment period. You can find your renewal start date from the Dashboard > Membership > Purchases > Bills & payments page in the Partner Center.

However, you can use product keys for one year from the day you redeem the keys on their respective cloud portals if you renew and have an ongoing Membership enrollment active.

For example, if your benefit expiry date is January 31, 2021, then you need to redeem the keys in the appropriate cloud portal before January 31, 2021. And if you redeem your product key on December 1, 2020, you can use that key until December 1, 2021, even though your benefit expiry date is January 31, considering you'll renew the Membership enrollment after the January 31, 2021 anniversary date.

Should you choose not to renew the Membership enrollment, you'll need to obtain license rights via Commercial Licensing. As indicated in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program Benefits Usage Guide, Use rights for cloud services subscriptions terminate at the end of Microsoft Action Pack subscription or at the end of a Solutions Partner designation enrollment year or at the end of legacy Gold or Silver benefits purchase. Although Partners may continue to have, access to cloud services past their program enrollment end date, they'll no longer have use rights through the program.


If you have benefits that require a user assignment (such as Visual Studio subscriptions), you can activate and use those benefits for another 30 days after the enrollment renewal date.

How do I renew my benefits?

Use the following procedure to renew your benefits:

  1. Sign in to the Partner Center dashboard.

  2. Select the Benefits tile.

  3. Activate the benefit you want.

If the benefit you want isn't available, you’ll need to renew your Partner Center membership and repeat the process above.


License keys for Office Professional Plus 2019 obtained through IUR licenses on Partner Center won't work when installed on macOS.

I received a notification informing me that my subscription is expiring soon. What should I do?

Sign in to the cloud portal that generated the notification, review the expiry date of your existing subscriptions, and then add licenses to the expiring subscription or extend the existing subscription for the next year of enrollment.

When can I renew my membership

Existing membership can be renewed any day after the beginning of renewal start date.

For more information, see Renew your MPN offers.

Azure and cloud activation benefits

How does adding, extending/renewing licenses work on Azure?

When you add licenses, you increase the number of total licenses for your existing subscription.

When you renew or extend subscriptions, the number of licenses remains the same, but you extend the amount of time for these subscriptions.


If you choose to add licenses on an existing subscription, the subscription will expire in less than 12 months, depending on the number of existing and added licenses. Once you’ve redeemed a key, you can’t redeem it again. Before you redeem your key, make sure you understand whether you need to add licenses or renew/extend the subscription.

Can I activate the license on my customer’s account?

No. Product licenses are issued for demonstration purposes. Your sales and marketing employees can use this software to showcase products to your customers, but demonstration products can't be installed on customer hardware or infrastructure, and must be used with partner supervision.

For more information, see the Microsoft Partner Programs Guide.

I’m having trouble assigning users in Azure Bulk Credit. What should I do?

You can’t combine Azure Bulk Credit offers with other offers. If a user assignment isn't working, that probably means the user you want to assign is already using other licensing, prepaid, or credit offers such as Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, Cloud Solution Partner, Azure in Open, Azure Pass, Action Pack, etc. If the user isn't subscribed to any of these agreements or plans and you still can’t assign them, contact Microsoft Support.

For more information, see Azure and cloud benefits - MPN.

Visual Studio Benefits

How does Visual Studio Activation work in Partner Center?

You can assign subscriptions to anyone in your User Management list in Partner Center or in your Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant, by doing the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Partner Center dashboard.

  2. From the Partner Center menu, select Benefits.

  3. Select Visual Studio.

  4. Assign the desired users to your existing Visual Studio subscriptions available.

After you’ve assigned the subscription, the user needs to sign in to Visual Studio to manage it.


Visual Studio subscriptions may be reassigned from one subscriber to another if 90 days have passed since the time of the original assignment.

For more information, read Visual Studio Benefits - MPN.

Technical benefits and support

I can’t install the software I downloaded from Partner Center. How do I get help?

Installation, activation, and other product-related help are provided through Microsoft Support. To get assistance, do the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Partner Center dashboard and select the Benefits tile.

  2. Select the Help + support icon (?) and follow the prompts to create a support ticket.

For more information, please read MPN Benefits - Technical Support for On-premises or Cloud products.