The New GameStop Rewards Card Isn't Worth Your Time Or Privacy

Last week, we learned that at least one Gamestop employee won’t even sell to you unless you sign up for a rewards card. Why might that be? Reader Dragonfire81 has mysterious inside knowledge, and warns all good Consumerists to stay far, far away from the new rewards program that Gamestop is pushing.

Firstly, the program rolled out nationally just last week, so every Gamestop employee in the country is under orders to sign up everyone under the sun for the program. The company expects that with the rewards program being available in a free option that they can get 90% of customers signed up for these cards.

If you go into any Gamestop between now and Christmas (and probably beyond) you can expect to be badgered mercilessly about the card and given the stink eye if you don’t want one, even a free one.

Secondly, the program is not a very good deal anyway. You get points on every purchase (10 points per new dollar, 20 per used dollar) than can be redeemed on the poweruprewards,com website. That sounds cool, until you realize the breakdown is roughly 1000 points = 1 dollar on most items.

A 3 month Xbox live membership that costs $20 will cost you 20 000 points to get through the rewards program. Do the math on that and you’ll realize you have to buy either $2000 worth of new stuff or $1000 of used stuff just to get a “free” 3 month card. Point being, very few consumers spend enough money at Gamestop to get much out of the card.

Lastly, when you go to activate on-line, you can’t do anything until you answer a slew of questions, including your age range, number of people in your household, gaming preferences and a whole section about how often you preorder games, buy used and trade in. You have to cough up a lot of info just to get the 250 bonus points for “activation.”

The easiest way to avoid being signed up for the program (aside from saying no course) is to NOT give your e-mail address to any Gamestop employee who asks for it. An email address is required to sign up for the program. If you don’t give them one, they can’t sign you up. If they try to do it anyway (which some managers encourage), make a complaint to a manager or district manager.

Good to know. This situation raises an interesting question, though: with the proliferation of retail rewards programs, are there any that are worthwhile?

Comments

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  1. SagarikaLumos says:

    Most of the grocery store ones are worth it. You get a lot of savings, though they’re getting market research out of it. GameStop is just doing the same thing in a way that costs the a LOT less. If the savings were greater, I wouldn’t consider this a big deal, but as it is there’s nothing to benefit the customer.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Winn Dixie has a nice deal with Shell where grocery rewards points earn discounts off gasoline. IIRC, my last $50 in groceries earned 35 cents a gallon off a fill-up. That’s not a lot of money, but it’s a nice spiff.

      • minjche says:

        My local Kroger gives a gas discount. I forget the terms but I usually end up getting a 10 cent per gallon discount. It’s convenient to grab gas while I’m out food shopping anyway, and the discount usually brings the price below the nearby competing gas stations.

      • BorkBorkBork says:

        Yeah, Smith’s is the same. I usually get about a 5 cents per gal discount each time I shop, which makes my fillups about 15 cents/gal cheaper than any nearby gas station. As a college student, every cent counts!

      • insane1220 says:

        My local Acme did the same thing except with a Sunoco. The problem was a gallon of gas was $.20-$.30 more than the nearest gas station.

        Also, it was only good at participating gas stations much to my surprise when the attendant stare blankly at me when i handed him the card. After I figured that out I saw why the gas station had cheaper prices. So be careful and do your homework when it comes to these ‘sales’

    • Incident8 says:

      Really?? Have you ever compared pre-card prices in a store to post-card prices. The prices in the store with the card are usually about the same as they were before they started using cards. After the installation of cards the stores jack up the prices for those not willing to shell out valuable personal data for the chance to buy groceries at the original price range. Not only that, there are cases where the information has been called forth in a supena and used in court against the card holder. These card programs, all of them, pretty much suck.

      • RandomHookup says:

        So I should stop using the cards and pay higher prices? Yes, prices are higher now with the frigging cards, but unless everyone stops using them, the cards are here to stay. It’s an illusion, but unless we have an easy option to change to a cheaper grocery store, it’s one we are stuck with.

        • minjche says:

          You can ask the cashier to scan the store card. Many stores have a store card available. It dings the performance evaluation of the cashier, though.

          • RandomHookup says:

            You’re still using the card and sometimes no courtesy card is available.

            • minjche says:

              I don’t understand what you’re saying, or rather why you’re saying it.

              I said to ask to use the store card, which implies that a card will be used and the cheaper prices will be charged. You’re saying the card is still used, which, well, yeah, to use a card is to say the card is being used. Confusing.

              I said that “many” stores have a store card, and you’re saying sometimes a store card isn’t available. Again it’s like, well yeah, to say that more than one and less than all (“many”) stores have a store card is the same as saying less than all and more than one (“sometimes”) a store card isn’t available.

              What’s the rationale behind your comment?

              • minjche says:

                Sorry I should clarify:

                To your original point (the need for everyone to stop using cards), if everyone used the store card, there’d be much less incentive for the stores to have card programs. Chances are they’d just axe the store card entirely and force you into using the card, and even if you don’t use it you’re still paying the store more money anyway.

                I typically shop at Publix (at least while I’m in Georgia) because they don’t have a card and they just have decent prices anyway.

                • RandomHookup says:

                  My point about the card was simply that sometimes the stores don’t have a courtesy card they can share (higher ups in the system don’t like people getting the discount without playing), so you either fill out a new card or don’t get the discounts. My point that you use a card with everyone else doesn’t really matter, though it does sometimes hold up the checkout process.

                  True, stores would stop the program if everyone used a courtesy card, but there are stores that won’t let you get the discount without registering your card.

                  • minjche says:

                    I’ll be heading back up North in a few months, and I’ll probably go back to shopping at Wegmans. They have a card program that (3 years ago) required me to fill out a form at customer service before I could use it. I then got my card in the mail with my name embossed in it.

                    I like Wegmans enough, at least, that if they wanna track my purchases then I’m OK with it. They run a fine store with great service and often have every single register open (at least the ones I’ve visited), so it doesn’t bother me.

                  • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                    a store near me doesn’t have a courtesy card kind of thing. but most of the cashiers have a personal card and keep it at the register. and if they don’t, i’ve never known one of them, when faced with a cardless customer buying an item that’s cheaper with the card, not to ask the customers in line if they will let their card be used.
                    i’ve passed mine over many times for that. which probably explains why i keep getting catalina coupons for diapers and soymilk but i get the points too!

      • Bsamm09 says:

        They give away 3 or 4 when you sign up so I just use my friends.

        • SteveZim1017 says:

          this is the best way to do it. The card system is there so they can track and then cater to their big spenders. if you can get multiple people/families on one card account then the chances of the things you buy being on sale and in stock increases.

          don’t just complain about the system, use it to your advantage.

      • George4478 says:

        So?

        I have 2 options in the store: use the card or don’t use the card. There is no “don’t use the card and get 1990 prices” option.

        So referring to prices from 20 years ago is meaningless.

    • Incident8 says:

      Check out http://www.nocards.org for the real scoop on what these cards do.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You’ve been duped. Prices were lower, and then they decided to add a purchase-tracking system known as membership cards. Now the grocery store knows your purchasing habits, gets free market research, and all you got was the illusion that you’re saving money.

      • mobiuschic42 says:

        I’ve only been duped if I was actually buying groceries before the cards and had some input into the decision to add them – and if I’m totally naive. Otherwise, *you’re* duping yourself by not getting the card and continuing to pay elevated prices, when you can usually get rewards cards without providing information at all – in my experience, at least, they give you a form to fill out at home and send in or bring back, but the card still works even if you don’t fill out the form.

      • outlulz says:

        You act like market research is some horrible thing. That information has to come from somewhere unless you want stores to stock a bunch of crap that no one wants to buy.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        If Diet Dr, Peppern is $4.99 without the card and $2.99 with the card, how am I not saving money.

        But – even though I have grocery store cards – they do not have my real name, address, or other info.

        I’m “Alice Twitty” for Giant, and “Alice Jackson” for Safeway, etc . ( I love Conway Twitty and Alan Jackson)

    • vastrightwing says:

      I prefer to shop at Trader Joes. They have no sales, no coupons, no rewards program. What they do have is reasonable prices for everyone. I know when I shop at Traders, the product is priced fairly and usually less than at other stores.

      • nopirates says:

        the only problem with TJ’s is that it i believe that it doesn’t offer enough variety to be your ONLY grocery store.

        still, those chocolate-covered, peanut butter-filled pretzels are reason enough to go….

    • tator says:

      They have used these programs to identify customers who have purchased items that were recalled. I would say that is a major benefit to know that there was a salmonella risk in the food I just bought.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Back in the day, grocery stores used to have something called a sale. They would advertise lower prices on select items. These prices were available to anyone who walked in the door.

      You did not have to give them any information, unless you wanted to pay your items with a piece of paper that you wrote on, called a check.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        I shop at Copps and apparently you no longer need the card to get the deals. However, if you do use your card, you get fuel perks, with up to $.50 off 20 gallons of gas, and for a family of four, that savings adds up pretty quickly. Also, they still advertise their 10items/$10 deals which never did require the cards.

    • dpeters11 says:

      I like being able to add coupons to my grocery card. I just wish I could load all the newspaper ones.

  2. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Well, I don’t mind getting Borders Bucks every now and then; I tend to only shop there on double-point weekends, and then getting an extra $5-off-anything coupon in the email is a pretty nice incentive to go back at some point.

    I signed up for the My Panera card, they did not seem to want too much information, and I do not care if they know what menu items I order frequently — heck, the fact that I buy stuff for my friends or roomies will probably skew their numbers anyways.

    But yeah, overall the rewards programs are just not worth the hassle, unless they create an immediate and significant savings, right then and there, and you can opt out of their emails.

    • jshier says:

      The Panera card is great. You get something free right when you sign up and then every so often after that. Right now I’ve got a total of $5 off bread or pastries accumulated on my card. Earlier I had free smoothies, and those things are $4 apiece. Best rewards card ever.

    • LadyTL says:

      I do feel the PowerUp rewards card is worth it because it isn’t just a point system. You do get discounts on stuff in the store like strategy guides and the preowned games. But then I tend to get the magazine anyways so this is just all bonus for me.

  3. Larraque eats babies says:

    The 10% off used games part is worth it for me. The ‘bonus points’ are just icing.

    • jennybeth says:

      Yeah, that’s how it was for me too. I already had their card for the 10% off, so the ‘upgrade’ was free. If every once in a while I can get a coupon or something, it’s just a bonus.

      But, I also have a really good Gamestop – no problems with pushy employees and they always are willing to help me track down a game if I can’t find it.

      • Madaline_7 says:

        I have an awesome gamestop too.

        I personally like the magazine that comes with it… well that and the 10% off on used games. So you get some bs rewards for the points. Does it really matter that much?

    • davebu3 says:

      Same, 10% extra on tradeins, which i usually just sell on CL, and 10% off used, which occasionally have good deals. If i get something else free out of it thats fine, when I saw the points i figured it would never happen though. Its not sensitive information anyway, do you really get that upset knowing that gamestop knows that you still live with your mommy?

  4. Marlin says:

    Do the same thing I do with grcoery store ones, lie.

    Most have me as a 70 year old asian woman. I guess I am messing up someones data a little with that. :-)

    • aloria says:

      I like to put myself down as an elderly man at places like CVS and Walgreens where I tend to buy a lot of cosmetics and feminine hygiene products.

      • MMD says:

        I’m a 101-year-old man whenever I have to provide information online.

        • Bagumpity says:

          I tell them my email address is “bill.gates@microsoft.com” and check ALL the “subscribe to our email letter!” options.

          Bill loves me.

        • kingofmars says:

          I normally tell website that I was born in 1901. One website actually said that modern sience is great, but we doubt you are 109 years old

    • Michaela says:

      My local grocery store gave me the card and told me to fill out my info online (which I did not do). The card still works without the info though.

      To them, I am a nameless, ageless being that purchases particular items. I get my “discount” and keep my personal information private.

      • cupcake_ninja says:

        I find that giving at least a little bit of accurate info for grocery store cards is a good thing since they use that info to contact customers regarding recalls. I at least give an alternative email address that I don’t mind getting crap with.

  5. Darrone says:

    West Marine has one that is relatively good. It is free (there is a higher level pay version), all you need is a phone number and address to send the rewards. Every 300 you spent is a 10$ GC automatically mailed to you. You don’t need a card or a keyring, just a phone number. i have never been called on my number either, but im sure i received a leaf or two of junkmail. Now, if the store wasn’t insanely overpriced, it would be perfect.

  6. Grogey says:

    I have a subway card which does take allot money to get even a free sub ($75 for a foot long regular) while it does take a while I enjoy subway.

    The best one I have is either my Price Chopper rewards card, for every 50$ spent on qualifying items (almost everything in the grocery store) you get $.10 off ever gallon of gas at sunoco stations.

    The other is from a local store called Herb Philipsons, if I remember correctly if you spend 100$ (or 50 but pretty sure its 100) they send you a 10$ gift card.

    To me a 10 o 1 or a 5 to 1 ratio isn’t bad when it comes to rewards.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      Ah the Pricechopper card! I really miss living near a Pricechopper. Cheap groceries, decent quality produce, savings on gas. I used to share one with my roommate since we pooled resources for groceries and gas anyway. It was great! We once let it build until we got something like $1.50 off of each gallon of gas.

  7. xjeyne says:

    Basically, if you’re shopping at GameStop anyway, you might as well get the damn free one. You’re spending the money anyway.

    Plus, I’ve had customers buy a system and a couple games and immediately come in the next day with a coupon for a free HDMI cable.

    This person is full of shit. It IS actually worth it.

    • xjeyne says:

      Also, when have you ever signed up for any service and not had to answer a bunch of questions? I remember when I signed up for my XBL gamertag years ago I had to answer almost the exact same questions. Same with Club Nintendo. They want to find out what you use so they can make recommendations.

      Oh, also, one important detail he left out: You can upload your game library onto your account, you can add games to your “I want,” “I have,” and “I had,” categories. If you walk into a GameStop and its busy, most will have a kiosk called the Game Guide. Slide your card in the guide and your account with your games pops up. If you’re a parent, sign up for the card and make your kid fill that stuff out, and BAM you’ve got a wish list so you don’t have to go to the GS employee saying, “yeah, my son has a Playbox DS? What games do you recommend for Christmas gifts?” Instead, you just slide the card, tap the “I want” list, and see if those games are in stock right on the kiosk.

      The card just makes things more convenient.

      • bigdirty says:

        More convenient to make the call of “We’ve noticed that you have (game X), would you like to bring it in for (Sleazy Worthless Trade In Offer)”

        I stopped buying games from amazon because of this tactic, where I got emails about selling it back, I can just imagine what Gamestop would do with this info, considering how they treated pre-order phone lists in such a manner a while back.

        • LadyTL says:

          I have never had a Game Stop employ those kind of tactics on me any any of the locations I have been to. I just have gotten asked if I had any trade ins and that was it. Also I have not gotten any emails or anything about the games I have or trading them in since filling out the game library thing on the card. But that is my experience with it.

        • xjeyne says:

          GameStop is actually not obnoxious about emails unless you want them to be. When you fill out your preferences upon activating the card, you have the option to choose your frequency of email, and GameStop does NOT violate this. I know for a fact because I have the card and I do not get emails because I said I don’t want them.

          The pre-order phone list thing was lame, I know, but GS is always making improvements to things based on customer feedback. Now we do those calls manually.

          The main thing most people don’t get that post on this site is that GS actually does read customer comments and does fix things. If anyone ever has a problem with their local GameStop, even if its bad customer service from being upsold too much like they’re on a used carlot, you can either take the survey on the bottom of the receipt (or just go to gamestop.com/survey and take a survey without a receipt), or call the customer service 800#. If you choose the survey, write a comment in the box: “This person came on too strong trying to sell this service.” District Managers DO look at those and they will send an email to the store (probably the next day) telling their employees to lay off. If you call the 800# they will contact the DM that day and the DM will call their employee.

    • TVGenius says:

      It’s the same point breakdown overall as Best Buy uses (along with a few other places I know of), which isn’t an entirely bad deal. The problem with GameStop (and some others) is that most people aren’t making the $1000+ purchases that really make it worthwhile.

    • Michaela says:

      I agree that the deal doesn’t sound too bad. For people who purchase games as a group, this could actually work out really well. For example, I have a group of guy friends who all live together. They share game systems and video games (actually, they all just bought a new tv together). If they used just one of these cards for all their gaming purchases, they could quickly see benefits.

  8. RandomHookup says:

    Most grocery and drug store programs at least give you a discount and a few freebies. It’s silly in places you shop regularly not to at least have a card with bogus info.

    Plus Pep Boys gives you a $10 gift coupon on your birthday, even if you have only spent a little bit at the store.

    • thesalad says:

      pb’s will also give you a few other perks.. Free tire repair (they do charge like $10 to pull and mount the tire) adn some $$ off of a tow.

  9. hennese says:

    Just tell them you are a registered sex offender and are not permitted, by court order, to have access to the internet. Then look at them in the eye and start licking your lips.

  10. Rose says:

    Even when it’s free and fast, you’re going to get less than 60%, because people are way too busy to stop.

    We had about that saturation for the Borders Rewards card, which is free, fast, and actually, you know, worthwhile.

    • xjeyne says:

      Yeah, the company has a goal of 60%, not 90%.

      Consumerist just got a former employee with a grudge against the company for their “source.”

      • LadyTL says:

        Or it was some who got the free card expecting discounts not paying attention to the fact that only the paid cards get the discounts.

  11. minjche says:

    Just ran into this over the weekend.

    When asked to join, I declined. The clerk offered me a free card so I said sure go for it. She then asked for my phone number. When I asked if it was required, she said it was required to use the free card, so I politely declined.

    She apologetically said “they don’t call you or anything” to which I just said “It’s a privacy thing”.

    • TooManyHobbies says:

      “they don’t call you or anything.”

      “Then they don’t need my phone number, do they?”

      • misterkisses says:

        They need to use a number to track you in their system. It’s phone number, social security or driver’s license number. Obviously your phone number is the least intrusive number that is attached to you. There really is no nefarious conspiracy to acquire phone numbers.

        • minjche says:

          I will say I think the phone number was for tracking reasons, like if you forgot the card you could give your phone number to have your purchases credited to your account.

          The company could easily create a numbered index of customers though (first customer is 1, second is 2, and so on) so it’s not like they need a phone number to fill this purpose.

          I didn’t bother reading the fine print since I opted-out, but perhaps someone else will be so kind.

          • catarinasama64 says:

            The phone number is, in fact, for look-up purposes only, to my knowledge – in case the customer forgets or loses their card.

            The problem with doing a numbered customer index is that the customer would have to remember their individual customer number for the aforementioned look-up, since the systems generally don’t really allow the discount card to be looked up by the customer’s name, in order to prevent someone other than the owner from using the card fraudulently.

    • roguemarvel says:

      we have a free frequent buyer card at my work. Buy 10 get 1 free digital stamp card that you have to register it online before it can be used for your free one(email, name, zip code, phone number optional).

      We don’t have a ‘sales goal’ to get people to sign up, but we are required to ask on every transaction.

      Most people sign up for it because its free, but I have one or two regulars who do not have the card for privacy reasons. I have told them once they could used fake info and just get the free stuff, but they turn it down and after the one attempt..I leave it at that.

    • minjche says:

      I should add there was a long line and only one register open so I wasn’t about to sit there and find out every detail about the program.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      Actually when you go through the registration process, they ask how often they can contact you (by phone, text or email) and there’s no option for NEVER. The lowest frequency is several times a year.

      • minjche says:

        Wonderful. Looks like Best Buy will be getting the business my local Gamestop used to get.

        Only for impulse buys, of course. The lovely folks at Amazon.com are still my favorites.

  12. FatLynn says:

    The library gave me a card that gives me free books every time I shop there!

    • caradrake says:

      How do you get this awesome reward card? Surely you must be a person of great importance to get free books every time you go to this business!

      • minjche says:

        I hear if you’re a real celebrity and can’t be bothered with them readin’ books, they even have movies and music available.

    • Andnowlights says:

      And the return policy is way more lenient than other places: no receipt required.

    • nbs2 says:

      You should look at upgrading. My library rewards card lets me take DVDs as well as books and allows me to extend my rentals at no cost.

    • RandomHookup says:

      But I tried using mine in a different location and it didn’t work. Seems they want to limit the locations where you can get stuff.

    • Michaela says:

      Heck! I have a very special library. With my card, I get books, movies, audio books, and internet access! Some people even get their books delivered to their offices (university library)!

  13. Admiral_John says:

    I bought Fable 3 yesterday afternoon from a Gamestop and was asked if I wanted to sign up for the card. I said no thank you and that was the end of it.

    Some employees are just more overzealous about crap like this than others, I guess.

  14. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    We’ve been going through a store called BuyBacks to get some used games. I’ve been trying to help my 71 year old Father-In-Law get his fix. We’ve beat both Call of Duty: W.A.W. and Modern Warfare in a matter of a week and needed something new.

    I was dreading the thought of having to patronize a GameStop but we couldn’t find anything at BuyBacks, so off to GameStop in Greensburg, PA. Oddly enough, I was fully prepared to give them the dolphin (eeeh eh) if they asked about signing up and they never mentioned it. Perhaps it was because they profiled my Father-in-law as someone who wouldn’t have an email address.

  15. DanRydell says:

    Wait, so is this replacing the old Edge card? Or do they still have the Edge card? The Edge card was worth it – for $5 you’d get 10% off used games. Yes, you CAN get good deals on used games at Gamestop if you buy when they have a B2G1 sale or use a coupon (and the discounts stack with the Edge card).

    If they got rid of the Edge card, that’ll suck.

    • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

      As you can see below, I was thinking the same thing.

      I checked out GS’s site and, unless I missed something, didn’t see anything about a new program yet. Just this: http://www.gamestop.com/gs/help/Edge_Card.aspx

      But, then again, sometimes the B&M store and online work on different rules (such as online only sales).

      Yeah, the B2G1 with Edge discount is awesome; that’s usually the only reason why I go into GS at all.

    • LadyTL says:

      I think they are trying to phase out the Edge card. This program isn’t everywhere yet since they are testing it to see. The paid one though will still give you the same discounts as the Edge card and coupons though plus the 10% off the strategy guides.

    • jennybeth says:

      Yeah, I think they’re just upgrading the Edge card. Transferring to the new one didn’t cost me anything – they just handed me a new card and put the credit I had from the old card on it.

      It still gets you the magazine, the 10% used games, 10% on trade-ins…the main difference is the points.

      And, I’ll agree with the post, it does seem like you need a lot of points for the rewards – but I guess since I shop their anyways, it’s not that big of a deal to me.

    • ganzhimself says:

      They took my edge card from me and fired one of the new cards at me without giving me an option of keeping the Edge card. And the price goes up to $14.99/yr instead of $9.99/yr now. Super lame. Oh well. At least I got near $34 on my one game trade-in for Fable III. (25% bonus + 10% Edge bonus).

      • roguemarvel says:

        it was always 14.99 a year. The price didn’t go up.

        You get everything the edge card hard, plus points if you get the paid rewards card. or you just get the free one and just get the points.

        I got mine yesterday when i went to get fable 3

      • MSUHitman says:

        Power Up Rewards Pro is the same as the old Edge card, just with the reward point structure attached to it. Everything else works the same. There’s also the free version of the card (it’s black instead of silver) that has just the reward point structure and no discount on used stuff.

  16. full.tang.halo says:

    Sounds like the classic, “we’re making improvements to our customer loyalty program to better serve you” when they are really reducing benefits to make them, the company, more money.

    • LadyTL says:

      They didn’t actually reduce any benefits since they never had a free discount card. The paid cards still have the same benefits plus a few others. The free cards just give people who don’t want to pay a chance to earn some things.

  17. massageon says:

    Panera Bread has a fantastic rewards program that is completely free. I buy bagels from them in the morning most work days, and in two weeks I’ve already gotten two free lattes, a free bage and a bakery item all free! Love love love having this rewards card!

  18. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    I’m going to have to do some research (I haven’t been in GS since Dead Rising 2 came out), but is this program replacing the Edge card, which isn’t free? Or is it working alongside it?

    • ganzhimself says:

      AFAIK, it replaces it. And the subscription goes to $14.99 next year instead of $9.99 from what I can tell.

      • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

        Thanks for the info.

        Other than the price going up, did they tell you if there was any difference? I mean, does it seem worth it to you from what you’ve seen?

        • ganzhimself says:

          I don’t know… You get a coupon for buy 2 preowned games, get one free… Something with points, there was a whole huge chart on the webiste you have to go to and register on. I always let those jackwagons talk me into the subscription, even though I read one or two articles in Game Informer a month, if that. At least I’m paid up until July, then I suppose I’ll renew again. Whatever. It’s a few bucks and it must make someone happy. I always figure the associates are rated on how many of those stupid subscriptions they sell.

        • ganzhimself says:

          oh yeah… the website is poweruprewards.com

  19. Hoss says:

    One of the worse is the Staples card. They ask for the card each time and the rewards are only good for copying, paper and ink/toner

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Well, given that printer ink is more expensive than gasoline …

    • bigdirty says:

      The staples card is needed if you recycle ink/toner cartridges there, and those rewards can be used on anything (including my new desk). So it’s still slightly better that this.

  20. Brunette Bookworm says:

    The Qdoba card is pretty good. If you pick one up and register it online so you can see your points you get a free chips and salsa. If you only get one entree it takes about 12 trips to earn a free one, not too bad if you go there fairly often for lunch so it’s a good deal if you work near one. Dollar wise, yeah, you are spending a lot for the free entree but if you are eating there anyway, the card is free.

    • Murph1908 says:

      I would go to Qdoba about every other Monday because they had double points on that day.

      Last time I went, double points was no more. I haven’t been back.

      Not that I am throwing a hissy and won’t go ever again because they took away my double points, but I now have less motivation to choose them over other options.

      It’s 10 trips here for a free entree (5 with double points).

      • cromartie says:

        I think the double points thing is up to the franchisee. I get double points on Sundays in my area.

  21. MaelstromRider says:

    I really like the JC Penney one. I shop there a lot because they’ve got sturdy, fairly fashionable kids clothes at good prices. By being in the rewards program, I get coupons, including $10 gift certificates.

    • Serisent says:

      I was just going to chime in with that one. As an employee, we were kind of pressured to sign up for it before it launched to the public, and I’m pleased to say that I don’t actually have to delete too much spam from them. And even though I rarely shop enough to get the coupon, it’s nice to know that when I do have to make a big purchase one month, the next I’ll probably get something free for $10.

  22. Geosama says:

    Ah, good ol CVS card. One time I was able to walk out of the store with about $40 worth of items and paying only $2. Just gotta know how to work the system!

  23. zibby says:

    DSW isn’t too terrible.

  24. LadyTL says:

    From having the paid card, I can say for me at least it is worth is between the magazine, and 10% off used stuff and new strategy guides. Also there is lower rewards then just the high end things. I have only bought two new games and I qualify for stuff already. No, it isn’t good stuff but how is that different from say a credit card rewards thing? I shop at Game Stop anyways so might as well get some discounts and potentially earn some stuff. Also, there is nothing stopping two or more people from using the same account. It isn’t even prohibited in the terms and conditions. I have already seen people doing that so they will earn points faster. As for the information, I have been using this since it started and have not gotten any junk mail or spam from it. So it is not as bad as this user makes it out to be, it just isn’t any better or worse then a credit card rewards program.

  25. retailriter says:

    I don’t like the Buzz card at Big Lots. You have to spend at least $20.00 to get any credit for your purchase. I shop there all the time, but quite often my purchase falls just a little short of the $20.00, yet they want to scan my card anyway. I have started telling them I don’t want my card scanned if I’m not getting any credit for the purchase. They should give some sort of credit for ALL purchases, especially for frequent and loyal shoppers. I have spent thousands in there over the years.

  26. duxup says:

    Correction: GameStop Isn’t Worth Your Time

    The Target 5% off if you use your Target Credit Card at Target deal is GREAT (I pay it off every month so no interest).

    Most other rewards systems I find aren’t very good at face value but in many cases they do get you on a list to get good coupons.

    • catarinasama64 says:

      Yes, that’s great for people who want to apply for a credit card in order to get a discount. Unfortunately, I know many people, with varying levels of credit history, who have been turned down for things like target credit cards for no apparent reason – even if they have good credit.

  27. daemonaquila says:

    I don’t consider any of these programs “worth it,” except one pet store that straight out said “Oh, just give a fake email address and we don’t need any other info.” (I gave them one for a particularly obnoxious company’s customer service department.) Even that card is one I question using, though. Fundamentally, stores are using this information to follow individuals’ purchasing, and I think we should all be telling them to Go Fish. I’ll even tell them no when they ask for my zip code, but more and more even stores selling soap and candles are asking for phone numbers and more. It’s simply none of their business, and I am not willing to make my personal information – even if it’s anonymized – just another commodity for them and their “partners.”

    • misterkisses says:

      If they know what you are buying, they can tailor their inventory to appeal to you more, instead of just guessing about what people want. How is this not a win-win?

  28. Robofish says:

    Yeah I won’t sign up for this. Gamefly gives me enough rewards for being a 1 year member. Plus I stay far far away from Gamestop. Haven’t shopped or traded anything in there for a long time.

    I stopped going when they started badgering me about preordering games for systems that I don’t even own even after telling them that system is not at home.

  29. mac-phisto says:

    ‘what is your email address?’
    feedback@gamestop.com

    or you could do what i do & avoid gamestop altogether.

  30. MrEvil says:

    I’ll just tell them why I don’t want it and tell them they can take their direct marketing program and put it in their ear. Because let’s not mince words that’s what this is. They’re not rewarding you with anything. They’re only rewarding you with more solicitations.

  31. I just blue myself says:

    I use my CVS card all the time. When I use the card at their coupon kiosk, I often find I can get stuff for free (got some free candy corn last week. SCORE!) or really cheap (I once got five bottles of laundry detergent for 2 bucks). You just got to know how to make your rewards card work *for* you.

  32. aja175 says:

    “Oh sure, my email is none@themoment.com

  33. exscind says:

    Best Buy’s Reward Zone program has always been good to me. I’ve been on it from the beginning, back when it was a paid membership.

    Over the years they’ve scaled back the in-store benefits, but recently they added the “RZ Dining” program which I LOVE. I live in the Kansas City area where there are tons of great participating restaurants. I spend a lot more money eating out than shopping at Best Buy, so those Reward Zone gift certificates are rolling in fast.

    Unfortunately YMMV a lot – KC is lucky but my hometown of Wichita has hardly any participating restaurants at all.

  34. jpdanzig says:

    I went into a GS not long ago to buy a game and was told my old gift card had expired. The girl behind the counter told me I could get a new one for $14. I didn’t understand what she was saying and thought I had to pay $14 to get the balance of my gift card transferred to a new one. When I finally realized that she was signing me up for a “frequent flyer” program, I declined and asked for my $14 back, which she begrudgingly granted. What a royal pain in the patootie these card programs are! How about giving customers first-class service, selection, and everyday low prices??? Those have always earned my loyalty…

  35. Aennan says:

    I really like the Hallmark rewards program. No price changes, just every few months I get a gift certificate from them. Really, it just gives me an excuse to spend more money at the Gold Crown store.

  36. narcs says:

    wonder when this is going to come to canadian stores. the poweruprewards site is a joke too. If the program just started how is ‘jeff/justin miller’ an epic winner – 1 the guy is old, 2-the photo looks fake (shadows don’t look right).

    can’t wait to get this going and be harassed to sign up in canadian stores. it will be the excuse I need to shop elsewhere.

  37. GTI2.0 says:

    That’s a 2% redemption rate on used games. Pretty much only the “best” credit cards give you 2% back – so what’s the problem here?

  38. Burzmali says:

    Huh. I’ve been to 3 Gamestops in the last week and none of them were pushy about the new rewards card. They just asked if I had one, and then mentioned that it was free when I said I didn’t. Granted, I go to these stores because I’ve gone to them in the past and noted that they aren’t push in general. They do the usual “do you want to pre-order anything?” But that’s it. They don’t even hassle me if I want to pick up a game on launch day and didn’t pre-order it.

  39. suez says:

    I save quite a bit through my Harris Teeter membership–sometimes over $5 per visit. Yes, they aren’t necessarily the cheapest place to shop, but they are the most convenient for me and with traffic in area, being able to walk to the store makes it worth my while.

  40. Greyfox2401 says:

    I don’t think that gamestop intends for people to spend 1000 to 2000 dollars just to get a “free” xbox live subscription it’s a reward. If you don’t like the trade off don’t get the card, if privacys an issue make up an email just for gamestop.

    If you are buying like crazy just to get an xbox live card your an idiot

  41. benk1342 says:

    I think point cards at local chains tend to be better. In the Twin Cities, Punch Pizza only requires six pizzas before you get one free. Since they are individual pizzas, my wife and I only have to go three times before we get a free pizza. And I get a free 1/2 pound of coffee at Dunn Bros. after buying three pounds or so. But for most places I don’t find having to carry the card around worth whatever the reward is.

  42. misterkisses says:

    Why do people have problems answering questions? They know the business uses the data from these questions to tailor their services to the consumer, right? So, it’s in our best interest, as consumers, to tell the companies what kinds of products we want. The Consumerist is great, but ultimately if you really want to make a difference in the way companies operate, the best way is fill out customer surveys.

  43. Jevia says:

    If its free, I don’t mind. Maybe we’ll eventually get enough points for something, but no biggie if we don’t. I tend to only go to GS when I really want something immediately (such as an expansion I’ve pre-ordered).

    What I do mind is calling me up to ask if I want to upgrade a pre-order to the collectors edition after I already declined to do so when placing the pre-order in the store.

  44. Mcshonky says:

    Here is the method I use.
    For anything I want to join I use a misspelling of my name and a fake phone number and a dead email drop address.
    I have a PO box because I travel and it is more secure than my home mail box but the misspelled name still gets delivered.
    They are given my birthdate as 4/1/1900
    And random race and other details.

  45. Arlahna says:

    Fred Meyer’s has a great rewards program. Everyone gets the deals they offer regardless of whether or not they have the rewards card, but with the card you rack up points. About 3 times a year or so I get my rewards in the mail. Free money and a few good coupons. It’s never much. I rarely rack up more than $10. But it makes a big difference when money is tight and I have to get something for dinner. Plus the coupons I often get are like $2 off a produce or meat dept. purchase of at least $2. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Are they tracking my purchases? Probably, but at least they pay me for it.

  46. sopmodm14 says:

    i have kids so the one at TRU is good

    ehh, most retail cards are decent, but only for the hardcore gamer

    usually, there are special “rewards members” only coupons that are of significant savings

  47. Levk says:

    ooo i should go to a gamestop and get like 100$ worth of stuff and then once they try to push me on that I should walk out

  48. ossuary says:

    Sounds like some of the Sam Goody “programs” from a few years back.

  49. Ginger Lee says:

    The rewards on the Kohl’s credit card – % off coupons every month, entire purchase. 14 times a year, I think? and often is 30% the ENTIRE purchase, even clearance. The best part for me? My mom has a cardbut I don’t – so she charges my purchases. (and I pay her back of course.) Kohl’s is happy because I spent money I normally would spend elsewhere, my mom is happy I bought some clothes….

  50. demonicfinger says:

    super markets that offer membership cards that give you special discounts on select items are just trying to create brand loyalty. When you have consumers sign up for a membership card they are more inclined to shop at that store again. They drop discounts on items they are trying to get rid of, so it’s not like they are losing any money by giving us the discounts.

    what gamestop is doing is a waste of our time as the consumer. why disclose any information when you buy something? We give enough of that stuff out with our facebook, myspace, and twitter accounts.

  51. kyramidx3 says:

    A few weeks ago, I was at my local GameStop ( Lancaster, PA). When I found what I wanted, I proceeded to the cash register. The lady was very polite, however she pulled out a membership card (which I had not asked about), and set it directly in front of me. When she asked if I would like to sign up for a rewards card, I politely declined. She then became noticeably much more (for lack of better words) bitchy to me, in saying, “Well, it’s free, so I don’t understand”. I declined once again, upon which she became a complete iceberg to me, and when I checked out and thanked her, she replied with “Hm”. Needless to say, If I go into that store again, and she is working, I will walk right back out the door.

  52. anduin says:

    2 grand for $20 of rewards? Damn…I don’t think I’ve spent that in like 5 years worth of gaming, INCLUDING the system.

  53. Thanatos says:

    I stopped buying at Gamestop year’s ago. I don’t trust the company, their business practices and policies, and certainly not the employee’s.

    Only reason I walk in to the store is if I happen to pass it in a mall want to get an idea of what’s about to be released or newly released. If I see a game I like, I walk out and buy it at another store.

  54. FlashFlashCarCrash says:

    I’m pretty sure this site hates everything.

  55. mikepg1030 says:

    Simply point: Best Buy Rewards

    1 point per $1.00
    Anything you buy, no matter what.
    250 points – $5.00 gift card
    500 points – $10.00 gift card
    1,000 points – $20.00 gift card

    If you add in gamer’s club,
    every $150 you spend on games nets you 500 points in addition to the point per dollar. Worth it, i think so.

  56. WickedCrispy says:

    ProTip: Don’t shop at Gamestop. Honestly, I try to avoid every single retailer that pushes memberships, credit cards, and “rewards” programs.

  57. sundaecat says:

    I had on experience where I asked the employee at gamestop if I could use the gamestop git card to buy online from the online store. He said yes and thus I put money on it and tried to use it online. Sadly apparently the card wont be accepted online. Take this logic: the Gamestop gift card cant be used online, you must physically go find a gamestop to buy a game with it.