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?