Credit Cards

A New Credit Card for Gamers

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As sales of video games rival those of movie tickets, gamers are always looking for a way to save money on the latest titles. GameStop, one of the nation’s largest video game retailers, has now confirmed it is testing its own co-branded credit card.

Details

Rumors swirled recently around the video game giant after a report on Destructoid.com contained three images purported to be of unreleased marketing material from the new card. The images suggest a sign-up bonus of 5,000 points for basic members of their rewards program, and 15,000 for “Pro Members.” These points would be worth $5 and $15 respectively.

Another photo appears to show a part of the credit card’s terms and conditions, also known as the Schumer Box. It shows that the card would have a 26.99% APR, a 25-day grace period and no annual fee.

GameStop confirmed for Credit.com that the retailer is “currently testing a private label credit card with a select group of employees. If the test proves to provide additional value to our shopping experience, it will be made available to customers before the holiday shopping season.” The company’s spokesperson would not disclose the name of the issuing bank or other card details. If the hints we have about GameStop’s credit card and its terms hold up, here’s what prospective cardholders should expect.

How Does This Card Stack Up?

When (or if) this card becomes available, GameStop would be joining hundreds of other retailers that offer their customers co-branded credit cards. When judged against the market for retail credit cards, the tested offer is par for the course. Many retailers’ credit cards have APRs in the 20% to 30% range and most charge no annual fee. The reported card also includes a 25-day grace period, which is more than the 21-day minimum dictated by the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

Nevertheless, retail credit cards as a whole tend to have higher interest rates and less valuable rewards than credit cards offered directly by banks, as well as those co-branded with major travel providers. For example, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card currently offers new cardholders 40,000 bonus miles (when they spend $3,000 on new purchases within 90 days), which are worth more than $400 toward travel reservations. There is, however, an $89 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.

In addition, many other cards offer more competitive interest rates, such as the Chase Slate, which features rates as low as 12.99% for the most qualified applicants, and as high as 22.99% for less-qualified cardholders. Furthermore, Slate features 15 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with no balance-transfer fee. There is no annual fee for this card.

Should You Get This Card?

With more 6,000 retail locations, it is safe to assume that there are many fans of GameStop. Once all of the details of this card are officially released, regular GameStop customers can decide if the benefits would be worth it. As with any retail credit card, customers should always take the time to examine its terms and conditions, and compare it with competing products.

The latest video games, consoles and accessories can be fun but expensive, and gamers should seriously consider which credit card makes the most sense for their purchases. Before you apply for any credit card, make sure to check your credit scores to see which rates you’re most likely to qualify for. You can check two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly. 

At publishing time, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Chase Slate card were offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com may be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

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Image: iStock

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