Soon there will be a completely different card to forget to bring to GameStop with you, as the retailer's new PowerUp Rewards program goes into beta testing, featuring both free and paid cards packed with benefits that don't entirely suck.
GameStop's Edge card is on the way out. I'd say good riddance, but I haven't been able to find mine for ages, relying on the store's computers to bring up my 10% discount on used merchandise and 10% trade-in bonus. Both of those bonuses and a subscription to Game Informer are just the beginning of the benefits that come with the new PowerUp Rewards Pro card.
The main difference between the Edge card and the new PowerUp Rewards card, aside from there being a free version of the latter available for those not wanting to fork over $US14.99, is the new points system.
Here's how it works. For every dollar you spend on new merchandise at GameStop using the card, you earn 10 reward points. Used merchandise scores you 20 points per dollar, as do trade-ins. You also get bonuses on your birthday, upon initial activation, and upon establishing your online games library, which I assume GameStop will use to aim marketing in your direction.
What can you get with points? According to the website, there'll be a revolving series of gifts, from GameStop gift cards to movie and dinner coupons to Xbox Live and Netflix subscriptions.
According to the GameStop lackey who passed the information on the program along to us, "The rewards range from coupons for $US5-$10 off purchases ranging from 4000 to 8000 points to even free Xbox 360 controllers or Turtle Beach X11 headsets for 40,000 points. Us employees get 4000 points to start off with, enough to purchase a $US5 off a used game coupon or PS3 real triggers!"
40,000 points for a free Xbox 360 controller? Why, that's like spending $US4000 on new games and getting an Xbox 360 controller for free!
He also mentioned that those silly game warranties they sell are also worth points. Feel free to ignore this paragraph, and GameStop's video game warranties.
OK, so the rewards aren't all that impressive so far. There's still the Epic Reward Giveaways, where you can win special prizes like trips to NASCAR events or beta testing slots for upcoming games! Each transaction earns free members one entry into the drawings, which Pro users score two per transaction.
So remember, once this goes live, make sure you purchase each of your items individually, even if you have like 20 of them.
I'm sure exploits like that are exactly what the beta testing process means to get rid of.
The program is currently being tested in Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri, with nationwide implementation expected within the next month or so. If you just can't wait, head over to the PowerUp Rewards website to sign up for the mailing list.