The holidays are just around the corner and we all want the best bang for our saved up buck. With the cost of developing video games going up, it’s no surprise that those costs are now being shared with consumers. Whether it’s through DLCs (downloadable content), character or weapon skins, or the now infamous randomized loot crates, our money is being sought after by everyone. What follows are two companies and their efforts to get you to shop for that next video game you covet at their store.
Best Buy has a club for gamers called The Gamers Club Unlocked. This club is best suited for tech oriented gamers, as its benefits are compounded if you shop often at Best Buy. For 30 dollars, you get access to a 2 year membership. What this membership gives you is a 20% discount for new disc-based video games. A new video game is normally 59.99 (omitting taxes, as they vary by state). If you apply that 20% discount, you end up saving 12 dollars. If you buy at least 3 within that 2 year membership, you would save 36 (12x3=36) dollars essentially paying for the membership itself and earning you 6 dollars. Any purchase after that is pure savings. However, those are not the only benefits The Gamers Club Unlocked has to offer. If you are into trading your video games, Best Buy will offer you an extra 10% towards your trade, giving you a little more credit. If you like buying pre-owned games, you can get them at an extra 10% off from Best Buy. The first time you sign up, you get one-time use coupons towards gaming peripherals like controllers or other accessories.
Now, here’s where loyalty pays off. Best Buy has a points system that you can trade in for in-store credit. For every dollar you spend, you earn 1 point. Every 250 points gives you a 5 dollars certificate to spend at Best Buy. However, being a Gamers Club Unlocked member doubles the amount of points you earn on video game software, digital content, and game accessories. What this means is if you buy a videogame controller (normally 59.99), you would earn 120 Best Buy points for that purchase. If you strictly buy all of your games and accessories at Best Buy, those points add up very fast. They add up even faster if you buy most of your tech at Best Buy. Think back to your purchase history. If in the past two years you’ve purchase a printer, a TV, a computer or computer accessories, or even a new phone...these are all available at Best Buy. Buying all of these items increase your points getting you closer to another certificate.
There’s one more thing that few gamers know about Best Buy and pre-ordering; Many of the bigger named games (Call of Duty, Mario Odyssey) can be preordered at Best Buy and simply for doing that, Best Buy will give you a 10 dollar Best Buy Certificate towards anything you want. These aren’t points that you have to earn, they are flat out giving you 10 dollars to spend at Best Buy on a future purchase. By the time you read this article, Call of Duty: World War II would already be out, but I will use this as an example to show you how you can be saving even more money at Best Buy. If you plan on buying just the base game, without the Gamers Club Unlocked, it would cost 59.99. However, with the Gamers Club Unlocked, you can pre-order it for 47.99 and get a 10 dollar certificate to spend. You’ve practically bought Call of Duty: WWII for 37.99 and that doesn’t include all the other points you earned from buying accessories that you probably bought alongside it. Grant it, for that 10 dollar certificate, you do have to wait 45 days to get it, but that’s 10 dollars that you can use towards the next video game that comes out.
Amazon has a similar program but it is included in their 99 dollar Amazon Prime membership. The Amazon Prime gamers deal is best suited for the general shopper who also finds entertainment in streaming services. Amazon’s gaming program used to be that you could also save 20% off of physical games (disc based) if pre-ordered or purchased within 2 weeks of its release. Recently, this discount for Prime Members is now restricted to the pre-order of games only. Nonetheless, 20% off games that you planned on purchasing anyway is still a good deal. If you do pre-order a game, they guarantee the game to be at your door on the day that it is scheduled to release. My experience using this program has been a positive one. In fact, I pre-ordered Zelda from Amazon and I actually got the game a day before release. Unfortunately, my Nintendo Switch was pre-ordered elsewhere and I had to wait for the actual release date to play it.
Amazon Prime has other things to offer. It includes free 2 day shipping on most items, it’s own streaming video service called Amazon Video, it’s own music streaming service called Prime Music (different than Amazon Music Unlimited which is a separate paid music subscription service), a choice of 1 free Kindle Reader book out of 4 pre-selected ones monthly, access to Kindle Unlimited (access to popular books that you can read at no additional cost), and unlimited photo storage. If your expenditures don’t frequent technology often, the Amazon Prime video game discount may be more suitable for you. Also, if you are currently a college student and don’t have Amazon Prime yet, you can get Amazon Prime for 50% off, putting it at 50 dollars for you.
Of Return Policies and Reviews
Many gamers often enjoy waiting for reviews before making their purchase. Both, Best Buy and Amazon have return policies that are similar. In the case of Amazon, you have to apply for a return package slip, which is usually something that you can print and tape it to the package it came in. For Best Buy, you can do that as well if the game was purchased online or you can just take it to your closest Best Buy store and return it in person. Both of these return policies allow gamers who would rather wait for reviews to make their purchase at a discount and keep the game unopened until they read a review. This way, if the review is unfavorable, then you can return the unopened copy of the game for a full refund.
At Best Buy, the 20% discount for new physical games applies for pre-orders and for games that have already released. Even if the game came out over a year ago and if it is on sale, so long as it is a new, sealed copy of the game, you will get that 20% discount. The discount also applies to the pre-order of collector’s edition of games, so long as the edition comes with a physical copy of the game. The only limitation that Best Buy enforces with this club is that you cannot buy more than three copies of the same game for the same platform and have the discount apply. Here’s a scenario that can clarify this: Let’s say that you have 4 friends and you are feeling bounteous this Christmas. If you plan on buying 4 Xbox One copies of Call of Duty: World War II for yourself and for them as Christmas gifts, the first 3 would qualify for a discount but the fourth one would be sold to you at regular price. However, you are still allowed to buy 3 more copies of Call of Duty: WWII for PS4 at the discounted price for being a Gamers Club Unlocked member. This makes any holiday or birthday shopping for gamer friends a great value.
Amazon has the same 3 limitation on pre-orders of video games with a discount. If you try to pre-order more than what is allowed, you will get a notification saying that the quantity amount has been changed to the maximum allowed by Amazon.
Choose Your Destiny
I have the benefit of owning both of the programs, but I am not here to encourage you to choose one over the other. That decision is best left to you. I’ve presented the facts, benefits, and limitations on these companies. Let me know in the comments below what you decide to choose, and as always #KeepitTRO (True, Respectful, Original).
Noe Monsivais (Trobadour_XP)
is an English Literature teacher at an early college campus by day. He is a YouTube content creator and is currently working on getting his Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. His favorite thing about people is when they #KeepitTRO (True, Respectful, Original). You can follow him and his crazy antics at: