GameStop Unleashing a Truly Awful Credit Card Just for Gamers

If GameStop didn't already have a bad reputation with gamers already, let's add some fuel to the fire with a ridiculous credit card.

Many of us know that GameStop doesn't have the best reputation amongst the gaming community. Now they've gone ahead and added even more fuel to the fire with a credit card aimed directly at gamers in the most negative way.

GameStop will soon be offering a credit card to its customers within the next few months. PowerUp Basic members get 5,000 PowerUp Points and Pro members get 15,000 PowerUp Points just for signing up; and exclusive offers will be offered to cardholders. Rumor is that you’re "pre-approved" if you’re already a member (though it's unconfirmed at this time).

The card will offer an interest rate of 26.99% APR. That's twice the current fixed rate for credit cards of 13%, nearly twice the variable rate of 15% and at least 3% points above the APR that people with horrible credit get.

The "Special Financing" offers allow you to buy a lot on a low-interest rate, and then get slammed with the 27% rate at the end of six months if the balance is not paid off. Imagine buying one $60 game each month for a year, then paying only the minimum amount. It'll take you more than 8 years to pay off $720, and you’ll pay $914 just in interest--in interest! The long-term financial damage it'll cause for those who don't pay attention can be catastrophic.

I don't know about you but a GameStop credit card sounds like a bad idea in every way to me. It's a recipe for disaster aimed at getting gamers into long-term financial debt for corporate benefit, and to me that's not good business. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Featured Columnist

Venisia is a public relations professional, video game industry contractor, published author, freelance entertainment journalist, copy editor, a co-organizer of the Latinx Games Festival, and a member of the Latinx in Gaming and the Puerto Rico Game Developers (PRGD) community. Her passion is video games. She loves the adrenaline rush from a multiplayer match and understands the frustrations of a brand-new raid. Venisia finds immense value in gaming especially in the realm of mental health.

Published Aug. 7th 2014
  • Durinn McFurren
    I find it funny that people defend this card by arguing that other stores have just as high an APR. That, it would seem to me, is merely indicative that ALL these stores are acting out of pure corporate greed.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Thank you for seeing the point I was trying to make.
  • JM_8672
    Article is complete hokum, how does one get that it takes 8 years to pay off $720 if the minimum payment is $25?

    Plus, if your buying a game at $60 each month and the minimum is $25 your really only adding $35 of debt a month to the card + interest which is not $720. Mind you $35 dollars + interest is 87 cents which in turn equals $2.

    Still, add that up over a year after making a minimum and you'll still owe a max of $460 ish which would mean buying a game a month for a year and only paying the minumum would take around 2.5-3 years to pay off NOT 8.
  • Ozma64
    27% is not an all time high APR for a store credit card.... there are many store credit cards out there with the same interest rate. i even have a couple and i have no problem managing them at all. If you are worried about paying a credit card for years on end them you obviously don't need a card in your life because your are just that irresponsible of a person. the minimum paying is not a "this amount only" price.... its just as it says.... A MINIMUM payment is required and any smart person with a credit card would wanna get it paid off as soon as possible. The more you pay in a payment the less you pay in interest in the long term. ALSO... game stop doesn't see a dime of that interest anyways...the card is financed by an independent bank... when someone makes a purchase the bank pays gamestop that amount and takes over the debt. they get all the payments and interests....the interest rate is THE BANKS INTEREST RATE not gamestop's. So stop demonizing gamestop for doing what almost every other major retailer is doing as well....
  • Robert Blair
    I realize this discussion is a bit old but I just recently "applied" for a gamestop credit card myself. I also realize the high interest rate could be a problem but this was really my only option to help rebuild my credit. Years ago I made the typical teenage mistake of easily getting a capital one card, maxing it out and not paying it for years, my credit is bad enough that I can't even get a target, best buy, or Amazon card, much less anything like a "real" credit card (the bank I have been dealing with for 10 years wouldn't even let me be primary on my truck, even though I paid off 2 with them). Long story short, my fiscal irresponsibility screwed me for a long time, and now I'm 32 and way more responsible than what I was so what's wrong with me showing it with this card? By the way, I know it's kinda sad I have to resort to this, but the pro pre approval was what got me.
  • Jamie_8368
    What kind of a retard would take 8 years to pay off less than a grand? Lmfao.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Hey, I've met some but no, not everyone is... it was used as a WORST CASE SCENARIO.
  • Malcolm_9304
    This article is a joke right? Their APR is the same as any other store card out, do some research.

    As for your example, if you're stupid enough to be buying a new $60 game every month and not paying off the last one then you deserve to be paying them astronomical amounts in fees. You are using THEIR money to buy it.

    No one is forcing anyone to get the card, if you aren't responsible continue using cash.
    This article would have done better if you educated your readers on how to properly use a credit card like this instead of just bashing
  • Crimson_5085
    Has anyone ever thought of just WONT HAVE TO DEAL WITH INTEREST if you pay all of the bill off the FIRST MONTH?!

    Most people just pay the monthly minimum fee and then THAT is how the interest is being added to that left over balance. Honestly I think it's an ok idea as long as people are smart with their money.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Very true but not everyone thinks of it that way. If you're smart with any card you get chances are you won't have any problems.
  • JJC_1119
    I think that there are definitely benefits but of course there will be a down side. The thing is, is that what you just said proved the person unreliable for a credit card. The gamestop credit card was specifically designed to help people with their credit score. You aren't suppose to buy, buy, buy with a credit card, you are supposed to buy, and pay off before any interested can be added. And you should only buy if you know that you have a pay check coming in. Basically it is made that way if somebody walks in and finds a game they like, but can't afford it till next week, they can buy and play it now, without waiting seven days.

    And the six month interest thing should be perfectly fine, if somebody is getting paid at least $600 a month, and they take $100 out of their paycheck every month, there would be a month left to pay off a $500 item. If you can't do it in time, then don't buy a console.
  • Really_1960
    I think it’s kind of obvious that even though you say you agree agree agree, you are just appeasing your commenters lol. This last comment says it all "Trust me you don't want any part of the ridiculous APR!!!" What a sad waste of brain. You aren't listening to anyone and apparently have no idea what a credit card is. A credit card is never and was never and will never be a piece of plastic you can use to go out and buy $500 worth of something to pay it back when you want. Anything that has to do with finances means you have to be fiscally responsible. It doesn’t matter if it’s a car loan/lease, your rent, a credit card, school loans, etc. If you do the action and then don't pay back what you owe - you're going to get some sort of a negative result.

    Instead of going all negative, which is not the only option the card offers, why not do some positive points too? I've got a few!

    1- You CAN increase your credit card rating with this card, especially if you already have bad credit and you cannot raise your rating using any other card because you cannot GET any other card approval. You CAN increase credit ratings with this card by being a responsible adults and paying it back on-time, full amount, before your 20-25 days is up. But, that is with any credit card. Oh hey, here are a few credit cards that have the same or about same APR as big bad GameStop!

    Zale’s: 28.99 percent
    Office Depot Personal Credit: 27.99 percent
    My Best Buy credit card: 25.24 to 27.99 percent
    My Best Buy preferred credit card: 25.24 to 27.99 percent
    Amazon store card: 25.99% / Amazon Rewards Visa: 14.74%-22.24%

    2- You do get benefits from the card itself. Small benefits, but benefits nonetheless such as:
    - 15,000 bonus points for Pro Members
    - NO annual fee. Obviously you left this out of your article.
    - Untold by you, this credit card is not the devil because of its APR. In fact, 99% of the BIGGEST stores have the same APR.
    - Exclusive offers
    - In game content
    - Special events

    3- It’s for GameStop. Some people may hate GameStop because they got burned and they are little trolls that can't get over anything. While others love GameStop because they are not a troll, like the benefits (such as 10% on trade ins or making payments on games) among other things. There are 2 types of people talking about this card. The ones bashing it - usually teenagers or young adults that are not responsible and have no reason to even get a card. The ones not bashing it - usually young adults or adults that are responsible, are fiscally responsible and have every reason to get the card.

    4- There ARE worse cards out there. I think one of the biggest issues is:
    1- Young adults thinking WOW a credit card for GameStop, holy crap, I need this and this and this and then not realizing they need to pay it off and pay it off in full and pay it off during the term.
    2- People like you have no idea what a credit card or credit ratings are. So you see the APR and go all nutsy.

    Some last notes on APR:

    Credit card interest rates vary widely from as low as 0% promotional rates to as high as 36% default rates with rates averaging somewhere between 12% to 27%

    APRs have climbed more than 20% over the past two years and hit an all-time high of an average 14.78% in mid-November, based on weekly data collects from 100 of the nation's top credit card issuers. (Notice they said nothing about GameStop).

    "I don't suggest people ever carry a balance at such high interest rates," Harzog said. "A secured card is like a credit card on training wheels, so it will help you get your credit back on track."

    79.9% APR

    This is how wide-spread panic happens. You don't do your own research; you copy and paste what other people say in their articles without knowing if its true or not.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Actually, I do have a brain and do know a thing or two about credit cards. That's exactly why I wouldn't recommend this one or ANY store credit card for that matter. Those who are young and/or have negative credit fall victim to tempting cards like these. Those who know don't fall for it.

    It seems you're copy/pasting from articles.

    My personal accountant and retirement planner help me avoid such traps. I also keep a strict eye on my credit and don't spend what I can't afford. Yes people fall on hard times and that must be taken into account as well. Most have the delusion of "minimum payment" and don't realize the length of time vs the APR; that's why I recommend avoiding these.

    If you really need a credit card, to build credit responsibly, apply for your average Visa or M/C. Even if your APR is a bit high for lack of credit, once you build it up by making ON TIME payments/balance PAID IN FULL, that APR will go down. Credit is about responsibility.

    Thank you for your comment.
  • Tirsa_3012
    I got the card for the points. I'm NEVER going to use it. Can I get charged for not using it?
  • Tuan_1663
    I just apply yesterday morning, but I decide not to get it and how do I cancel the gamestop credit card. I can't hear on the phone because I am deaf hearing hard impaired. Please help!! I need to cancel that gamestop credit card, please!
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until the paperwork comes to you in the mail to go ahead and cancel it, which may put a hit on your credit for it. Once the application process has started you usually have to wait until it's done. I'd contact the store you applied at and ask them for the number. That's my best advice.
  • Jerome Phiffer
    As someone previously stated, the 26.99 isn't out of the norm for retail branded credit cards. However it doesn't make it right especially for a gaming company. Gaming already has the ability to bring out addictive personality traits in people and you're going to turn around, and hand them a life ruining credit card. Someone young can get one of these and ruin their financial situation for the rest of their adult life.

    I know some might disagree, but a lot of stupid quick decisions are made around gaming, so we don't need a way to make that bad idea last for years.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Exactly but I think that very reason could be the source for such a credit card. They're "banking" on those bad decisions to make money.
  • topher339
    This post is actually the first I have heard of GameStop not having "the best reputation". GameStop has always been my go-to for games and have never had a problem with them. As far as "poor customer service, lousy stock, being lied to, and so forth", never experienced it with them. But I digress...

    As Cortalia said, the bank is more to blame than the business. If they are going to hand out the cards to basically a bunch of kids, or teenagers really, than it follows that they would have such a high interest rate. This allows it to be a highly accessible card and so they end up turning away less people. And as far as retailing cards go, it's not exactly unusual.

    While that is a steep price to pay, it is only if you fall behind or don't pay it all off. If you stay on top of it, it could wind up being worth it depending on what you get as far as the exclusive offers.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    They don't have a great reputation "corporate wise." I have a great relationship with the employees at my local store. We've all been friends for many years. I don't blame them for corporate decisions.
  • [[Deleted]]
    I sometimes wonder how Gamestop stays in business....

    I think its the overall adaptability of consumers at this point, we just adapt and get used to poor customer service, lousy stock, being lied to, and so forth.

    I would almost think that they know this, so they know the vast majority of people will be "meh, its gamestop of course their cards going to have a retard high interest rate" shrug and sign up anyway.

    at least that's my personal feelings on the matter.

    However logically, its more to do with the banking than the retail store. The more accessible you want to make the card, the higher the interest rate. If you want to offer a lower interest rate card, then applicants need to have a higher credit rating (in turn your now turning away more and more people as the rate improves). I only have one Credit Card, and I get both a high preferred 9.9% interest rate and cash-back rewards, something not open to the general public, only those with a really high credit score "The top 5%" they call it. However when I first got that card it was 17.9%, but as time went on and my credit rating improved I was able to re-assign my card to better interest rates and rewards based on my credit score (and loyalty, keep in mind that you will generally have a better credit score if you have one or two cards for a long time, vs having several cards you use to get "don't pay for x months" then never use again as the continual use and payments shows your more "Stable and Reliable")

    So in short if you want to offer a card with a almost guaranteed approval rate, you need to have a high interest rate.

    Then you have to look at the expectant "average balance". Unlike a furniture or electronics store, most people would be expected to carry a balance of less than $2,500.00 (that would be the equivalent of buying a game every second week or so). You can easily drop that on a fridge alone at a place like sears. So in order to handle the excess load of dealing with x number of balances with a "lower" balance you need to charge more interest to cover the costs of administration. Face it the bank behind the Gamestop card is in business to make money, lots of money, and don't forget Gamestop wants some of that as well.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    You have a very valid point. I know many who work/have worked for the retailer and even they question the company's tactics. Yet, it is a business like any other. They're out to make money and customers are merely dollar signs.
    Anyone looking for credit to buy anything should just apply for your average credit card as compared to a retailer's card. You'll receive a much better APR based on your credit rating.
  • Evan Lower
    Featured Contributor
    Not to come off as antagonistic or anything, but the 26.99% APR isn't out of the realm of normality when it comes to retailer credit cards. I work for a clothing retailer, and I believe the APR is between 22 and 26%, and I know Amazon's can get above 20%, with the penalty APR around 30%.

    For the record I totally disagree with credit cards provided by any retailer. They're all interest traps, especially given the temptation involved. But ultimately, the purpose of every credit card company is to get more money from you than you borrow from them.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I agree with you there. Retailers have the most outrageous interest rates on the market, that's why it's best to AVOID those cards in general.
  • Chai Chien Liang
    At least they put the 26.99% in bold but still there is really no reason to charge double the interest rates of a normal credit card, NO reason at all!
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    No there isn't but that's how they make their money.
  • Samuel Franklin
    Featured Contributor
    Brutal interest rate. If these "exclusive offers" end up being really good (and you're responsible) might be worth having one just for that and paying the balance in full every month to prevent interest.

    Problem being that many gamers are young and going to use this to go out of control.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Unfortunately that's what usually happens, especially with young adults.
  • daniel mackey
    i have been waiting for something like this with gamestop but it figures they would find a way to screw something good up...
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Trust me you don't want any part of the ridiculous APR!!!

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