Forget cash back: Microsoft’s Xbox Mastercard exclusively earns game discounts

    Microsoft announced a new Xbox Mastercard today. Cardmembers can earn points on purchases to redeem on games in the Microsoft Store. The card will launch exclusively for Xbox Insider Program members in the US on September 21, but it will open to all US-based Xbox users next year.

    The fruit of a partnership between Microsoft and Barclays, the card (unsurprisingly) encourages you to buy Xbox content. The Mastercard will give users one reward point for each dollar spent on everyday purchases. But the incentive grows to five points per dollar spent at the Microsoft Store. In addition, purchases made at some streaming (including Netflix and Disney+) and dining (including Grubhub and DoorDash) services will earn three points per dollar. Reward points are each worth a penny to be redeemed on Xbox games and add-ons, so if you pay $1,000 for standard purchases using the card, you’ll earn the equivalent of $10 in points for new games.

    The card will be available in the five “iconic designs” seen above, and you can optionally personalize it with your Xbox Gamertag. The company says it will work with contactless payments and digital wallets, and users will get free access to their FICO credit score. The Xbox Mastercard’s terms and conditions say its APR can be 20.99%, 26.99% or 31.99%, depending on the results of a credit pull.

    Microsoft has a few extra perks for signing up and using the card. It says you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 card points (a $50 value) after your first purchase with the card. Members will also receive three free months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate after using the Mastercard for the first time — and you can transfer it to a friend if you’re already a subscriber.

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