Save on Gaming Gear with a Rewards Credit Card
From the latest games and DLC, to cutting edge graphics cards, to the next console, the gaming industry is always moving forward. Keeping up can put a strain on your wallet. While looking for the best deal on gear and games is second nature to most gamers, you’re missing out on significant savings if you only use cash or a debit card at the register.
Why Use a Credit Card?
Credit Cards offer benefits that cash and debit cards can’t match. Used wisely, credit cards allow you to earn rewards and improve your credit rating. Credit cards also provide a level of consumer protection that you don’t get with other payment options. Keep in mind that paying interest on a balance can negate much of the value of credit card rewards. And with downloadable content and online only merchants like Steam and Amazon, a credit card is not only a luxury, but can be a gamming necessity.
What to Look for in a Credit Card
- Rewards – with certain credit cards, you can earn cash back or points on every dollar you spend.
- Consumer Protections – credit cards can provide a higher level of protection on your purchases. Any tech purchase can benefit from extending the warranty another year, as well as damage and theft protection, and price protection (in case your purchase drops in price after you buy it). Plus, you can save money by skipping the store's optional warranty.
- Your Money is Protected – disputed charges, returns and defective products, and fraudulent purchases don’t get pulled from your bank account. In most cases, your cash is safe while the credit card company works to resolve the issue.
- 0% APR Offers – some cards offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases. The duration can be months or even years. This means that you won’t pay interest on your purchase during the intro period. If you stick to a payment plan, you can pay down the balance on that new gaming rig before the intro period ends.
Credit Card Mistakes
- Over Spending – using a credit card can feel like you're spending other people’s money. It's easy to spend more than you have. This can lead to credit card debt and can hurt your credit rating if you miss your monthly payments. Log into your credit card portal regularly to stay on top of your spending. Your bill should never be a surprise.
- Co-Branded/Merchant Cards – Store cards and branded cards can offer enticing rewards and instant savings to get you to sign up. But know what you're signing up for. Redeeming their rewards is generally limited to their stores and products, so you might miss out on sales and deals from other merchants. Unless you know you shop at a store exclusively, stick with a card with more flexibility.
If you are looking to increase your savings and get some added extras, consdier these credit cards:
Building Credit: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is geared towards users who may be new to credit but want a fully featured credit card to start building their credit history. You can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There are no rotating categories to keep track of and you can redeem cash back for any amount at any time.
The card comes with an extended warranty protection as well as a price protection policy that will reimburse you the difference in price on purchases if you find a lower advertised price within 60 days from the date of purchase. If you make your first 5 monthly payments on time, you’ll get access to a higher credit line.
The tradeoff for all these benefits is that there is an annual fee of $39 and a higher interest rate if you keep a balance. But, if you spend just $217 a month on the card, you’ll offset the annual fee in cash back rewards.
Student Credit Card: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® offers benefits specifically geared for students that don’t have an established credit history. The card offers an unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, but if you pay on time, you can boost your cash back to 1.25% for that month. There is no annual fee for this card, and rewards don’t expire.
The card comes with extended warranty protection, as well as customizable account alerts and financial tools to help you manage your account. The 29.74% variable APR for this card on the high side, so you should avoid carrying a balance.
Credit cards can provide a little extra protection or some cash back to gaming purchases you would make anyway. But, debt will reduce any benefits or savings you would see with a credit card. It is important to stay on top of your finances, so you should first work at paying down any debt before making big credit card purchases. Then, find a card that matches your financial situation and provides the benefits and rewards you are looking for.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.