Microsoft is teaming up with global financial services provider Barclays to launch an Xbox Mastercard later this month, the Xbox maker announced Tuesday (Sept. 12). Cardholders will be able to use the points they earn for every dollar they spend to exchange for games and add-ons on the Xbox Games Store.
The card, which has no annual fee, will be available exclusively to Xbox Insiders in the U.S., Alaska and Hawaii starting on Sept. 21. After Insiders get their shot, Microsoft will open the credit card up to all Xbox players in the U.S. during 2024.
“With the Xbox Mastercard credit card, players can earn card points with everyday purchases to redeem on games and add-ons at xbox.com,” explained Dave McCarthy, CVP of Xbox player services, in a company blog post.
APR rates range from 20.99% to 31.99% based on credit. And as with most credit cards, you'll rack up more points from buying certain things than others. Purchasing eligible products on the Microsoft store will net cardholders five times the number of points for every dollar they spend, while subscriptions to some of the best streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus earn three times the points. All other types of purchases will earn the regular 1x rate.
Somewhat confusingly, the Xbox Mastercard also isn't linked to the Microsoft Rewards program in any way. Instead, the card is its own separate pot of points that can be earned through purchases.
Applications open on September 21 for U.S.-based Xbox Insiders, Microsoft's early access program to test new Xbox features.
There are five card designs to choose from, which you can see above, along with the option to customize it with your Xbox gamertag.
As an added sign-on bonus, cardholders will also get 5,000 points ($50 value) after their first purchase with the card along with three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for new Game Pass members. Or if you're already a subscriber, you can gift the free three-month subscription to friends or family.
We've often touted Microsoft's monthly video game subscription service as one of the best deals in gaming. The top-end Ultimate tier, regularly $15/month, offers all of best bells and whistles: access to a library of over 400 games, an Xbox Live Gold membership for online gaming, cloud streaming available across Xbox, PC, Android and iOS and a handful of select titles to fully own.
Microsoft is no stranger to unconventional collabs (usually seeming to come out of nowhere) to expand the Xbox brand. Last week, Mattel announced a new kit for its Lego-style rival Mega of the Xbox 360, complete with lights, working parts and a bricked-up copy of Halo 3. And let's not forget the eye-watering $10,000 limited-edition Xbox Series X from Gucci.
As far as credit cards go, we haven't seen Microsoft offer an Xbox card since the early days of Xbox Live. But given that rival Sony already offers its own points-based PlayStation credit card, it tracks that Microsoft would aim to roll out an Xbox competitor.
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Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.
Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats. She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.