I just got a free PSN gift card thanks to this awesome PS5 perk — here’s how it works

PlayStation Stars splashscreen
(Image credit: Sony)

Earlier this week, while shopping in the latest PlayStation Store sale on my PS5, I got an unexpected notification on my phone informing me that I’d reached Level 4 on my PlayStation Stars account. I was intrigued and a bit confused so decided to investigate further. 

I vaguely recalled Sony unveiling PlayStation Stars last summer and being pretty unimpressed with the elevator pitch back then. While I can’t remember signing up when the rewards program eventually launched in September, it appears I must have enrolled, and unbeknown to me I’d been leveling up my account ever since. 

After receiving the aforementioned notification, I visited the PlayStation Stars hub via the PlayStation iOS app and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I’d been steadily accruing rewards over the last nine months and even had enough points to score a free PSN gift card.

What I had foolishly dismissed as a superfluous extra has actually turned out to be a pretty generous loyalty program, one that I thoroughly recommend you check out if you play on PS5 (or PS4). Here’s why you need to be taking advantage of PlayStation Stars. 

What is PlayStation Stars? 

PlayStation Stars is a loyalty program that Sony claims enables you to “use your gaming skills to collect unique digital collectibles and earn rewards.” And while that might seem like a marketing line, it’s actually pretty accurate. The program is open to all PSN accounts and has two core functions, one seriously useful, the other less so. 

The first benefit is the ability to score digital collectibles. For example for completing the main story of Horizon Forbidden West, I earned a digital model of Aloy’s focus earpiece. To be honest, this part of the program isn’t especially compelling. These collectibles have no real value, and you can’t do anything with them beyond looking at them and placing them on a virtual shelf. If this was all PlayStation Stars had to offer, my original assessment of the program would have been spot on. 

However, the real benefit of PlayStation Stars is the points system. Points can be redeemed against tangible rewards including PSN gift cards, or full games. For example, collect 5,000 points and you can get a digital copy of the excellent action-platform Cuphead, or for 17,500 points you can claim The Quarry, an interactive-horror experience from the makers of Until Dawn

Points mean prizes 

Fortunately, earning points is surprisingly simple. Visit the “Campaigns” section of the PlayStation Stars hub (located within the PlayStation mobile app) and you’ll get a whole list of quests to complete that will give you either a digital collectible or a set amount of points, usually 50. 

These campaigns are not big-time commitments either. The majority appear to require you to play only a single game. Case in point, I recently completed the “Multiplayer Mayhem” quest, which asked me to play one game from a list of six multiplayer titles. And to earn the points all I had to do with boot up Rocket League to the main menu and my balance was 50 points higher without even needing to play a single match. 

New campaigns appear each week, so if you’re diligent about checking what’s been added you’ll be able to build your points total pretty rapidly. Just be aware that you have to manually 'start' each campaign in order to complete it and earn points. 

Even better, if you’re a PlayStation Plus member you will also earn points for eligible purchases on the PlayStation Store. Because of this, I’d actually built up a couple of thousand points without realizing it and was able to score myself a free PSN gift voucher straight away. 

Don't overlook this PS5 perk

If you’re a dedicated PS5/PS4 gamer, there really is no reason not to make use of PlayStation Stars. It’s free to sign up and you can earn worthwhile rewards just for playing games and buying stuff on the PlayStation Store. 

Granted, the digital collectible aspect of the program does feel pretty unnecessary, but it’s easy to ignore this part and instead focus on collecting points. So kudos to Sony for creating a valuable rewards program, and thank you for the free PSN gift voucher, now I just need to decide what to spend it on.

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.