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The new XBox Mastercard, issued by Barclays, will soon reward you for making purchases in the Microsoft Store and on qualified streaming and delivery services.
Starting on Sept. 21, 2023, qualified Xbox Insiders will be able to apply for the card, though it won't go live for the general public until early 2024. The new card will have a $0 annual fee and offer a sign-up bonus of 5,000 points after the first purchase. Cardholders will also earn:
5 points per $1 spent on qualifying games and purchases within the Microsoft Store.
3 points per $1 spent on eligible delivery and streaming services, such as DoorDash, GrubHub, Netflix, Hulu and Spotify.
1 point per $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases.
A complimentary three-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (new Game Pass members only).
According to Barclays, points will be worth one cent a piece (i.e. 100 points = $1) and can be redeemed for games and add-ons in the digital Microsoft Store.
Qualifying purchases for 5x rewards include personal computers, software and electronics sold in the Microsoft Store, Xbox Design Lab and on the Xbox App. Among the exclusions are in-game transactions for game-proprietary stores (such as the Minecraft Store) and purchases in the Xbox Gear Shop, Bethesda Gear Store and third-party retailers.
Once approved, cardholders can choose from one of five Xbox-themed card designs. To apply for the card before it’s released to the general public, you can apply to join the Xbox Insider Program through the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox or Windows PC. It is not clear whether all Xbox Insiders will be able to apply for the card before its general launch.
Is the Xbox credit card worth it?
The new Xbox Mastercard will offer a similar rewards structure to the PlayStation Visa Credit Card. According to Barclays, points earned on the Xbox Mastercard can be redeemed only for Microsoft-specific games and add-ons in the Microsoft Store.
While that might sound appealing to hardcore gamers, the restrictive redemption options mean most people would do better with a general cash-back credit card. The Chase Freedom Unlimited®, for example, earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% back on all other purchases, with no restrictions on where you can use your rewards.
Image courtesy of Barclays