GameStop’s New Credit Card Is Designed To Exploit Gamers

GameStop has a bad reputation among gamers and developers for a variety of reasons, some subjective, some rather valid. And now GameStop has decided that, what the hell, let’s just go for straight-up pure evil.

According to Destructoid, we’ll start seeing the GameStop credit card in the next few months, and it will be pushed rather aggressively, because this is GameStop; they push everything aggressively. Sign up for it, and PowerUp Basic members get 5,000 PowerUp Points, and Pro members get 15,000 PowerUp Points! And you’re pre-approved if you’re a member, according to the source that provided Destructoid with the materials.

At an interest rate of 26.99% APR! By the way, that’s twice the current fixed rate for credit cards of 13% and nearly twice the variable rate of 15%. It also happens to be at least three percentage points above the APR people with terrible credit get. The marketing materials want you to “Pay over time!” because of course they do, and there are special financing offers so you can buy a lot on a low interest rate, and then get whacked with the 27% rate six months later!

Usually there are shades of grey to GameStop and its policies, but not this time. The entire stated goal of this program is to get you into as much debt as possible with GameStop so it can rack up huge interest fees. If you find a credit calculator and punch in the interest on, say, just buying one $60 game a month from GameStop for a year, and then paying it off with the minimum, it will take you more than eight years to pay off that $720, and you’ll shell out an extra $914 in interest.

That this has gotten to the point where they’re printing brochures is stunning. The very idea ought never to have been entertained. My local GameStop has good staff who work hard and make a real effort, but in the face of this, I can’t shop there again. I can’t imagine I’ll be alone in that.