Craig Johnson, Clark.com
Gamers are well accustomed to scoring points and winning a prize or a reward each time they grab the controller. But what if that point system and rewarding experience could be segued into real life, with, let’s say, purchases?
That’s the aim behind Sony’s latest salvo in the electronics entertainment market as the company recently unveiled a PlayStation credit card in a joint venture with Capital One. Sony is spreading its wings a bit by getting into the credit game, but it seeks to expand on its strong millennial base by offering a rewards program that can be used to buy its many products (READ: Those ever-so-popular video games).
What makes the PlayStation Card so attractive to consumers is its lucrative rewards program. When you sign up for a card and get approved, you get a $50 PlayStation Store code straight out of the gate.
Sony debuts rewards-heavy PlayStation credit card
You also get 5X rewards points every time you use the card at the PS Store to buy digital content and 5X points on all Playstation and Sony purchases at authorized retailers. The card has no annual fee and a variable APR of 14.99%-24.99%. Currently, it’s offered with 0% APR on purchases until March of 2018.
Taking a page out of Apple’s book, Sony is finally tying its ecosystem together so that consumers can stay with the company’s products across several platforms. While Apple has perfected this with its hardware and software — seamlessly linking users’ cloud-based content to its many devices — Sony is the same script with purchasing.
And just to show how serious Sony is in trying to keep consumers in its universe, the company is letting its mobile phone customers get in on the action by having the opportunity to earn 3X reward points when they use their PS Card to pay their phone bill.
Even if you buy non-PS or Sony stuff, the company will give you 1X reward point. But let’s not fool ourselves, PlayStation is firmly going after gamers, who are accustomed to spending long hours in front of the computer and are more adept at shopping and buying online than other market segments. The company even says as much in its announcement about the new credit card.
“Working with our colleagues over at Sony Rewards and Capital One, we are excited to present a new PlayStation Credit Card with rewards designed specifically with gamers like you in mind,” PlayStation said Sept. 29 on its blog. “Beginning today, we’re inviting all of our fans to start turning your everyday purchases into a number of amazing rewards and benefits.”
Money expert Clark Howard says that the way to be a responsible card holder is to pay your balance by the end of the month. If that’s not possible, a reasonable and diligent payment plan can do the trick.
“Once you decide to make your debt a priority, you need to start paying more than the minimum monthly payments,” he says. “That will allow you to eliminate the debt faster, save money on interest — and most importantly, stay motivated to get the job done and behind you!”
Reward cards can be a boon for consumers, but you’d need to know how to use them. Here are three things you don’t want to do, if possible:
1. Carry a balance: If you don’t pay your balance in full by month’s end, the interest you pay may severely diminish any reward points you rack up.
2. Overspend to earn rewards: If you make unnecessary purchases just to earn rewards, then you’re not really saving anything.
3. Misinterpret the card’s terms: Certain cards may stipulate that bonuses can be earned only with certain purchases. Others may restrict them to particular retailers. Not understanding the fine print of a reward card’s use may cause your balance to balloon — and nullify any savings you thought you were getting.
See the other three mistakes you need to watch out for with a rewards card.