Xbox and Barclays Announce Launch of Xbox Mastercard
Xbox is preparing to roll out a new rewards credit card offering in partnership with Barclays.
About the card:
This week, Barclays and Xbox announced the impending launch of the Xbox Mastercard. With this offering, gamers will be able to earn rewards on a mix of Xbox-related purchases and everyday purchases. Plus, customers can choose from five different card designs, which can also be customized with their gamer tag. The card will become available to Xbox Insiders on September 21st, with Barclays targeting a general public debut in 2024.
First, the Xbox Mastercard will earn 5 points per dollar spent on qualifying Microsoft Store purchases. Additionally, cardholders will earn 3x on eligible dining delivery service purchases (DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats, Goldbelly, etc.) and 3x on select streaming service purchases. All other purchases earn 1x points. The Xbox Mastercard will carry no annual fee.
As far as a welcome bonus, cardholders can earn 5,000 points after making their first purchase. Additionally, customers can unlock 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate after first purchase with the card within 180 days of account opening. With Game Pass Ultimate currently costing $16.99 a month, this portion of the bonus is valued at more than $50. The press release notes that the perk is for new Game Pass members, although those who already have a subscription can apparently gift the 3-month pass to a friend instead.
What they’re saying:
Announcing the upcoming card, Xbox Player Services CVP Dave McCarthy said, “We’ve heard feedback from the Xbox community that they want more ways to get value for their purchases. We’re excited to partner with Barclays and Mastercard to expand the ways Xbox players can earn rewards for gaming.”
Additionally, Barclays US Consumer Bank CEO Denny Nealon said, “We’re excited to partner with Xbox and Mastercard to tap into the passion and enthusiasm of the Xbox community and deliver a product and experience that heightens their gaming enjoyment. Xbox is a great brand, and we look forward to building upon our partner-first model to deliver a credit card product that sets the standard for gaming enthusiasts everywhere.”
Overall, the appeal of the Xbox Mastercard is limited. While the 5x benefit may be relatively valuable for those spending a lot on Microsoft Store purchases, the 3x categories are surprisingly narrow. Namely, instead of featuring general dining like most cards, limiting to dining delivery seems like a strange choice that only speaks to gamer stereotypes. So, although the existence of the card is interesting, it’s definitely not a product I can recommend when it launches.