by Kyle Orland – July 28 2014, 11:30am PDT
GameStop has always been barely a single step up from a pawn shop with its practice of buying used games at low prices and selling them at ridiculous markups. Now, reports suggest that the massive brick-and-mortar game retailer is planning to enter another shady financial area by offering store-linked credit cards to customers at its thousands of locations.
Destructoid reports that it has “obtained photographs” of a purported brochure advertising a credit card tied to the retailer’s existing PowerUp Rewards program. Signing up for the card nets customers anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 PowerUp Rewards Points (worth roughly $5 to $15 in value), according to the images, as well as benefits like “special financing offers.” We’d expect that having a GameStop credit card would also provide Rewards Points for everyday purchases, but there’s no mention of such a benefit in the report.
Destructoid’s images show a healthy 26.99 percent APR for the card. That’s well above the nationwide average of 13 to 16 percent, and it’s also above the higher-than-normal rates charged by many other store-linked credit cards, which hover around the 22 percent range. And while Destructoid’s sources say that “all PowerUp Rewards members are already pre-approved for the card,” the materials themselves say that the card issuance is “subject to credit approval.” Not that we suspect many people will be turned down for a card with such exorbitant interest charges.
If having your credit managed by a video game retailer isn’t enough for you, note that it’s theoretically possible to hack GameStop’s pre-order system to serve as your own personal savings bank.