I’ve always played a lot of video games but trying to keep up with the latest and greatest, whether its new games or new gaming hardware, can start to get expensive very quickly. Saving money and searching to find the best value is something I’ve always loved to do, and saving money on video games is no exception. Awhile ago, I decided to sign up for My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked as it looked like an easy way to save a good amount of money on my gaming purchases.
It’s been almost two years since I signed up and I’ve had plenty of time and purchases to really get a handle on all the benefits that Gamers Club Unlocked has to offer. Read on to find out if it’s really worth the money to sign up and how the savings here compares to other video game retailers.
My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked Review
My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked is a paid membership that extends their free My Best Buy Gamers Club. Years ago, it used to be a lot more expensive and not quite as compelling, but Best Buy eventually reduced the membership fee down to $30 for 2 years and added some additional benefits as well.
To sign up for the free version, My Best Buy Gamers Club, you must visit your local store and ask a customer specialist. If you’re looking to sign up for My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked, you can purchase a 2-year membership in store or online. Keep in mind that it can take up to 24 hours for the benefits to show up on your account. So don’t plan on signing up for a membership and getting a discount on some games at the same time. But more importantly, before you decide to sign up, let’s go over the benefits of being a Gamers Club Unlocked member.
My Best Buy Gamers Club & Gamers Club Unlocked Benefits
The following benefits are available to members of both the free Gamers Club and the paid Gamers Club Unlocked programs. These bonuses aren’t as good as the ones exclusive to Gamers Club Unlocked, but it’s still worth noting in case you ever buy anything at Best Buy but aren’t wanting to sign up for the paid membership. It might be worth the effort to ask about the free Gamers Club membership in store in exchange for a reward certificate every now and then.
2X Points on Video Game Trade-ins
In theory, getting double the points on your trade-ins is great! The only issue here is that in my experience, Best Buy usually does not give the best value for the games you trade-in, so a few extra points aren’t going to make much of a difference in most cases. Though sometimes they do have 50% bonus trade credit weeks or some similar promotion, and it’s always worth checking the trade value of your game on their website just in case.
Exclusive Gaming Offers
There isn’t much to worry about here. From what I’ve seen, most of the exclusive offers tend to involve early access to a sale or something like that. But since I’m primarily concerned with getting the best value in the long run and don’t need to be first, this really hasn’t been useful to me. It’s also still a perk for both the paid and free memberships, so I wasn’t expecting anything special.
Redeem Reward Certificates
This is something you should use if you shop at Best Buy for anything at all, regardless of where you plan to purchase your video games. Granted, you can take advantage of the reward certificates by joining the My Best Buy program for free and don’t necessarily need to bother with the Gamers Club or Gamers Club Unlocked, but it’s still a perk if you’re planning to purchase games here as well.
Reward certificates are Best Buy’s way of allowing you to redeem your Best Buy points that you earn whenever you make purchases either in their store or on their website. As a free member, you will receive 0.5 points for every dollar you spend which when converted to reward certificates comes out to $0.01 for every $1.00 spent, or 1% back.
You can increase the rate at which you get points by spending certain amounts of money within the calendar year to gain increased status for the following year. $1,500 spent will get you Elite Status (1 point/$0.02 for every $1.00) and $3,500 will get you Elite Plus Status (1.25 points/$0.025 for every $1.00). You can also increase the number of points you receive on certain game related items by joining Gamers Club Unlocked which I’ll talk about more below.
Once you have stocked up enough points, you can redeem reward certificates on your account and use them towards practically any purchase at Best Buy.
Points on Gaming Consoles
This is pretty self-explanatory, and a nice perk to get a little extra cash back if you are looking at purchasing a console from Best Buy.
Gamers Club Unlocked Exclusive Benefits
Now it’s time for the fun stuff, and ultimately the reasons I decided to sign up for My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked in the first place. Remember, signing up costs $30 and that will get you a two-year membership.
20% Off New Video Game Software
The 20% discount on new video games is hands down the best benefit that My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked has to offer. To start off, any new games, which are usually priced at $60, are now discounted to $48. That means you’re saving $12 every time you buy or pre-order a new game at full price before it goes on sale. If you do that at least three times a year, the membership would have already paid for itself, and remember this is a two-year membership.
Amazon also offers the same 20% off discount on new games and pre-orders but this benefit only lasts up until two weeks after the game has been released. With Gamers Club Unlocked, this discount isn’t limited to a release window, and it also applies to new games if they are on sale. So for example, if a $60 game has been out for a couple months and is on sale for $40, you’ll still get the 20% discount and that game will now cost you only $32. If you’re like me and you buy a lot of games, the savings can really start to add up.
10% Bonus Trade-In Credit on Video Game Software
This is a nice bonus if you ever do decide to trade in any games at Best Buy. Like I said previously, they don’t usually offer the best trade values, but if they are having a promotion week or maybe offering a good value for a certain game at that time, an extra 10% is a nice addition. Although, in my experience over the past two years, if I am not going to the effort to sell my old games on Craigslist, Gamestop usually offers the best trade values, especially if you trade them in during a promotion week. The only problem is then you’re stuck with Gamestop credit and games tend to be more expensive there.
10% Off Pre-Owned Video Games
I can’t speak a lot on this, as I don’t usually buy pre-owned games. Also, from what I have seen, Best Buy doesn’t pay as much attention to offering sales on used games, so if you are a bargain hunter and wait for a sale, a lot of times the new version will be discounted less than the used copy. And this is before applying the 20% discount which doesn’t apply to pre-owned games. Don’t get me wrong, 10% off is nice, but I’ve never had a reason to take advantage of it.
20% Off Video Game E-Guides
I have never purchased an e-guide for a video game and given the free guides available all over the internet, I don’t see this as much of a benefit.
2X Points on New Video Game Software, Digital Content, and Game Accessories
This is a great bonus, and if you are signing up for Gamers Club Unlocked, chances are that you are planning to buy most of your games at Best Buy to take advantage of the discount. Getting double points will get you more of those reward certificates much quicker.
Special Welcome Coupons (Single Use)
These coupons are usually just a discount off your purchase if you spend a certain amount or something similar. It’s a nice touch and can save you a little extra at the start of your membership, but they are only one-time use and you only get them right after you sign up.
Other Ways to Save at Best Buy
If you’re looking at signing up for Gamers Club Unlocked and are going to start purchasing things there, here some more tips to help you maximize your savings!
Price Match Guarantee
Best Buy’s price match policy has been one of the best in my experience over the past couple of years. They will price match every major retailer including online ones like Amazon for almost any item in their store. I have started buying a lot more things at my local Best Buy since I can just quickly pull up the Amazon price on my phone and do a price match to save the difference.
The only caveat to this policy is that it doesn’t stack with the 20% discount from Gamers Club Unlocked. So if you are purchasing a new video game, you can either do a price match or get the 20% discount but not both. In my experience, usually the price after the 20% discount wins out most of the time, but I have price matched a new video game on occasion due to a deep sale from Amazon or Gamestop.
Weekly and Daily Deals
Make sure to check Best Buy’s weekly online ad for their newest sales on video games. They release a new weekly ad every Sunday and it will have deals on discount pricing as well as any bonuses that are running that week. If you are an extreme bargain hunter, they also have a daily deals page that is updated every 24 hours. The items here will not always be video games, but when they are, they are usually at a really good discount. I’ve found a lot of great deals on games I was wanting in both the weekly and daily deals. And remember, you’ll get your extra 20% off the sale price as well!
Preorder $10 Reward Certificates
At certain times, Best Buy will offer $10 reward certificates if you preorder a specific game. While you can get this benefit with the basic free My Best Buy membership, you will save even more if you are also a member of Gamers Club Unlocked. For Gamers Club Unlocked members, if a game was priced at $60, you’ll get your 20% discount of course which brings it down to $48, but you’ll also receive a $10 reward certificate to use later. So technically, you’re only paying $38 for a brand new game and you don’t even have to wait for a sale!
I don’t want to condone preordering games, as there is hardly any reason to and waiting to see reviews is my usual plan. However, there are some games that I know I am going to purchase anyway and don’t need to see reviews first and if it is also on the list of games that get a $10 preorder certificate, I usually try to take advantage of that.
Best Buy Credit Card
Best Buy also offers a credit card which will give you 5% back in rewards points for every purchase you make at Best Buy in store or online. They also have a Best Buy Visa card which offers the same benefit but also includes some other cash back opportunities on purchases not at Best Buy similar to other credit cards. I don’t currently have either of these credit cards, but I have thought about applying for one this past year because I have started purchasing a lot more things at Best Buy lately.
If you didn’t notice by now after reading this review, I love My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked! Before signing up, I was always searching all over the place to find good sales here and there. I also would buy used games a lot more than I do now to save a little money. With the benefits and discounts from Gamers Club Unlocked, not only do I get to buy new games and open the plastic wrap every time which I love to do, I also don’t have to hunt as much for the best sale because it is usually at Best Buy anyway.
Now there are a few drawbacks to the membership, but it has more to do with what kind of gamer you are and where and how you like to play. If you primarily play on PC, you might be better off going with sales on Steam or other digital retailers as the PC market seems to still have much better digital sales than the console market.
Also, to get the full benefit of the discounts from Gamers Club Unlocked, you have to purchase physical media, so you won’t be able to get the 20% discount on a digital code. This might be a deal breaker for some, but I was already accustomed to buying most of my games in physical form on console anyway. For one, the sales are much better and happen more often due to the number of retailers. But also, it gives me the ability to sell the games I no longer want and get some or all of my money back!
So while My Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked might not be for everyone, it sure has saved me a lot of money over the past couple years! I hope this review has been informative and maybe helped you out if you were on the fence about whether the membership could help you save money on your video games.