What You Need to Know about the GameStop Credit Card Before You Freak Out

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There’s been a lot of feelings swirling around the rumored GameStop credit card today. It’s an uncomfortable mixture of anger, panic, and scoff-tastic remarks on GameStop’s clawing business practices and unfair gaming deals. While I’ve had my fair share of pre-order pleas at my local GameStop register, I can’t say this credit card plan is outrageous in the grand scheme of retail credit deals.

Much of the panic revolves around the 26.99% APR. If you’re not clear on the workings of an Annual Percentage Rate, it’s a little more complicated and variable than those “Sally bought 10 watermelons for $10, at 5% interest…” questions we did in middle school. Bank of America has a nice summary of the process if you want to brush up.

Watermelon

Sally loves watermelon, but she’s not so good at calculating APR.

So, here’s the deal. Yes, the average APR for fixed rate credit cards holds at 13%, and 15.7% for variable rate cards (according to Bankrate). Citing those numbers, unfortunately, is pretty misleading. Retail credit cards typically have a notably higher APR than standard bank cards. Here are some examples:

Best Buy credit card: 25.24%-27.99%

Victoria’s Secret credit card: 24.99%

Macy’s credit card: 24.50%

Even though GameStop’s offer is standard retail card rate, it’s worrying when people begin calculating bad scenarios of interest accumulation. Take this example, which has been popping up in social media:

“Lets say you use the card to buy one game at the retail price of $60, once a month for a year. That’ll cost you $720 in total, but it’ll also take you eight years to pay it off, and you’ll be forking out another, wait for it, $914 in interest.”

picard-facepalm

Who pays off video games over 8 years, and doesn’t expect massive interest?

To be fair, APR’s in the mid-20’s is typical for retailer cards. Nobody in their right mind should be charging often on them and paying the minimum for years at a rate like that. That kind of finance management would give you interest issues with most cards, retail or not. This scenario shouldn’t happen. Nobody should take on that much debt, for that long, if the resulting interest charge disgusts them.

That’s the point of the credit system, it’s a charge. You get to avoid payments, for a fee. Knowing your APR, you ought to balance your payments and fees to a point that is comfortable for you and your standards of credit costs. Is it unfair for the credit cost to run at 27%? Compared to other retailers, it doesn’t seem out of place.

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About Author

(Managing Editor)

You can call her Coone or Racoone. She's a molecular bio/philosophy double major who reverts to an embarrassingly thick redneck accent when she gets flustered. 60% League of Legends, 50% sarcasm, and 100% sure that philosophy majors can pull off inaccurate percentage calculations if they want.

  • MikeEaton

    A good rule of thumb that has served me well is to only use a credit card on something you can pay off in full by the next pay period.

    Great post!

  • GotNews4Ya

    I just pre-order my games months in advance, and come back once a week and put 5$ or so on the closest game to launch, until its paid off and keep doing it.. every week…

  • sociala9133

    I was going to get a GameStop credit card just because I shop there so often. Recently I decided to go with chase instead. The thing about the gamestop card that turned me off to it was the APR. It’s too high. I mean, even the card I get from my bank (not chase) is 10.25%. My chase one is 0% for 15 months and after that 18.99%. At least I think the chase card is better than the gamestop one… having a power up rewards pro card is enough from Gamestop.