Xbox Teams With Mastercard to Unveil First Credit Card 

XBox Credit Card

Microsoft-owned gaming platform Xbox is debuting its first co-branded credit card in the U.S.

The Barclays-issued Mastercard, announced Monday (Sept. 11), will be available on Sept. 21 exclusively to qualified Xbox Insiders across the country before becoming open to the general public in the U.S. starting next year.

“We’ve heard feedback from the Xbox community that they want more ways to get value for their purchases,” said Dave McCarthy, corporate vice president for Xbox Player Services. “We’re excited to partner with Barclays and Mastercard to expand the ways Xbox players can earn rewards for gaming.”

According to a news release, the card comes with a variety of perks, like three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for users who make their first purchase within 180 days of opening their account, and 3X card points on certain streaming platforms and dining delivery services.

As noted here last week, reward programs “have become a significant factor influencing consumer behavior, with many individuals opting for specific payment methods that allow them to earn points or rewards for online purchases and bill payments.” 

According to “New Payment Options: The Lure of Payment Method Rewards, a PYMNTS-Nuvei report, credit cards remain the clear favorite among payment methods for earning reward points, with 69% of consumers using these cards when making online purchases to collect rewards, and 68% selecting them them for recurring bill payments. 

Meanwhile, a lack of rewards is something that deters some consumers from using debit cards. About 38% of consumers said they do not use debit cards for recurring bill payments because this method doesn’t let them earn rewards, while 35% did the same for online purchases. 

“Credit card users, however, experience a lower percentage of these problems, with only 20% choosing not to do so for similar reasons,” PYMNTS wrote.

In addition, the data indicates that while consumers have come to expect the chance to earn rewards when using credit cards, this expectation is not found as often among users of alternative payment methods. 

Additional PYMNTS intelligence finds that inflation has driven up credit card use among consumers, according to a report released last month.

“Leading this surge in credit card dependence are high-spending revolvers — consumers who pay more than 40% of their total expenses by credit card and who always or usually carry a revolving balance between statements, per the report,” PYMNTS said. “Of that group, nearly half increased the share of expenses allocated to credit cards in the last six months.”