GameStop has been in a tough place for a long time. The once-prominent retailer is massively in debt, and turnover at executive positions is high. Naturally, they’re looking for ways to save money and stay in business. Unfortunately, that’s going to come at a cost to their most loyal fans. The retailer just announced a revamp to their PowerUp Pro Rewards program, and it’s a downgrade for customers.
PowerUp Pro Rewards downgraded
With PowerUp Pro, customers pay a yearly fee in exchange for rewards, like bonuses on trade-ins. Previously, this subscription cost $14.99, but the price will soon increase to $19.99. Additionally, GameStop is changing up one of the most popular rewards. Pro members used to be able to get a 10% discount on used games and accessories. This is not included in the newly revamped version. Instead, customers get a monthly $5 coupon.
A coupon is nice, but it’s nothing compared to the discount. Customers could potentially save a lot more than $5 with a constant 10% discount. On top of that, these coupons do not roll over to the next month. Use it or lose it. For GameStop, this guarantees that customers will return and make a purchase every month. If not, they forfeit one of the rewards they pay for. At least the new deal still includes a 10% bonus on trade-ins.
This new version of PowerUp Pro is currently “in beta.” Eventually, it will become the standard. With an increase in price and a decrease in potential savings, I don’t see this going over well with most Pro members. It seems like a clear downgrade for those who make frequent purchases. Whether or not it’s a good financial move for the company remains to be seen.
Update: When this article was initially posted, I made the typo of saying “monthly fee” instead of “yearly fee.” Pro members only pay once per year, not once per month.
Update 2: GameStop PR Manager Michael Delgado has reached out to clarify some details. Delgado let us know that this new beta version of Pro will officially kick off on June 2 in 74 test stores. He clarified that GameStop’s objective is to “Create a stronger benefit that appeals broadly to all PowerUp Pro Rewards members.” The new $5 coupon can be used more broadly than the past reward of a 10% discount on used games and appliances. Delgado claims that according to GameStop’s consumer research, the new coupon is more popular than the old discount.