GameStop Pilots PowerUp Rewards Program

Retailer GameStop is in the process of testing a new customer-rewards program called PowerUp, meant to replace the similar GameStop Edge rewards program currently in place.

The new PowerUp Rewards program is currently being beta-tested in Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri, but GameStop plans to unleash the program on a nationwide basis in the next couple of months. There are also both free and $14.99 "Pro" versions of the PowerUp memberships, with the premium version offering more benefits like ten percent point-bonuses for purchases and trade-ins.

In a nutshell, points are awarded on a per-dollar basis. Members receive 10 points for each dollar spent on new games and consoles, and 20 points-per-dollar for buying pre-owned items, or trading in games or consoles. Point bonuses are also awarded for doing things like upgrading to the "Pro" membership.

Accumulating reward points is all well and good, but what can they be used for? According to the official PowerUp Rewards site, they can be redeemed for stuff like GameStop and iTunes gift cards, subscriptions to Xbox LIVE or Netflix, digital currency cards for all platforms, or codes to unlock unique in-game accessories. Furthermore, each purchase or trade-in made will automatically enter the customer into GameStop's raffle-like Epic Reward Giveaways program, where selected winners will get more extreme rewards like "one-of-a-kind trips," or "life-size statues."

Specific point values for rewards that can be redeemed aren't available yet on the official site, but Kotaku received unconfirmed clarification from an unnamed "GameStop lackey," who imparted the following information:

The rewards range from coupons for $5-$10 off purchases ranging from 4000 to 8000 points to even free Xbox 360 controllers or Turtle Beach X11 headsets for 40,000 points. Us employees get 4000 points to start off with, enough to purchase a $5 off a used game coupon or PS3 real triggers!
And there you have it. Extra point bonuses aside, buying $4,000 worth of new consoles and games just to get a free Xbox 360 controller might take the wind out of some folks' sails. Of course, you could always opt into the "Pro" PowerUp membership and only have to buy $3,600 in new merchandise for the same "reward."