Credit Cards Blog

Finance Blogs » Credit Cards » Gift cards for online games

Gift cards for online games

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

Have you seen Subway's new menu item? Game credits for Battlestar Galactica Online.

Well, almost.

Thanks to the creation of Openbucks, a gift card payment network, customers can buy gift cards from participating retailers and redeem them for online games.

The retailers include Subway, Circle K, CITGO, Hess and Sports Authority. After buying an Openbucks-enabled gift card, someone can use it  for online games by Bigpoint, World Golf Tour, Meez, Parallel Kingdom, G4Box, Roiworld, Aeria Games and Artix, among others.

It's simple to use. For example, if you want to buy new golf gear in World Golf Tour without a credit card, just enter the card number and PIN on the back of your Circle K gift card and the transaction is done.

Openbucks Co-founder and President Itamar Kandel expects the gift card payment method will appeal to the large portion of online gamers who don't have a credit card (read: the unbanked or teenagers) or don't feel comfortable inputting their account information online.

Who can blame them?

Earlier this year, hackers compromised personal and credit card information from more than 100 million Sony video game user accounts, one of the biggest data breaches ever.

Retailers like the system, Kandel says, because it drives more people to their stores and restaurants, which helps generate more sales in addition to the gift card. (Heck, while I'm here, I'll get a footlong.)

And the game companies benefit, too. Testing research shows that nearly three-quarters of people who made a purchase using Openbucks had never bought virtual goods before, while 45 percent became frequent users of online games.

Kandel says there's been talk of expanding the gift card payment network to beyond just online games and their digital products. He mentioned looking at subscription services such as Netflix, but there are no plans yet.

Openbucks launched this week and can be found at openbucks.com.

Would you rather pay by gift card for online games than by credit card? What other services would you like to see this used for?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

«
»
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
4 Comments
stephen
September 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm

wow that was a very fine one to look over that

Fred
September 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

What are the fees with the gift card?