Gaming isn’t a cheap form of entertainment. Consoles are hundreds of dollars and new games aren’t exactly easy on the wallet, either. What’s a gamer to do? By researching a little and being patient, there are ways to get your game on for cheap or nearly free.

Xbox Rewards Program

You have to pay for Xbox Live Gold, but what if you got Microsoft points for renewing your subscription? That’s what the new Xbox Rewards program does. It started in December and already I’ve racked up hundreds of points. I don’t do much except take surveys or buy things through the Marketplace that I would have anyway. It’s important to keep checking the Rewards website often, as there are monthly deals and fun things like trivia where you can win points. These precious points can be used to buy games from the Marketplace. The downfall is it takes about a month or more for the points to be deposited into your account and it happens only after you reach 100 points.


I know what games I want to buy, so why bother renting? Then I gave GameFly a try and realized there are more benefits then just renting games. After three months of being a member, you get a $5.00 credit every three months. You can double up the credits too. Being a member for over a year, I still get the credit plus 10% off every used game.

My favorite feature is ‘keep’. If I’m renting a game and love it, I usually get the option to keep it. The games are then super cheap. I’ve kept Dead Rising 2 for about $25.00 shortly after its release. I’ve spent a measly $8.00 on Saints Row 2, thanks to my credits and percentage off discount. Sometimes it can take three or more days for the rental to be delivered. Be patient, the rewards are worth the wait.


Normally, I’m against pre-ordering since each retailer dangles a different in-game bonus in front of gamers. If you don’t care about bonuses, then you should check online retailers like and Amazon. They offer ecards and credits towards future purchases. I pre-ordered Halo: Reach from Walmart and got a $20.00 ecard. While you have to pay full price, the credit can be used on another game. If you’re worried about getting the order on time, Amazon and other websites have a street date guarantee.

Besides the old standbys of trading in or waiting for the price to come down, gamers now have more options then ever. When it comes to big game releases, if you have some patience, you can find good deals.