How Do Amazon Pre Order Points Work?

Amazon.com has, for at least a year, offered some pretty juicy pre-order promotions on video games. The best of those offers is usually a $20 credit, sometimes referred to as 200 “pre-order bonus points,” that you can apply to your next video game purchase. The bonus points are no different than video game credits, they have a cash value if applied to a video game purchase and they usually expire within a month. With each new pre-order, you’re teased with another $20 worth of bonus points (which you have to use within a monht or two).

It’s easy to see the appeal of these points. Consumers think they are getting $20 off each game when in reality they are simply getting $20 off every game except the first and they must continue buying games from Amazon.com. Good move right?

Imagine buying three games retailing at $60 a piece:

  1. Game 1 – Purchased for $60, gains $20 in credit
  2. Game 2 – Purchased for $40, gains $20 in credit
  3. Game 3 – Purchased for $40, gains $20 in credit

The total amount spent for three games is $140, or $40 less than if you purchased the games full price. The kicker is that you need to keep buying your games at Amazon.com to continue getting $20 off, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The tricky part involves the timing of the credits. Maybe you buy a game you wouldn’t otherwise have purchased because you wanted to use your $20 off in points? That’s where you have to appreciate the work of their promotions people. 🙂

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