When it comes to buying your favorite PC or Mac games, look no further than Steam. And when they have their seasonal sales, you can buy games at steep discounts – or purchase bundles.
Steam has changed the way people purchase video games, and you can buy Steam gift cards for your friends, family or keep them for yourself.
But you can also save money when you buy Steam gift cards online.
Steam has the highest prices, but other online retailers have either: secured cards that people don’t want to buy, or they brokered a deal with Steam to offer their gift cards at a reduced rate. We see this happen a lot with iTunes gift cards and others.
Why You Want to Buy Steam Gift Cards
Steam is a marketplace for games, but they also offer software and other items, including hardware. When you redeem Steam gift cards, you’ll find that you can use your card for anything on the site:
There are no restrictions on what you can purchase on the site. Steam offers digital gift cards as well as physical gift cards.
You can choose which card is best for you.
Keep in mind that you’ll be able to purchase games for all of your favorite operating systems:
If anyone plays games on their computer, a Steam gift card is a good choice. The gamer will have access to all of the latest games, and these games can be added to their steam library which can be accessed on any computer.
It’s a much more reasonable option compared to lugging around a bunch of games on DVDs or an external drive.
Saving Money on Your Gift Card Purchase
When you purchase a gift card, it’s a 1:1 ratio. What this means is that for every $1 you spend, the card will supply a $1 credit. If you’re going to spend $50 on a Steam gift card, you’ll be able to purchase $50 worth of games.
There are no hidden fees like what we see with those Visa gift cards that charge you $5 to activate or purchase.
And while Steam may be the most secure place to buy your card, it’s definitely not the cheapest.
Like I was saying earlier, you can buy Steam gift cards for a lot cheaper through other outlets. Retailers will provide you with discounted gift cards.
I like to try and see how much the global version cards cost.
Steam Gift Card Global versions allow you to redeem your gift card on any account. There are no country restrictions, and this means that you might be able to save a lot of money on your purchase. Currency rates are different around the world, so you might be able to purchase €50 worth of gift cards for $55, which is still cheaper than retail cost.
It also makes buying Steam gift cards fun.
You can save a lot of money this way, and since Steam Wallet codes often don’t have country restrictions, you’re able to redeem them worldwide.
Note: There are always exceptions to the rule, and Asia is this exception. Some cards issued in Asia may only be redeemable in Asia, so you need to be careful when purchasing cards from this region.
Steam Wallet gift cards are often your best choice because they can be redeemed in a different currency. If you purchase one of these global codes for a friend in Canada, it will work. A friend in Europe will also be able to use these codes, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Beware of Scams and Phishing Sites
One of the key most important things is to try and avoid being scammed. No one wants to be scammed when buying items online, but it happens every single day. If you’re going to redeem Steam gift cards and realize that something’s wrong, you’ll have little recourse to get your money back.
What are the key scams people are running right now?
[list_item]Virtual currency exchanges. A lot of sites are popping up and offering to provide Steam cards, among a few others, in exchange for digital currency. For example, you may be able to trade 500,000 gold in World of Warcraft for a gift card. The problem is that these scammers have no intention of actually providing you with a gift card. Instead, they’ll ask for your payment first and then leave you in limbo.[/list_item]
[list_item]Spam emails offering gift cards. Email is still a leading way for scammers to phish your information and steal your money. Why? People continue to fall for these scams, especially older people. If you received an email offering a really steep discount on a Steam gift card, you’ll want to be very cautious when proceeding with your purchase. Oftentimes, these are scams (unless you knowingly signed up for the company’s mailing list), and the person will steal all of your payment information. This is one of the leading methods of identity theft, so steer clear of any email offering massive discounts on anything.[/list_item]
[list_item]Social media or Skype. Imagine that you’re sitting on Skype or Facebook waiting for a friend to come on that you want to talk to, and all of a sudden someone messages you offering cheap gift cards. This may seem like an opportune time to save money, but you’re falling for a scam. No legitimate company is going to go around spam messaging potential clients on these platforms.[/list_item]
Common sense will help you avoid many of the scams you face when you buy Steam gift cards online.
But these aren’t the only places to buy Steam gift cards.
We’re also finding consumers going out and actively hunting down potential discounts on two main platforms:
And while there are definitely a few attractive deals available, you’ll come across a lot of deals that are too good to be true. For example, a common tactic used on Craigslist involves people offering steep discounts because:
[list_item]Hey, we’re moving and can really use the money, so we’re selling our $50 Steam gift card for $10.[/list_item]
[list_item]My computer broke, so I am selling off all of my cards for 50% off of their retail value.[/list_item]
We have seen every reason in the book, but I would say that 99% of them are false. People won’t purchase a gift card for $50 and sell it for $10 – it doesn’t make sense. They know that these cards hold their value, so a general rule of thumb is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Unreadable or Damaged Steam Wallet Code
Now, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some scammers, or so they think they’re scammers, will provide you with a code that is damaged or unreadable. The person hasn’t done their own due diligence, so they think that you won’t actually be able to redeem the code.
Well, this isn’t the case.
When you purchase a Steam Wallet code, and you receive the actual physical code and it’s unreadable, you do have options directly from Steam that will help.
Steam Support will help you redeem your code, and all that you have to do is take a photo of the code and attach it to your ticket.
Afterwards, support will do their best to make sense of the damaged code and help you redeem your funds.
I have come across a lot of people who try selling these damaged codes on Facebook, and what they’re not realizing is that the code may actually work if you contact support.
So, it’s a neat way to “con” a scammer.
Adding Funds to Your Account on Steam
Steam makes it as easy as possible to redeem your gift card, and this means adding money right into your Steam Wallet. I am going to assume that you have the Steam client, and this is the easiest method of redeeming your code.
Now, you’re going to want to launch your client and sign into your Steam account.
This will take a few seconds, especially if you have to update the client. Once your client has launched, you’ll want to navigate to the Games menu at the top of the client. Now, you’ll click on the menu and see a drop-down menu.
The menu will have an option to redeem your Steam Wallet codes.
Using Steam Wallet Funds
I want to make note that your Steam Wallet is a little different than, say, using a gift card at the mall. When you add these funds to your account, you’ll have a balance that you’ll be able to use for your next purchase.
But the funds in the account are going to be used directly for your next purchase(s).
Let’s just say that you’ve added $100 to your account, and now you’re going to purchase Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for $49.99. Well, you’ll notice that the funds come directly from your wallet for this purchase.
You won’t have the option of using another payment method for your purchase until all of your funds have been depleted.
This forces you to use your Wallet balance, even if you don’t want to for some reason. Personally, I have never viewed this as a bad thing, but it’s something that you do need to consider if you’re planning on accruing a large balance before using it for your purchase.
Errors Can Occur Sometimes
Steam isn’t perfect, so you may come across issues when redeeming your Steam gift cards. One issue is that you’ll add your funds to your account, and for some reason, the right amount of funds isn’t being reflected in your balance.
There are times when this can happen because the database hasn’t been properly updated or a caching issue has occurred.
For this reason, Steam recommends that you wait for two hours to see if the issue persists. If it has been an issue for two hours or more, you’ll want to do the following:
[list_item]Log into your email account to make sure that you purchased the right amount. It’s easy to purchase a $5 code thinking it’s $50 if you’re in a rush.[/list_item]
[list_item]Check your Steam purchase receipt to make sure that the amount of currency matches.[/list_item]
[list_item]Check to make sure you’re logged into the account that is listed on the receipt. It’s not uncommon to log into the wrong account and redeem funds.[/list_item]
[list_item]Restart your client and see if the funds are correct now.[/list_item]
If none of this works, contact Steam’s support, and they will help you through all of these issues. While they may seem like a really big deal right now, Steam has impeccable support which will be able to help you through all of these issues quickly.
Keep in mind that when you redeem a code that is in a different currency, there will be a currency calculator available. This calculator will show you how the conversion will work for your code, so the £10 code you have may be converted into $15 (or whatever the current currency exchange rate may be).
This can definitely play into your favor if there has been a major spike in currency rates.
But don’t make your purchase based on the potential for a currency swing.
If you have redeemed your funds, please make note that you will not be able to move these funds to another account or withdraw them. You’re pretty much stuck with the funds once they’ve been redeemed.
Steam gift cards are a great choice for any gamer in your life, or for yourself if you want to add funds to your Steam Wallet. When you redeem your gift card, it’s fast and easy to make purchases on the Steam store and start downloading your new game in minutes.
Saving a little money in the process is great. Many online retailers will have these gift cards for cheaper than their face value, so you’ll get even more for your money.