on August 23, 2011
I decided to purchase one of these when my current subscription expired. It took a matter of minutes, and I was logged back on to my Live account. It was also about $10-12 cheaper than it would've been if I went to my local big box store (not to mention gas and time). Here are the steps that I took:
1. Purchased it on Amazon.com
2. Checked my e-mail to retrieve my Xbox Live Code immediately after purchase.
3. Logged onto my account on xbox.com, and put the Xbox Live Code in. (Or enter the code on the Xbox 360 dashboard.)
4. Turned on my 360 and viola! Instantaneous access.
I plan on purchasing this again when my current subscription is up. It's a total no brainer.
on December 19, 2006
To start off, I'd like to say that X-Box Live is amazing and worth every penny. Online gaming is incredibly fun and quite a good way to pass time.
That aside, there are downsides to X-Box Live that can be avoided through prepaid cards. Number one, you always run the risk that unwarranted transactions will be made if your credit card information is stored on your X-Box 360 system. It may not happen all that often, but it's best to avoid it all together.
The biggest reason to buy prepaid Xbox Live card is the renewal process that happens when you don't use one. If you order X-Box Live through your system, it'll renew every time your subscription runs out. This wouldn't be a problem except that it's not that easy to cancel. Instead of canceling through your system, you have to go through the hassle of actually calling X-Box Live support. Even then, depending on the representative you get, you may be hassled to keep your subscription because they really don't want you to cancel it. I'm guessing that's part of their job to convince you to keep it, but it still is frustrating to the person that is trying to cancel it.
You'll have to go through this process every time you want to cancel if you don't use a prepaid card. Is that hassle really worth it? I don't think so. Therefore, avoid all of the problems by simply buying a prepaid card. You won't be sorry.
UPDATE: (3/6/2011): I updated this review about a year ago pointing out that you could disable the subscription on X-Box Live's website. As of this update, they've taken that feature away again. I'm guessing Microsoft must have seen a major increase on people who canceled their subscription, thus now forcing you to call their customer service hot-line again to cancel. Even if they add it back, just save yourself the hassle and get a prepaid card. You never have to worry about dealing with customer service that will try their hardest to get you to stay on as a recurring customer. Amazon also gives great deals throughout the year. You could save yourself $20 to $30 sometimes just by checking to see if Amazon has these prepaid cards on sale. What's not to love about that?
on January 7, 2014
My kid needed this to go on line and kill zombies. Who am I to stop my kid from saving the world.
I purchased a 12 month Xbox Live Gold membership for the first time on Amazon a couple years ago and I love the convenience. I typically use the "Online Game Code" option which provides you with a code you enter on your Xbox or within your Xbox Live account. This allows me to make the purchase and basically instantly redeem the code on my Xbox Live account. It's great if you need to quickly start, reactivate or extend membership without waiting for a physical card to arrive in the mail or without needing to run to the store to buy one. I also like using these prepaid cards or codes to pay for Xbox Live over paying with a credit card or debit card. If you pay with a credit/debit card Microsoft typically automatically renews it when your subscription is up. As a single dad I may not always have the required funds where they need to be when that happens. I don't like surprises and the associated fees that come with them. ;) I prefer not having a credit card linked to my Xbox anyway because it helps prevent fraud and the kids can't "accidentally" purchase something.
WHICH MEMBERSHIP LENGTH SHOULD YOU PURCHASE?
Xbox Live membership pre-paid cards/codes are available in 3 month, 12 month or 24 month subscriptions. I typically buy the 12 month and I'll explain why in a minute.
The 3 months option is good if you're on a tight budget or if you're not sure you'll like Xbox Live. I typically avoid the 3 month option because it costs you much more in the long run. If you pay for 12 months of Xbox Live using the 3 month option at $24.99 you'll pay $99.96 for a year of Xbox Live. For 3 cents more you could have purchased a two year subscription card! (Currently $99.99 That's crazy!
I purchase the 12 month subscription because I know we'll want. . . no NEED . . . Xbox Live all year in our household. The 12 month card saves me money over a monthly Credit Card billed subscription or the 3 month options. In fact if you're patient, I know at least the 12 month memberships go on sale from time to time. I think I scored my first one on Amazon for $39.99 which is about $20 off the normal price.
If you've got extra cash burning a hole in your pocket you can also pony up the dough for a 24 month Xbox Live Gold membership and take advantage of the discount it offers. I'm a bit too cheap and try to hold our household to too much of a budget to justify buying the $99.99 24 month subscription card/code. It does save about $20 vs. buying two 12 month cards but the $19.99 it currently saves me isn't enough to justify the expense. If your'e lucky enough to find these Xbox Live Gold membership cards/codes on sale you can always buy and redeem multiples. You can add them at any time and Microsoft allows you to stack them. I believe you can redeem up to 3 years worth of Xbox Live Gold membership credits on your account at any one time.
Since many parents/grandparents/adults may be considering buying this as a gift they might have questions. The information below should be helpful in these cases. If you're not new to Xbox Live Gold, just skip the rest of this review!
WHAT THE HECK IS XBOX LIVE GOLD?:
To any parents, grandparents, adults and gamers that don't know what Xbox Live Gold is: it's basically an extra service that allows video game players to play with other players via the internet. Most of today's games are made to be enjoyed by playing them with and against other players online. The days where you sit on the couch and play with 1-2 other people are pretty much gone. The sad truth is to get the most of their video games, Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamers need Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live also allows players to access other features like online video etc but the main focus and benefit is online multiplayer gaming.
A word of caution: Parents, adults, guardians. PLEASE monitor what your kids are doing. Just like you shouldn't turn your impressionable child loose on the internet without any supervision or guidance, you shouldn't turn them loose on Xbox Live. People can chat and interact with each other via Xbox Multiplayer games, messages and more. Many games allow players to create their own emblems, logos etc. It should be no surprise that many people (adults and children) can't behave themselves. Online interactions on Xbox Live Gold are largely out of the control of Xbox and the game developers. There are rules governing the actions of players online, but for the most part things are on the honor system. Things ARE moderated to a certain extent but for the most part any disciplinary action is reactionary and comes long after violations of the Xbox Live terms of service. For example, if they receive enough complaints, Microsoft/Xbox will take action against anyone who is acting inappropriately. Unfortunately this action is typically taken long after your child has been exposed to language or images you didn't want them to be exposed to. Just know if your child plays online multiplayer games they WILL eventually hear adult language and sometimes worse. If you aren't comfortable with this do NOT let them use Xbox Live Gold. You can supervise your child, change settings to reduce risks slightly, but in the end you can't control what other players say or do.
on November 22, 2015
Normally I would not 'review' a Membership card but this one bears a closer look. Literally. Not because it
did not work. On the contrary, it worked perfectly. It is because it is from, or for, another country. I find that
funny because on this web page it says, "This item is not eligible for international shipping". Simple irony.
Except for the X-Box logo, name, and the word 'GOLD' on the face of the paper package most everything
else, that is in white and green, is NOT in English. There is a white overlay sticker on the section that has
restrictions, directions, system requirements, etc.; also the added bar code sticker is in English. (The bar
code and number were obscured by the reviewer.)
I think it was important to mention since some of you may be getting them and may not want to use them
for fear they won't work. The card worked as promised on my son's old X-Box 360. It has been about 4
days now and there have been no problems of any sort.
So you can take a peek at the photos I've uploaded for your own amusement and be 99.9% assured that
your foreign X-Box Gold card will work in spite of the foreign language. Aren't we just the bon vivant.
So 5 Stars for the foreign Gold card that worked as promised even if they promised in another language!
Update April 2016: Absolutely no problems in the past few months of use.
on December 25, 2015
Absolutely astounded. Purchased this for my son for Christmas. Card arrived intact with no visible signs of tampering; however he is unable to use as card is showing as invalid. Someone has perpetrated fraud at my expense. Too bad this system will not allow negative stars.
on March 13, 2015
So, after buying a Xbox one my two week trial of Xbox live I needed to renew my subscription. I saw this item, and for $40 for a year long subscription that's a savings of $20. I thought I'd spring for the deal. However, after receiving the package something was off, there was a foreign text under the English text. It looked unfamiliar so I was skeptical, but after contacting Microsoft they said it would work so low and behold I got a 12month renewal for 40 dollars! Awesome deal.
on February 27, 2015
Code would not work; re-entered numerous times, and it was never accepted. Foreign language on outside cover of card-- definitely a waste of money.
on November 10, 2015
I am really upset with this purchase... I bought it thinking I would have a code to type in and there is nothing... So pissed right now. I want my money back or give me my code..
on December 1, 2015
OK, I may update this after I hear back from the seller, but as of right now I am ticked. Ticked. Ticked. I ordered 2 xbox live gold cards to go into my 2 sons' Christmas stockings. After reading a LOT of the reviews and the Q&As, I decided to order my cards from this seller because although the cards may be "international" and have other languages written on them along with English, they were in fact "actual cards" that have the scratch off codes on the back just like what we'd buy at the stores. But what did I receive? Two pieces of regular printer paper folded in half with typed info on them, placed inside one green xbox disc case. What!?! What happened to the actual cards I was supposed to recieve? I can't put these papers into my kids Christmas stockings. That's so cheesey. I am not a happy camper right now. On a positive note, they came faster than expected, but I was expecting "CARDS". What if my kids go to enter the codes on Christmas morning after setting up their new systems and someone made a type-o and the codes don't work because they were typed wrong? They are just typed codes on a piece of paper. UGH