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on September 9, 2008
To sum it up quick, this is the best deal you can purchase for Xbox Live.

Here is a quick breakdown:
1 month via Microsoft = $7.99 = $7.99/month
3 months via Microsoft = $19.99 = $6.66/month
12 months via Microsoft = $49.99 = $4.17/month
12+1 months via Amazon = $45.00 = $3.46/month

This card comes with THIRTEEN (13) months of Xbox Live for cheaper than directly from Xbox. I fully recommend purchasing Live via Amazon, but the choice is yours.
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on August 29, 2008
I spent quite a bit of time reading the reviews for this Gold Card. The single biggest problem I read about was how people needed to scratch off the back of the card to access the 25-digit code needed to activat it. If a person scratched too hard, the code became unreadable and the card was no good. There was supposibly no way retrieve the numbers once they were illegible. When my card arrived, I was expecting to have to go through this process. But to my plesant surprise, all I had to do was PEEL BACK a piece of perferated strip from the back of the card. No scratching involved at all. Maybe due to so many complaints, they decided to fix the problem and make it easier. Who knows, but at least I did not distroy the card or scratch so hard the numbers became unreadable.

Another concern I had was WHEN to use this card. I only used about 1 week of my "Free One Month Gold Membership" that came with my new X-Box 360. Should I risk renewing now and possibly loosing my remaining 3 "free" weeks included in my month long trial? Or should I wait until the free month is almost over and use my card then? I have read that if you let your month expire, all the stuff you have accumilated on that user profile is gone. You will have to start over from scratch. I decided to take a chance and use my card the next day. After I followed the simple instruction on my card, and entered the 25-digit code on my 360, I got an email from the email address I used to register with. It stated that I had extened my memberhsip until October 15 of 2009. Since my origional membership WOULD HAVE expired on September 15, and the card I purchased was for 13 Months, that would put me at October 15, 2009. So for anybody who is worried that the Gold Membership will not let your trial month "run out" before it activates, dont worry about it. You wont loose any time. It will run concurrently with your free month, or any membership you already have, before it activates.

The only other complaint I have seen in regards to this card is how long it takes to recieve it from Amazon. This I cannot really help with because I use Amazon Prime. I spend enough money with Amazon, and do enough of my shopping through them, that Amazon Prime is just about the only way to go for me. Expecially since I live in a rural area and do not have alot of the electronic stores or discount outlets you would normally find in larger cities. I can tell you this: It took me 4 days to get my card. Normally Amazon Prime has everything at my doorstep within 2 days. I was not too worried becasue I still had 3 weeks left on my trial membership. But if I did NOT use Amazon Prime, or if I only had a couple days left before my membership expired, I might have considered purchasing it locally for the extra money. So my advice is to either buy early and expect the longer than usual delays, or go Prime and get it within 4 days.

With the price of this card being about 10 dollars cheaper then Wal-Mart, and also giving you the extra month for free, this card is definately worth the money. ANYBODY who already has Amazon Prime would be a fool to buy this card at the store. If you DONT have Prime, and your membership will expire soon, maybe it would be better to get it at your local store and eat the difference in price. But for me and MY experience, I could not have asked for a easier time. That is why I am giving this review 5 Gold Stars. I hope this review helps.
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on March 31, 2008
To start with, I am thirteen years old and own both a 360 and an Xbox Live subscription. Having said this I obviously have acquired quite a bit of experience in the community of Xbox Live.
For those of you who don't know, Xbox Live is the online community of the Xbox and Xbox 360. You can do several things via Xbox live or just Live for short. The main factor of Live is the ability to game with people from around the world. For example in games such as the ever popular Halo 3, there is a feature known as matchmaking, in which a player selects the type of game they would like to play, and then the Halo server finds other players who also would like to play that game and allows you to join their match. Thus far the Xbox has the best online service available out of the three gaming consoles this generation. The other two gaming consoles have this feature free, but it can be said that it is a fair compromise to pay for Live as it it the best service around.

Other features can be found on Live that allow social networking and communications such as an instant messaging system and voice chat among other things. For those parents who are buying this subscription for their kids you should be warned that gamers on Live are very frequently quite vulgar and often offensive in what they say over voice chat that is automatically enabled in some games. Revisiting the ever popular Halo 3, in matches with players from around the world you are allowed to talk to and hear your teammates. This being said if you were to do something unfavorable to your team in a match it is possible and very probable that you would be berated and insulted by your teammates. There are fortunately options for parental control that limit voice chat, messaging, time spent playing, things that can be viewed, etc. which can prove very helpful to parents who do not want their kids exposed to that kind of environment.

Taking into consideration both the gaming and networking aspects of Xbox live I would have to conclude that if you own a 360 and do not have Live, There is quite a bit of content that you are missing that can endlessly advance the gaming experience many gamers are looking for. Online capability is simply a must have this generation and Live is the 'cream of the crop'. In my opinion this is fifty dollars well spent as it will provide countless hours of fun and double the content of and game you buy that utilizes Live. In my experience this is a good investment as without Live I would have no one to play with once I beat a game and thus I would probably spend fifty to sixty more dollars on a brand new one after I beat the previous game. With Live after I beat a game I will spend at least two more months with it honing my skills in the multiplayer online modes before I thought about which game I might want to try next.

bottom line: If you have a 360 you should get Live, and this is one of the best ways to go. Also note a headset for voice chat would be good if you don't already have one.

after this review still unsure about whether or not Live is for you?
Most (I would say all but I would hate to mislead anyone if I am mistaken) Xbox 360s come with a free one month trial that you may not know about. To access this go to the 'sign up for Xbox live' button on the dashboard (main interface) of the 360. After you fill out a form you should be asked if you want to use your free 1 month trial, select yes then try it our for a month... see if you don't agree with me.
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on November 27, 2008
Some of the negative reviews complain about scratching too hard and losing the code and therefore their money. Those reviews are for an older generation of this card; the one I got (11/2008) has a tear-off piece of paper to reveal the code. Entering the code online was a snap.

I got the gold membership because it enhances my NetFlix subscription. The new Netflix/Xbox Gold feature lets users of both watch (most) Netflix instant streaming movies on their Xbox. The video quality has so far been excellent (even on the large screen); better than what I've seen on laptops. I'm looking forward to HD streaming but none of the 300 (so far) titles had any appeal to me.

Update: Turns out Netflix allows unlimited streaming for most of its plans. Their $8.99 plan gives one DVD at a time and unlimited streaming via PC and/or XBox. Streaming experiences have so far been excellent.
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on January 13, 2008
On a whim, I decided to look on Amazon for this, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a few dollars cheaper on Amazon. Granted, I would need to wait for it to arrive in the mail, but since Microsoft gives a one-month advance warning before one's Xbox Live membership expires, that was not an issue.
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on March 6, 2008
After ordering this online xbox card I waited 2-3 days patiently. Upon arrival I giddily activated my xbox live gold account with the information found on the back of the card. Simple enough right? Well, that when everything went down hill. I didn't stop playing Halo 3 online. Then I got playing other games like Gears of War and Rainbow Six Las Vegas. I go to work 8 hours a day and instead of socializing after work I immediately boot up the 360 and go to town on it. It is now all I do and I have no friends. It is all due to this product. Purchase if you don't already have friends or are looking to rid yourself of others.
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on December 14, 2007
I am adding this review to say - when we received the XBOX LIVE card there was no sratching involved, the code was visible. Also one reviewer said the card expired in a couple months - ours will expire in 18 months so we have no complaints. Seems like a great deal to me. It's 13 months as others have mentioned.
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on February 15, 2007
It costs more to sign up online on Xbox Live than to buy this card and signing up online only gives you 12 months instead of 13. That doesn't make any sense to me but it's a good deal!
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on April 26, 2008
When you buy this card, you get an extra month. That's 13 months for a great price.

Xbox Live is the leading service as far as online experiences on gaming consoles is concerned.

There are tons of arcade games you can purchase and download, movies to rent, tv episodes to buy (both past series and present).

Xbox Live gives you worldwide leaderboards on almost every single Xbox 360 game available when you are connected to live. You can chat with friends too.

This item is worth it and makes a great gift for any Xbox 360 gamer.
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on June 25, 2009
since everyone pretty much listed the pro's and con's of this product i just want to warn you that be aware of who you are buying from on here for this product. for example, the newly launched seller XBLIVE is selling this for the cheapest price of $39.99 and in his comments he states that he will "EMAIL" the code on the back to you upon receipt of payment...heres a couple problems with this: for one, he charges $4.49 for shipping (wtf, how can you charge nearly $5 for an email, because he wont send you the product he will just email you the product code from the back for you to enter in) emails are free buddy! secondly, he is a newly/recently launched seller with no feedback i would be very cautious with buying from someone who doesn't have feedback or ratings. thirdly, beware of the other sellers here to they mark there product down tons and then charge you crazy shipping like $8 for something that simply as thick as a piece of paper...thats BS! and last but not least, if you pay more the $40.00 after tax and shipping for this then please hit me up because i can tell you where to get it for $40.00 out the door (and no i dont work for best buy, gamestop, gamecrazy, target, walmart and etc) im in the military and im just a concerned buyer like the rest
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