We wanted to put together an all in one resource on how to go out and find your next game purchase at the lowest price, for PC & console. The below guide covers the best deal site aggregators which let you search across multiple vendors and we also cover the best cash back rewards programs that you can leverage without any kind of credit card signup or formal card cash back program. You’d be surprised, sometimes you can get 8% back on a $300 purchase, which is $24 extra dollars back for doing nothing.
The reason why is that it’s just easy to buy the game directly off of Steam or your console’s storefront. You search for the title and pay whatever they’re asking for. The problem is that with just a little bit of effort, you can find the game likely way cheaper. Then, on top of that, with a browser add-on or phone app, snag some serious cash back on the purchase.
This compendium contains all sorts of advice and we recommend reading it all. It might seem like a lot, but it’s important to go into a hobby with lots of knowledge. Especially if you’re accustomed to purchasing mostly in-person where it’s easier to see what you’re getting. Online it’s much harder when buying, because it’s harder to see exactly what you’re getting via photos. Scratches don’t show. Rips in plastic are harder to see. Creases in cardboard can be covered with a flash. Protect yourself and learn as much as you can before you start spending your cash.
Disclaimers / Warnings / Advice
Beware of Fraud: The below sites often list third party sellers who may not be selling game keys directly from the publishers/developers or they may be listing third party sellers on sites like eBay which connects you with another person out there with the item who will ship it to you. Be very cautious about what sites you’re dealing with, their reputation and how they work before purchasing anything.
Privacy Advice: Any program that offers you cash back for purchasing something is likely doing so by exchanging your data for money. Be aware that they may use your data in whatever ways they wish (in accordance with the law) and you have to be cool with that to use their plugins / cash back programs.
Payment Advice: Make sure to always pay with payment methods that allows for disputes. If purchasing anything, paying through something like PayPal or Amazon Pay will allow you to have the ability to dispute the purchase if anything goes sour. Never pay someone with the “friends & family” option or something like Cash App / Zelle / Venmo because you may not have the ability to dispute the purchase. Consider options for how to pull your money back if an exchange goes upside down anytime you pay used.
Paying with Debit Cards: This is a big no no if engaging with any payment platform that’s not a trusted payment platform. Shopify sites are actually pretty legit in regards to not being able to steal any info or do anything malicious, but if a site isn’t say Amazon, Walmart, Target, GameStop, eBay, etc. you’re going to want to use a credit card if possible.
Credit card disputes involve credit on a credit line, not your actual money. Whereas with a debit card, your actual money is held up if you dispute it while the dispute is resolved. Do note if you use something like PayPal and dispute the card charge and not dispute through the actual service, you may be banned from that service.
If you don’t have a credit card, it might be good to have a secondary debit account for online purchases like through something like Chime, Cash App, Venmo, etc. where they give you a debit card and you can transfer as much money as you plan to spend into it. That way if a ner’do’well gets your information, they only have access to that account. This is especially true for anywhere that’s not a major retailer or website like Amazon or eBay.
Retro Replicas: The retro game market with any cartridge based system (NES, SNES, GameBoy, DS, 3DS, Sega Genesis, etc.) are all flooded with replica game carts. A good listing should include the actual PCB board or close-ups of the game’s pins, otherwise you could be purchasing a replica game. Replicas of game boxes are also common now as well.
Check out our guide to collecting games to find some tips on dealing with replicas and fakes on the market.
Best Deal Sites / Deal Aggregators for Video Games Tier List
S Tier: gg.deals
gg.deals is the best aggregator right now that I’ve found. Most games on any major gaming site is going to be on the site and the lowest across Steam, Humble Bundle, etc. is going to be listed. While primarily focused on PC, you won’t find a better price likely outside of what gg.deals lists.
A Tier: pricecharting.com, Google Shopping & Google
PriceCharting is great for giving you a taste of the price on the secondary market (and links to go search) along with prices in the first party market. It’s a great site to go if a game is older or a previous generation to go hunt it down at the best prices.
Google Shopping does a great job of listing not only major retailers, but lesser known sites as well and gives you reviews.
B Tier: Checking every online retailer.
Go to eBay, Amazon, GameStop, Walmart, Target, etc. and search your game. This works well if you’re wanting to do local pickup. Be sure to consider calling your local smaller game stores to see if they can order it for you or have a copy on the cheap used if you live in a larger urban area with small video game stores.
C Tier: Anything Else
There’s sites like isthereanydeal and psprices but they’re just not as good as anything else listed. Between gg.deals, pricecharting and Google you should be able to find the lowest price for any video game.
Cash Back Rewards Programs
There’s two big players in the cash back rewards programs that work well for video game sites. We will go into the two programs below, but there of course exists other ways to get cash back. You can use a cash back credit or debit card. There’s also using a store’s own card (like with Gamestop) and getting a percent off your purchase automatically.
(The below links are the site’s referral links. We get something if you sign up. Though, you get something too. Just want to be up front and honest on that.)
Rakuten: Rakuten has a mobile app and browser plugin that provides a flat cash back rate when you shop. They pay out quarterly and likely the best of the two (Rakuten vs. Honey) because they work at Gamestop and eBay. Those are some sites you’ll likely frequent, so a good deal in the long run. You get $30 just for signing up and making a purchase, which isn’t hard since Rakuten covers a lot of retailers. Payments come via PayPal or check every quarter, but they are very quick to verify when you shop somewhere.
I like their browser add-on better than Honey for cash back, but nowhere near as much for coupons.
Honey: Honey works similar to Rakuten in that you get cash back for shopping at stores and works at GameStop. The pros here is that it has a very awesome coupon browser plugin thing that’s just top notch. Any retailer that has a coupon is likely going to be in their app and it makes trying all the coupons super easy.
I find they don’t pay out as much as Rakuten does and you can only get gift cards. Honey also, at least in the browser plugin, will often give you a % off gift card option that’s nice. For instance, a $100 purchase at GameStop might be $88 if you buy a $100 gift card from Honey, plus the cash back on top of that.
Honey also rocks for coupons, just absolutely rocks. Especially for non-gaming related things like pizza.
Cash App Card
Cash App Card Rewards: Often, Playstation Network & Xbox is featured in the Cash App card rewards, giving you 15% or more back on PSN titles. A worthy mention to save some cash off your next PS4/PS5 purchase!
I use both, but hey you do you. If you use the browser extensions on PC make sure to “activate” the one that’s giving you the highest percent back.
Be careful of holiday sales, including buy two get one free sales. They can be misleading because the prices for games included in that sale may revert to MSRP then, immediately after the sale, go back to like 75% off. So if games before/after the sale were $30, $40 and $20 ($90) and then during the sale they are $50 $60 $60 ($120) then you can end up paying more. Sites like pricecharting and addons like Honey are great for tracking historical prices.
Local stores may price differently than online. You can often find games in clearance sections or priced lower than the website.
Games often launch at MSRP but quickly go down in price once the initial rush to obtain the game is over. This is truer for some titles more than others. Any first party Nintendo game will not depreciate in price for years, but first party Microsoft games will rather quickly.
Local Game Stores
This is a heated topic, but let’s be super fair here, small businesses always range from wonderful to abysmal and there’s a spectrum of experiences reported here. In towns with a lot of shops you’ll usually find one better than another, so do your research. Look them up on Google Reviews & Yelp and bring your cellphone. Never pay more than eBay prices for an item in-person. Never, just buy it off of eBay. Don’t ever let a store just find the price on eBay’s “listed” section, make them give it to you at least at sold, if not less.
Don’t forget you can haggle usually too. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can get something at market price. The worst they can do is say no.
That draws our guide to a close. We hope the information was informative and helpful. Remember to stay safe while shopping, find the best deals and shop smart!