I’m not that big into game streaming services, because I’m cheap, but I’ve noticed a number of deals for Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription floating around the web (and real world) lately. And after doing a little sleuthing, I discovered this fact: People have all sorts of crazy ways to get many months of an Xbox Game Pass subscription for very little cash.
Normally, the Xbox Game Pass subscription comes in three tiers:
- Console: $10/mo
- PC: $5/mo
- Ultimate (both console and PC): $15/mo
If you’re a PC gamer, or want to sample the Ultimate package, you can currently get started for a mere $1—for your first month, that is, before the pricing reverts over to the regular monthly cost.
Even better promotions you can take advantage of right now
Not bad, right? Let’s get crazier. As numerous outlets have reported, new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers could also buy many cheaper months of Xbox Live Gold—up to three years’ worth—combine that with the $1 promotion, and effectively get three years of Ultimate for a total of $181 instead of the $540 it would regularly cost, as Microsoft is happy to convert up to three years’ worth of Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
If that’s a bit much for you, you can try a simpler approach. As mentioned on Slickdeals, go hit up Taco Bell’s website and buy a $5 box. You’ll get a code for 14 free days of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Redeem the code, and you should also be prompted to turn on recurring billing to earn yourself an extra 30 days. Turn that on, get your bonus time, and then turn it off (if you don’t want to use the service after your trial runs out).
A Slickdeals poster also indicated that they were able to redeem multiple codes from separate Taco Bell orders, but I suspect they did this on new accounts—I doubt Microsoft would prompt you, to infinity, to sign up for recurring billing every time you redeem a new Taco Bell code, but if those $5 boxes are your thing, it doesn’t hurt to try.
But we’re not done. Start with the $1 offer, then try the Taco Bell+recurring billing combination, and you’ll be up to two months and two weeks of free time. Not too shabby.
Be on the lookout for even crazier retail promotions
If you were even craftier, and had a little time to make a bunch of dummy email addresses, you could have taken advantage of a Rockstar promotion a few months back that gave you a free week of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass via codes printed on the cans and on your receipt. And you could redeem two codes per account, and then upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate using the same trick as before—and, allegedly, Microsoft could merge all of your free weeks for each service together, giving you almost a month of playing time on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for buying one can of Rockstar.
With a mere 18 cans, and 18 accounts, this enterprising Slickdeals user was able to rack up 504 days of streaming time (plus two bonus months for $2 as part of a separate Microsoft deal). That’s easily more than $200 worth of gaming for a mere $21 or so—and a potential heart attack after you drink that many Rockstars in one gaming session.
When you see a deal, keep digging
If you’re ever considering signing up for Microsoft’s streaming service, there are typically a number of ways to score free months beyond even the company’s fairly generous “try it for a buck or two” offers. And if you see some promotion for free Xbox Game Pass time on some product at your supermarket, make a mental note to look that up later. Odds are good someone has found a way to break the system and score a lot of months on the cheap—something worth investigating, for sure, if you like saving money. Who doesn’t like saving money?