Did you know that Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that started the Japanese company way back in 1958? The company has come a long way since marketing that first product, transitioning from everyday household products to one of the world’s largest entertainment and electronics businesses. Yet the most profitable division of Sony is its financial services, which brought in more than $1.5 billion in 2018. Based on our research, it is not certain that you can earn Sony Rewards Points from investing in Japanese real estate holdings. But for most of the company’s product lines, everything from movies to PlayStation games, you can rack up a considerable number of points that will let you get discounts and more. To get the maximum benefit from the Sony Rewards Program you will need to know as much as possible about it, so read on and get seriously acquainted with everything you need to know about the program.
Creating an Account
To start with, you will need to go online and create a Sony member account. You can do this by either going directly to their website or downloading and getting access through their mobile app. You will need a valid email address. Simply follow the prompts that are pretty basic, and be sure to click “Join” when your Sony account has been established and verified. Sony loves American PlayStation buyers so much that the Rewards Program is limited solely to the 50 United States. Guam and Puerto Rico are excluded. You also have to be at least 13 years old to participate.
Once you have set up your Sony account you will want to keep your account profile up to date. This includes your communication preferences so you don’t miss out on any current offers and promotions. Your credit card information is accessed separately, so if you need to change your payment information you will need to make sure you call the phone number that is on the back of your PlayStation card. Now let’s move on to the serious business of accumulating and using those all-important Sony Rewards Points.
Carrying Your Card
You will want to always carry your Sony card with you to be ready to take advantage of every opportunity to add Rewards Points. If you are going to the movies you might have the chance to add points there. If you are still buying DVDs you can get rewarded for buying Sony brand movies by checking the inside of the package for special codes that you can register the purchased movies with online. Finally, there is the easiest and best way to earn Rewards Points – by gaming on PlayStation. There are opportunities while you are out shopping or just with friends where you can earn as many as 5 times the number of points with your Sony or PlayStation card.
Every dollar you spend using your Sony or PlayStation card will earn you one Reward Point. If you go to a specific Sony authorized store you can earn as many as 4 points per dollar spent, but you will have to be sure to fill out the Bonus Points form in your My Account section. Use your preferred search engine to find the nearest Sony store near you. Customers who buy products from a PlayStation store will earn and additional 5x bonus, which will be reflected in your next Sony card statement cycle.
Here is an important thing to know as you rack up those Rewards Points. No Rewards Points will be given when you purchase digital codes at a PlayStation store. But there is a way around this, and Sony actually tells you how! Simply buy PlayStation (PSN) cash codes at any retail location, then redeem them at the PlayStation store.
How to Use Your Points
Now that you have hundreds or even thousands of points in your Sony account, the next step is to show you how to use them. The first thing to know is to pay close attention to two specific sections: Steals and Deals, and ShowStoppers. Steals and Deals is pretty obvious, as here is where you will find deals that have a limited time to buy, stamped with an expiration date. The offers in Steals and Deals change on a regular basis, so you will want to stop by there when you have a lot of points you want to spend. ShowStoppers is a much different category of products. Browsing around ShowStoppers will reveal the opportunity for what Sony calls “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences. The second part of ShowStoppers offers a number of unique collectibles for fans of movies, that special PlayStation game, of even a new technology product.
Everything else that you can use your Rewards Points on can be found in the online Sony Rewards catalog. If you find yourself a little short of points when checking out, you can buy the difference for a penny a point.
What gets a little complicated is when, or if, your Sony Rewards Points expire. There are two things you need to keep in mind when you have a bank full of Rewards Points to use. The first is that you must remain an active member for a continuing 18 month period. As an example, say you open your account and make your first purchase on January 1, 2019. If you do nothing else for the next 18 months, you will have to use those points by June 30, 2020 otherwise you will lose them. But if you perform what Sony calls an “activity” such as buying something from the PlayStation store or redeeming points, then your 18 month cycle activity cycle starts all over. Making a purchase in March, 2019 will extend that cycle to September, 2020.
Then there is the 5 year level, at which point you will lose Rewards Points earned regardless whether you are an active member or not. Let’s use that January 1, 2019 date again. Any points you earned on purchases made on January 1st will expire on January 1, 2024 regardless of whether you remain active or not. If you buy something from a Sony store on March 1, 2019, those points will expire on March 1, 2024 whether you are an active member or not.
It is not likely that you will let 5 years pass without drawing your Reward Points account down to zero – unless you are under 23. (Yes, this is a random number, but you can pick your own.) The points may be important to you when you are a teenager or a college student, but when life starts catching up with you, priorities change. Your significant other may require you spend more time with them than your PlayStation – a difficult choice, true. What is important to remember is that those Reward Points are the result of having spent money for Sony stuff, so losing them is like throwing money away. Even if you will not use them yourself, find someone who will appreciate them and cash in before Sony does.
Additional Ways to Earn Points
Sony has developed a feature called Passes, which give you the opportunity to earn Reward Points by completing Challenges using your PlayStation card. Completing a Challenge opens the door to earning a Pass, which then leads to adding more points to your account. The best thing about Passes is that you can unlock them just by doing the normal things you do every day with your Sony PlayStation. All you have to do is keep track of the new Challenges and Passes that become available on your PlayStation card. One critical point here is that if you are outside of the United States using your PlayStation Card to accumulate Passes, it won’t work. A quirky rule is that you must be in one of the 50 United States to use Challenges and Passes.
Sony has taken these Passes to a whole new level. There is the Triple Feature Pass, which requires you to rent three movies from the PlayStation Store. There doesn’t seem to be a requirement that you actually watch them, so if you rent a bad movie you still get credit. The Trail Blazer Pass requires a bit more from you. You will have to start a free trial of all of the following Sony services: PlayStation Vue, Spotify on PlayStation Music Trial, PlayStation Now, and PlayStation Plus. Because it is a free trial it is really not costing you anything, so the idea is that you might see something you like and become a paid subscriber. This seems like a win-win for both you and Sony.
Speaking of subscribing to new services, another Pass is the Entertainment Trifecta. Yes, this is the one that actually requires you to subscribe to 3 of the 4 services on this list: PlayStation Vue, Spotify on PlayStation Music Trial, PlayStation Now, and PlayStation Plus. Of course, the amount you have to spend in real dollars is increasing, but if you notice the number of Reward Points you are earning is also increasing. As we mentioned earlier, the bottom line for Reward Points is that you spend a dollar and you get a Reward Point.
To earn the Digital Movie Pass rewards you need to buy 3 digital download movies from the PlayStation Store with a minimum value of $9.99 each. They must be digital downloads, though as was true with the Triple Feature Pass there is no requirement that you watch or keep them.
Finally, there is the Movie Buff Pass. This for people who prefer the physical medium movie over the streaming or digital download options. You need to register 5 movies at the Sony Store to unlock the Pass. If you have already registered Sony movies at the PlayStation Store they are not eligible to count towards unlocking this Pass.
Benefits of a Sony or PlayStation Card
Having a Sony or PlayStation Store card has huge benefits, especially if you are already a PlayStation user and have been for many years. The company has worked hard to give owners of Sony merchandise in the United States a return on their Sony investment. But this is not the only way Sony continues to try and keep its customers happy.
One example is from last year, when in October it separated itself from using the Facebook login, requiring every Sony and PlayStation card holder to create a new login. For those who have not been keeping up with the latest problems of data breaches, Sony had its own bad experience with it a few years ago. Facebook has more recently been under scrutiny of the government for compromising member information that was allegedly used to influence the American elections of 2016. Sony sealed its end of the problem, while Facebook’s troubles are ongoing. For Sony users, the small inconvenience of having to create a new login, the company took a major step in maximizing its customers’ security.
As perfect as all this sounds, Sony has had to deal with at least one recent problem that is tarnishing the reputation of its Rewards Program. Sony recently teamed up with Capital One to create the Capital One PlayStation Store credit card. Unfortunately it has resulted in more problems than solutions. While teaming up with a major bank sounds like a great idea, new users of the card are complaining that they aren’t getting the promised Reward Points added to their account. Capital One has been less than responsive about the issue, making no small number of users very unhappy.
We would like to say this is “everything” you want to know about the Sony Rewards Program, but it’s not. One reason is obvious: the company continues to change the program to benefit its users to protect their privacy, while also creating new offers to allow its customers to maximize their benefit of being a Sony or PlayStation Store card holder. The fact that Sony has a specific package of benefits that targets people who live in the United States speaks volumes about the value they place on each American customer. Every Sony card holder needs to keep abreast of the changes to the Rewards Program as it continues to evolve.
Written by Bill Vix
Read more posts by Bill Vix