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What is Xbox All Access and should I use it?

An illustration for an article titled Xbox All Access is deeply confusing, but I think I understand

Image: Microsoft / Xbox

Xbox Full Access is relative a new program from Microsoft that allows you to make monthly payments on a new console within two years. It started in 2018, after the release of Xbox One and returns again for the next generation of consoles. If you’ve ever made monthly payments with a new phone, a deep toothbrush, or a Disneyland annual card, then you probably already have a good idea of ​​how this works.

But only if you are financing something for the first time: when you make your purchase, select the Xbox All Access option when paying and you will be automatically enrolled in the program. (Which also requires opening a credit line with Citizens One if you don’t already have one.) If you receive an Xbox Series S, your monthly payments will be $ 25 per month. The Xbox Series X will be $ 35 a month.

Both plans include Xbox Game Pass Ultimatewhich gives users access to Xbox games on PC and Android via Project xCloud and Xbox Live Gold and EA Game subscriptions without additional costs. Separately, both subscriptions cost $ 15 and $ 5 per month, respectively – or $ 30 per year for EA Play.

If you are signing up for the program for the first time, the monthly payments plus the Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play subscriptions make it a theft! In the end, you pay a little less than the MSRP of both models of the console and you get two free subscriptions that offer game discounts and make some games free for a certain period of time. This is a really good deal if you can fit your monthly payments into your budget!

An illustration for an article titled Xbox All Access is deeply confusing, but I think I understand

Illustration: Microsoft / Xbox

However, read the fine print. After two years of payment, the Xbox Series S or X is yours and you will have to pay for Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play separately. If you decide to use Xbox All Access again in the future, then you will need to return the S or X series if you want to upgrade and have not paid for it. The same goes for current Xbox owners who have previously funded these Xbox through the Xbox All Access program. If you have an old Xbox One X or S through the program and want to get the new X or S series, you will need to trade in this old console.

To be clear, this requirement only applies to current Xbox All Access members who wish to upgrade, but is something to consider in the future if you receive a Series S or X. In addition, full access to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play lasts only 24 months (two years), which is the entire duration of the payment plan.

Also – and this is the important part – the Xbox All Access FAQ says that you must “first meet the minimum payment requirement for your original Xbox All Access purchase” to receive your marketing kit, which is 18 months. If you purchased an Xbox One X with Xbox All Access before December 31, 2019, you will need to make at least 12 timely payments. If you’ve never paid for your Xbox One, but want to keep it, you’ll still have to pay for it plus make payments on the new console.

If you don’t care about your Xbox One, then cool! Trade away! My mentality is kind of old school when it comes to things I buy on credit: I want and expect to keep the thing once it pays off. That’s why I pay for my hardware, gadgets and games straight away and stay away from subscription programs if possible.

Amendment 9/20/20 4:33 PM ET: It turns out that Xbox One owners who have paid for their console in full under their Xbox All Access agreement do not have to send it back. (That’s good news!) According to the Terms and Conditions, Xbox One owners who currently have an Xbox All Access contract and want to upgrade will need to return their console if they want to be released from their contract. Otherwise, the user is still responsible for making payments on both consoles if there is an outstanding balance. This article has been updated to reflect this.

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