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Xbox All Access: Everything you need to know for Xbox Series X and Series S

Xbox All Access offers a new way for players to buy into a console. Instead of shelling out $500 or $300 for an Xbox Series X or Series S, All Access allows you to pay for console over time, and without interest. Even better, it comes bundled with Microsoft’s excellent Game Pass Ultimate, offering more than 100 games right now with the promise of day-and-date first-party releases in the future.

Although the offer is focused on Microsoft’s next generation of consoles, Xbox All Access has been around since 2018, with bundles for the Xbox One X and Xbox One S showing up in U.S. retailers. The program has now expanded to 12 countries, and more are coming in 2021. It’s an attractive offer, but is Xbox All Access worth it? In this guide, we’re going to detail everything you need to know before the Xbox Series X and Series S launch this November.

What is Xbox All Access?

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Xbox All Access is a 24-month financing option for Xbox Series X, Series S, and Xbox One S. Instead of simply selling the console, All Access provides two years of Game Pass Ultimate in addition to the console you want, matching the financing time. The kicker: All Access doesn’t have any interest, additional fees, or installation charges. You simply pay the monthly price for 24 months, and the console is yours.

Before getting too deep, it’s important to reiterate that All Access is a financing option, not a subscription. In the U.S., Citizens One provides the financing on behalf of Microsoft. That means a few things. First, you’ll need to be legally able to apply for a line of credit in a participating country and pass a credit check. As is the case with all lending services, Citizens One doesn’t make it clear what determines eligibility, so the higher your credit score, the better. Additionally, if you’re approved, Citizens One will send you a bill each month asking for payment. If you’re late or miss payments, you’re subject to interest (more on that below).

With the credit bit out of the way, let’s get to why All Access is exciting: Game Pass. Series X and Series S consoles will ship with Game Pass Ultimate already installed, so all you need to do is plug in your new console, redeem the offer, and start playing. Game Pass Ultimate has over 100 games right now, including first-party offerings like Gears 5 and Wasteland 3as well as third-party games, such as Resident Evil 7. Even better, EA Play is bringing games like Titanfall 2 to Game Pass for free later this year, and Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media means we’ll probably see games from Bethesda, Arkane, and id Software, too.

All Access is available now for Xbox One S, with pre-orders live for Series X and Series S. Even after the November 10 launch of Microsoft’s next-gen consoles, you can still finance one through All Access.

How much is Xbox All Access?

  • Xbox Series X bundle: $34.99 per month for 24 months
  • Xbox Series S bundle: $24.99 per month for 24 months
  • Xbox One S bundle: $22.99 per month for 24 months

There are currently three Xbox All Access bundles available: Series X, Series S, and One S. The One S bundle is $22.99 per month and comes with the console and 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate. You can buy this bundle right now at participating retailers, and after 18 months, you can upgrade to a Series S or Series X (jump down below to learn more about that).

The Series X All Access bundle is $34.99 per monthly, while the Series S bundle is $24.99 per month, and both come with 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate. The lineup is straightforward, and thankfully, that’s a good thing. There isn’t anything hidden when it comes to cost. You pay the subscription price for 24 months with 0% APR, so long as you make all of your payments on time. Furthermore, there’s no upfront cost, so you can pre-order the Xbox Series X and Series S now and not worry about paying until the console launches.

Upgrading a previous All Access subscription

If you’ve previously used All Access to buy an Xbox One X or Xbox One S, you can upgrade to one of the new consoles. There are some stipulations, however. Of course, you’ll need a current All Access subscription, and all of your payments must be current at the time of upgrade. You’ll also need to have paid the equivalent of 18 months on your current console ($413.82 for the current Xbox One S bundle). If you purchased an Xbox One X with All Access before December 31, 2019, you’ll only need the equivalent of 12 months of payment.

The unfortunate news is that you’ll need to send back your current console to upgrade to a Series S or Series X. At nearly the full purchase price, it’s a better idea to pay off your current All Access subscription rather than upgrading (you’ll recoup a decent amount of money by selling the console rather than sending it back, anyway). If an upgrade is what you’re after, though, you can check your eligibility.

Is Xbox All Access worth it?

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Xbox All Access is worth it, especially if you’re planning on subscribing to Game Pass for two years. If you’re just interested in a console, All Access is an option, but Game Pass is still included, meaning you could end up spending more for a console and service you don’t want.

Surprisingly, Xbox All Access is actually cheaper than buying a console and a Game Pass subscription outright. At $499 for the console and $14.99 per month for Game Pass Ultimate, the Xbox Series X bundle — if purchased separately — clocks in at $858.76. The All Access bundle, on the other hand, comes in at $839.76 after two years. There’s nothing special going on here. Simply put, buying Xbox All Access saves you around $20 regardless of the payment plan with Xbox Series X.

You’ll see savings with the Xbox Series S, too. Separately, the total price for 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate and the Series S is $658.76. The $24.99 per month All Access bundle totals $599.76 after two years. All Access is a strictly better option for both consoles, but that’s only if you factor in Game Pass. The only constant between the two bundles is the $359.76 you’ll pay for Game Pass over two years. That’s still handled monthly, of course, so for anyone interested in a console and Game Pass, All Access is a steal. If you don’t want Game Pass, though, you’ll end up spending over $300 extra for your console, regardless if you go with a Series X or Series S.

The Xbox One S bundle is still available now, but it’s hard to recommend. Although the Xbox One S is the same price as the Series S — and the All Access One S bundle is $3 cheaper per month — you can often find Microsoft’s last-generation console at a fraction of the asking price. Looking on the secondhand market in late 2020, we found consoles going between $150 and $200. The price will continue to drop as Series X and Series S consoles start making the rounds.

Where to buy Xbox All Access

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Xbox All Access is available in 12 countries at participating retailers. Microsoft plans on adding retailers in more countries throughout 2021, but for the Series X and Series S launch, the list of participating countries and retailers is set. Here’s all of them:

  • Australia at Telstra
  • Canada at EB Games
  • Denmark at Elgiganten
  • Finland at Gigantti
  • France at FNAC
  • New Zealand at Spark
  • Norway at Elkjøp
  • Poland at Media Expert
  • South Korea at SK Telecom
  • Sweden at Elgiganten
  • UK at GAME and Smyths Toys
  • United States at Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Microsoft Store, and Walmart

At the time of writing, the Xbox Series X and Series S All Access bundles are sold out at all participating U.S. retailers. However, there should be more pre-orders available before launch. You can find the landing pages for each of the U.S. retailers below.

Miscellaneous terms

In addition to the major talking points above, there are a few other things you should know before signing up for Xbox All Access.

All Access provides financing, not a subscription

We’ve pointed it out numerous times in this guide, but it’s worth pointing out again. Xbox All Access provides financing, not a subscription. In the same way you’d enter into a smartphone contract, you’re legally obligated to pay off the balance each month for 24 months. All Access is a generous offer, but you shouldn’t take it lightly.

You’ll be charged interest if you don’t pay All Access off

Each month, Citizens One will send you a bill for your All Access bundle. As long as you make all of your payments on time, you’re in the clear. However, if you miss two consecutive payments, interest will start accumulating at up to 29.99% APR. Similarly, you’ll be subject to interest if your balance isn’t paid off in full at the end of the term, even if you never missed two consecutive payments. You can find the full terms here.

Returns are a little tricky

When you buy a console through Xbox All Access, you own it and the Game Pass Ultimate membership outright. That means you have the same limited warranty that you’d get if you just bought the console. Microsoft offers a one-year limited warranty on the console itself and a 90-day warranty on the controller and accessories. If you’re having problems, you can send your console in for repair, but you’re still required to make monthly payments toward your All Access balance, even while your console is being repaired.

If you want to return your console, you can within the first 30 days (or less, depending on the retailer you purchase the console from). Once you return your console, assuming you’re eligible, Citizens One will send you a check for the amount you’ve paid in. If you don’t use that line of credit to make any other purchases, Citizens One will close your account “usually” within 90 days, according to Microsoft.

You can’t cancel Game Pass Ultimate

Game Pass Ultimate comes with every All Access bundle as an offer pre-loaded on the console. Because of that, you can’t cancel your subscription to reduce your monthly payment. Once you redeem the Game Pass Ultimate offer, you’ll have 24 months of access loaded onto your account, and you can’t offload that time. It’s all or nothing.

You get to keep the console

As mentioned, you’re buying a console and a subscription to Game Pass Ultimate outright when you purchase an All Access bundle, so you can keep the console after you’ve finished paying off your balance.

What happens if I already have Game Pass Ultimate?

Xbox All Access comes with 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate, and Game Pass Ultimate memberships are limited to 36 months at a time. If you’re already subscribed to Game Pass Ultimate, you can wait to redeem the membership offered through Xbox All Access until you have 12 months or less remaining. You’ll be asked during console setup to activate your membership, but you can do it later through the settings screen (however that may look on the Series X and Series S).

Things are little more complicated if you have a current Xbox Live Gold or standard Xbox Game Pass membership. When you redeem the 24-month code, any remaining days on Live or standard Game Pass will be converted at a ratio of three to one and added on top of the 24 months included with all access, up to the 36-month limit.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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