What is a Steam Card Used For? Here's How to Level Up Your Steam Experience

Lindsay Hayes

Steam cards are gift cards that you can use to buy games, expansion packs, and a bunch of other items from the Steam store. Essentially, they give you credit that you can redeem into your Steam wallet.

I've been giving the gift cards away as presents for a while. I actually gave my little cousin a Steam gift card recently, but he didn't know what he could use it for. So, I broke it to him and thought about doing this for you too.


What Do You Do With a Steam Card?

You can do a bunch of different things with a Steam card. However, you'll have to redeem it in your account wallet first. Once done, you'll have credit that's equal to the amount that the gift card was worth.

Business Person Holding a Gift Card

Here's how you can redeem your card:

To use the credit, you will have to add whatever item you want to your cart, proceed with the payment like you normally would, and then choose the Steam Wallet option instead of a credit or debit card.

1. Games

In my opinion, the best thing that you can buy with a Steam gift card is games. This goes without saying, but you'll only be able to buy games that you have enough credit for.

Now Steam gift cards don't expire (and neither does the credit in your account wallet). So, when Steam games go on sale, you can snag a title that's more expensive if you're alright with waiting.

2. DLC Expansion Packs

If you can't find a game to buy, you can use your Steam card to buy an expansion pack. Basically, an expansion pack is an "added" layer that you can add to one of your games.

For instance, if you take the hit Steam game, Hollow Knight, you can pay $3 for an expansion that will let you fight all the bosses in an arena setting.

Once you've bought the expansion pack, you don't have to do anything to set it up. The game you bought it for would automatically be updated, and have the new added layer in it.

3. In Game Items

If there's a specific in-game item that you want, you can buy it with credit from your Steam gift card. Now, the specific process to do this depends on the title in question. So, you might have to check some tutorials out.

4. Gaming Hardware

Although you might not think it, you can use the credit from Steam wallet gift cards to buy gear, like the Steam Deck, and controllers for it. But as you can imagine, you'll need to collect quite a bit of digital gift cards to have enough credit to buy them.

How Do You Buy a Steam Wallet Gift Card?

There are 2 different ways that you can buy Steam wallet cards. You can either buy them physically, like from a store, or you can have them sent to you online.

Making an Online Purchase Using a Credit Card and Mobile

1. Retail Stores

When it comes to retail stores, you can pay them a visit and buy the cards over the counter, or order them online. The Steam support page makes finding these stores easy: it has a list of all the possible stores that sell gift cards near you.

Just make sure that you're buying the right card - they come in a few different values (can differ per region): $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100.

2. Digital Gift Card

Steam lets you buy digital cards from them directly. Once you've purchased your card, you can select the account that you would like it to be sent to. They can redeem it for credit once they've logged in.

Here's how you can buy digital Steam gift cards from the Steam site itself:

Can a Steam Card Be Converted to Cash?

No, you can not convert Steam cards to cash. They were specifically designed to be an alternative payment method for items on the Steam website.

Although you can't convert a Steam card into cash, you definitely can find marketplaces that will let you sell, or even trade the cards for real money. Just be cautious of who you choose, as you want to work with someone who won't scam you.

How Do Scamming Steam Cards Work?

There aren't any scams per-se, but more so users threatening and harassing others for gift cards.

Basically, someone will message another Steam user, like on Discord, or even on Steam itself, and threaten to hack them if they don't get them some Steam wallet codes. They especially target younger kids that are more gullible.

Person Working on Laptop While Holding a Card

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Final Thoughts

There are a bunch of different things that you can use Steam cards for, like purchasing games from the Steam platform, getting a hold of expansion packs, and buying in-game items.

Now, to use the gift cards, you have to redeem them for credit on your account's digital Steam wallet. You'll get the associated value in your wallet, that you can use for all kinds of things, as mentioned.

If you want to buy someone a Steam card, you can either gift it to them as a physical card, like from a store, or you can get them as digital gifts that you can transfer.

Hopefully, you found all of the points that were run through useful, and now know everything that you can use the Steam gift cards for.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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