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Twitch has become a cornerstone of internet life, particularly for gamers. It’s one of the most popular sites, and it’s where you can find everything from eSports to Let’s Plays and every kind of gaming experience in between 4 Games You Might Not Expect To Find On Twitch.tv 4 Games You Might Not Expect To Find On Twitch.tv There are certain games that you'd imagine are watched the most on Twitch: League of Legends, StarCraft II, Dota 2, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, etc. Though they may be the most popular, there... Read More . It’s even starting to grow beyond its gaming roots – you can now watch numerous artists working in real time Watch Artists Work In Real-Time on These 4 Twitch Channels Watch Artists Work In Real-Time on These 4 Twitch Channels One effective way to learn digital art is watching live experts draw and teach in real time. Did you know that Twitch.tv has a category dedicated to Creative Arts? Read More on Twitch’s Creative section.

While it is completely possible to use Twitch for free, the viewer who wants to have more benefits and support streamers they like may want to make some monetary transactions on Twitch. So here’s a complete primer on how Twitch subs work and how you pay for them.

What to Buy on Twitch

One thing you can pay for on Twitch is a Turbo subscription. Going Turbo means that you are exempted from ads (assuming you don’t already use an ad-blocker Why the Fight Back Against Ad-Blockers Should Matter to You Now Why the Fight Back Against Ad-Blockers Should Matter to You Now Ad-blocking has changed our browsing experience. The fightback by web publishers is changing it further. But if they defeat ad-blocking, what does it mean for the future of our Internet experience? Read More – which you shouldn’t), you have access to more emojis and a chat badge, as well as a few other perks. It’s a monthly subscription, and while some might not find these benefits to be worth the price, the lack of ads alone might be the greatest draw for some.

Twitch Going Turbo

But you can buy more than just an ad-free Twitch experience. Certain channels on Twitch – usually those with high followers, those linked to professional gaming companies or conventions, and those of YouTubers with high view counts – have a button next to the follow button that say “Subscribe $4.99” (or equivalent price, depending on which country you’re in).

To get a Subscribe button, the streamer must apply for a partnership with Twitch, and they have a high bar for entry. In order to even qualify, the streamer must have a consistent viewership of at least 500 people per stream, or have around 100,000 subs on YouTube. Twitch keeps a share of the revenue that partnered streamers make, so the rationale behind this (one assumes) is that streamers with such clout are more likely to have a high number of paying viewers and thus will generate more revenue for Twitch.

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How to Buy Things on Twitch

Twitch is partnered with two different services that are designed to give you more options in paying for both your Twitch Turbo subscription and Twitch channel subscriptions: Xsolla and Paygarden. Paying for something on Twitch might be one of the most hassle-free online transactions you ever have, provided you know what’s going on.

Having said that, there are some caveats to purchases on Twitch, some of which you might not know about unless you’d thoroughly read the FAQs and Terms of Services for all of these companies. Fortunately, I’ve done that so you don’t have to!

Twitch Payment Sections

The payment apparatus on Twitch is Xsolla’s Paystation. You have the option of purchasing subscriptions for one month alone, or paying a lump sum for a subscription of several months. You choose from several methods of payment – including credit cards, Paypal, bitcoin, and plenty of others.

For most of your transactions on Twitch, it is as simple as this. If you don’t want to use one of these popular payment methods, though, there are other options.

No Credit Card? No Problem!

The payment software is all well and good, but suppose you don’t have a credit card or PayPal? Maybe you are one of the people who recognize the risks of online banking Is Online Banking Secure? 5 Risks That Should Worry You Is Online Banking Secure? 5 Risks That Should Worry You There's a lot to like about online banking. It's convenient, can simplify your life, you might even get better savings rates. But is online banking as safe and secure as it should be? Read More and want to reduce the possibility of a security breach. Xsolla also supports a number of alternatives to PayPal, which will make it easier for international users in countries where PayPal isn’t the preferred online banking solution.

But suppose you don’t have a PayPal or PayPal-like account, or you are too young to have one. Good news: You can still pay for a Turbo subscription or support your favorite streamers, as long as you can get your hands on one of several brands of gift card.

Twitch More Payment Methods

Paygarden, the second partner that handles the Twitch transactions, allows you to make payments on Twitch using gift cards. While you can only use cards from a list of approved retailers, the sheer number of companies on the list make it very likely you’ll be able to get hold of one. This is a good alternative for people who don’t want to directly link their Twitch account to a credit card or PayPal account.

Payment Troubles

For all its apparent ease of use, the Twitch payment model can be a little obtuse and Twitch is not very forthcoming on how it works. For example, they have a processing fee on the subscription charge that will only show up after you’ve already entered your payment information.

Twitch Fees Added

One of the biggest problems you are likely to encounter is that the price for subscribing is sometimes not the price given in the button. Aside from the aforementioned fee, and depending on where you live, you could be charged a Value Added Tax, or VAT. These are not insubstantial additions, and could put you over your intended amount.

When you use a gift card to pay for a Twitch subscription, then either Xsolla or Paygarden – it’s not clear which – are required to take the entirety of the card for use as Twitch credits. That means that, if you use a gift card on Twitch, you cannot use it anywhere else.

Also, Paygarden charges a fee for using a gift card that is separate from any tax fees. There isn’t any way to calculate the fee, as the formula for it is not listed anywhere on their website. In order to ensure you are able to pay the fee and complete your purchase, get a card that’s worth about $5 more than what you plan to spend.

“There are gift card network fees associated with PayGarden’s balance reclaiming service that result in prices that are different than credit card prices.” — PayGarden FAQ

Another problem, albeit not as apparent, is that it is currently impossible to change your method of payment. If you want to pay for your next month with, for example, a different credit card, then you must cancel the subscription, and manually resubscribe from your Subscriptions dashboard in order to make the change.

Be Safe and Have Fun!

Treat your Twitch transactions with the same caution and discretion that you would any other online store and that should be enough to keep you safe and secure. If you want to stream on Twitch yourself, here are some tools you can use to run your channel Run a Better Twitch Stream With These Tools Run a Better Twitch Stream With These Tools Twitch channels rarely grow popular by accident. Far more often, fame and attention are the result of long hours, innovative ideas, and tireless dedication to making quality content. Read More . If you want to get started with your subscriptions, here are several excellent streamers 7 Twitch Streamers To Watch If eSports Aren't Your Thing 7 Twitch Streamers To Watch If eSports Aren't Your Thing If you don't like eSports and you've written off Twitch as "not for you," it's time to reconsider. These entertaining Twitch streamers aren't associated with eSports in any way. Read More to get you started.

Have you ever had any problems subscribing to a Twitch channel, or paying for a Twitch Turbo subscription? How do you think the Twitch payment system could be improved? Let us know in the comment section below!

  1. Grot
    August 7, 2016 at 4:22 am

    @Red: Thumbs up !

  2. Red
    August 4, 2016 at 2:21 am

    "assuming you don’t already use an ad-blocker – which you shouldn’t"

    This makes me cringe, don't be ignorant and advise people not to use add blockers. there are plenty of malicious click bait adds as well as hidden clickable objects that are malicious and you should be protecting yourself or anyone on your computer from them.

    In fact i DO ADVISE everyone to get an add blocker, if the concern is supporting the sites you visit then you should know that plenty of legit websites can detect the add blocker and will have messages advising you either to: pause it, turn it off or make an exemption for said domain.

    p.s. i made a stupid login for this site just to inform you how ignorant that 1 comment is

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