During Microsoft’s E3 2019 presentation, the company announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a new offering that combines Xbox Game Pass (for both Xbox One and PC) and the Xbox One’s online service, Xbox Live Gold.
An introductory offer brings the first month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate down to $1. It will cost $14.99/month after that, or $44.99 quarterly. But, notably, current Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscribers can upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate for $1, with any remaining months on those subscriptions getting upgraded as well. That means if you just bought a 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can pay $1 to change that over to 13 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Because Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass are both cheaper than Game Pass Ultimate, in theory someone could buy up a bunch of credits, up to the 36 month limit, and convert them to the new program. Folks all over the internet (including some news outlets) have been suggesting as much since the E3 announcement. Microsoft has now blessed the move with an official blog post.
Calling it a “lifehack”, Xbox Wire editor in chief Will Tuttle suggests extending your Xbox Live Gold subscription before picking up the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal. Of course, he explains how to do so through Microsoft, but you can save a bit more by picking up a discounted Game Pass or Live Gold subscription from a third-party retailer. Amazon Digital Services usually knocks a few bucks off subscriptions (a 6-month Live Gold subscription is $5 off right now) and you can sometimes even find discounted cards at your local grocery store.
Microsoft hasn’t indicated how long this deal will last, but you could even set a price tracker alert for Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold deals if you want to truly “hack” the system.