Now TF2 is free to play, and until you buy something from the Mann Co. store, you'll get some amount of nagging every time you login.


(There's one for every class. If you wondered why there's random class models when launching TF2 now, this is the reason.)

Now, the problem with buying from the store is you can only do it via the Steam Wallet, which can only be refurbished in multiples of $5 (5€).

Conversely, many items have 0.74/0.99/1.49/3.74 and the such prices.

How can you get premium without leaving any money in the wallet, by spending exactly a multiple of $5 (€5)?

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    Have you considered not spending all of it on the store? Credit left can be used to pay for games, even partially as far as I know. (Aka you have to pay the normal price minus what you have left in the steam wallet.) If you plan to do this, I'd either recommend buying an item you really want to have (and can't get via achievements) or the cheapest one, which is a bonk I think. – CruelCow Jun 27 '11 at 11:12
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    Which you can use for other things – RvdK Jun 27 '11 at 11:17
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    Oh, also, you don't need multiples of €5 to add to Steam Wallet. €5 is just the minimum to add. When ever you attempt to buy anything and are missing more than €5 of that sum from your Wallet, you'll get a link to a store page where you can add that exact amount to your Steam Wallet. – DJ Pirtu Jun 27 '11 at 12:04
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    How often do these prices change? Seems like this question is too localized. – bwarner Jun 27 '11 at 13:25
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    xkcd.com/287 – Nick T Jun 28 '11 at 0:35

It's not necessary. Although the minimum amount you can add to the Steam Wallet is $5/5€, the remaining money past the purchase price will stay in your Steam Wallet.

You can use it as part of the payment the next time you buy a game from Steam.

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Here's one such combination for us Europeans:

  • 2× 0.39€ item (e.g. kritzkrieg and backburner)
  • 1× 0.74€ item (e.g. a map stamp, comes with free hat!)
  • 1× 1.49€ item (e.g. the pyro glove hat)
  • 1× 1.99€ item (e.g. a key)

Total: € 5.00 precisely for three hats, a key and a couple oddities.

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  • Are these things you cannot get by achievements or drops? The combination would be better for such items. – juan Jun 27 '11 at 13:24
  • @Juan - the kritzkrieg and backburner are achievement items. – Raven Dreamer Jun 27 '11 at 16:34
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    I re read my sentence, and it isn't clear. I meant that it would be better to have a list that maximizes rare (not acquirable by achievements) items. – juan Jun 27 '11 at 17:06
  • @Juan I don't think there's any for €0.39; that said map stamps and keys can't be uncrated or dropped. Same with the map stamp hat and the Mann Co. hat. – badp Jun 27 '11 at 17:58

I find it best to buy two keys and bite the 2 cents. While I wouldn't recommend using the keys, people will trade an arm and a leg for them, so it should get you some good items right off the bat. Just have to wait a day or two until they're tradable.

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    Despite being a very old answer, this one is nowawadays the best possible thing to do. With the prices of Keys sky high and items at an all time low, you can trade a key for 8+ low to medium tier normal hats, not including stranges. – Shadow Z. Feb 19 '15 at 20:23

It is not necessary to add money to the Steam Wallet first. When you check out in the Mann Co. Store, you will be prompted to add exactly enough money to complete the purchase.

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