If u buy a GPU for example with game codes, get the games working, and then return the GPU, do they let u keep the games, or do they try and charge u for them? Does someone at the store have to notify the GPU maker and the game makers/etc that they should deactivate your game if get a full refund and so never really paid at all ?
You will find that the policies vary with each game host and with each card manufacturer. Steam may very well have a different policy for returns than epic game store does.
I received a Battlefield 4 game code free with purchase of an R9 280x video card and the game still works as normal in my origin account many years after returning the video card to the store I purchased it from.
AFAIK, they have no intention of either investigating game activation before accepting a return or deactivating games. Both scenarios are too demanding, logistically. They do tell you about the possibility of such because that in itself is deterrent enough for the vast majority of people. It's, probably, the best compromise.
The real answer is YES. I have bought and returned many GPUs while trying to find the correct one. Most from Microcenter. And have never been asked to give back the free game. Hell most of my game libraries are filled with "free with gpu purchase" games. Once you own them in steam or origins, they are yours. The retailer doesnt care.
Last time I bought a GPU with game codes on Newegg, they had a separate $50 line item for the free game, that amount being deducted from the price of the GPU. I assume that meant if I tried to return the GPU and had used the game codes I was out the cost of the game.