Redeem an iTunes Gift Card
Did you get an iTunes gift card or three? My cousin just did too, but they didn’t want to buy music with the balance, they wanted iPhone apps, so naturally as the family Apple guy I get a text asking what to do. Here’s the thing to remember with iTunes gift cards: they can be redeemed for anything available on the iTunes Store, iOS App Store, or Mac App Store. This is why they make great gifts, someone can buy music, movies, TV shows, games, iPhone apps, iPad apps, Mac apps, whatever, all with an iTunes gift card, you just need to add it to your Apple ID. Here’s all three ways to do this:
Redeem an iTunes Gift Card through iTunes
This is the same whether you are on a Mac or PC, and in all versions of iTunes:
- Launch iTunes and click on ‘iTunes Store’ in the left hand sidebar
- Click on the “Redeem” button on the right hand side of the iTunes Store screen
- Enter the coupon code that is on the bottom of the gift card, it’s a randomized 16 character hexadecimal string looking something like this: XRXP RYPM YCQL 3K3K
- Click on “Redeem” and you will be asked for your Apple ID login and password, this is so you can add the gift card balance to your iTunes account
If you have another gift card to redeem, click on “Redeem Another” otherwise click on “Done” and you are free to browse the iTunes Store.
Redeem an iTunes Gift Card directly on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
In true post-PC fashion, you can also redeem codes directly on iOS hardware and never touch a computer:
- Tap on iTunes
- On the bottom of the iTunes screen tap on “Music” and scroll to the very bottom of the list (yes, tap onto Music even if you have no intention on buying music)
- Tap onto “Redeem” to bring up the code redemption screen
- Enter your iTunes gift card code and tap onto “Redeem” to add the gift card balance to your Apple ID (email address)
Again, it doesn’t matter if you redeem the code on your PC or an iPhone, it’ll still work elsewhere.
Redeem iTunes Gift Cards through the Mac App Store
This is basically the same as the iTunes method:
- Launch the Mac App Store
- From the “Featured” tab look on the right-hand side for “Redeem”
- You’ll be at the same redemption screen as you see in iTunes, so enter the gift card code and click on “Redeem”
As usual you can redeem more or just click done and be on your way.
Notes about iTunes Gift Cards
- iTunes gift cards work on the iTunes Store, iOS App Store, and Mac App Store
- You can add the gift card balance to your Apple account without spending it immediately
- Adding an iTunes gift card to iTunes will transfer to the iOS App Store and Mac App Store automatically, and vice versa, assuming you use the same Apple ID within iTunes, your iPhone, and the App Stores
- Despite the name, iTunes gift cards are not limited to iTunes or music purchases, you can also buy movies, TV shows, games, apps, etc
- If you are buying something worth more than the value of the gift card balance, your credit card will be charged the difference
- You can apply gift cards to iTunes accounts without credit cards, allowing for a simple budgeting method
You may have noticed that redeeming gift cards is the same as redeeming an App Store promo code for either iOS or Mac apps. The main difference is that the gift card is transferable, whereas the app promo codes are not (yet) interchangeable and must be applied to the App Store in which the intended app is hosted, if not you’ll get a weird error message.