Did you get an iTunes Gift Card for Christmas this year? Cool. There’s a lot you can do with that card, once you get it redeemed. Trouble is, Apple doesn’t make that easy. It’s hard to figure out where to go, and in some countries, iTunes doesn’t allow for app purchases to made with gift cards (check the iTunes policy of your country for app compatibility).
But if you’re looking to redeem a gift card, here’s how you can do it via iTunes or the App Store app. These steps are updated from an article we ran last year to reflect Apple’s changes in the process.
If you’re downloading music/videos for your Mac, or the same plus games for your iDevice, you can easily handle all of this through iTunes. iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners will already have an account. If you’re a Mac user checking out iTunes for the first time, you’ll need to create your account. Apple has basic instructions on this at their support site.
Okay, now that we’re all past that, let’s hit the iTunes App Store. Log in, if you haven’t already. You do that by clicking on “Sign In” in the upper right of the window and filling in your information. If you’re already logged in, you’ll see your account name here instead of “Sign In.”
With this done, on the left hand side, you’ll see the little shopping bag icon next to “iTunes Store.” Click on that once.
After a loading period, you’ll see the welcome screen of the store hawking the latest releases. Ignore all of that and look up at the upper right of the window. Just under “Quick Links” you’ll see “Redeem.” Click on that.
You’re then presented with the iTunes gift card/certificate redemption screen. Depending upon the card you got, the graphic may look familiar.
Enter the code on your card here. The amount of the card will be applied to your account, and you’re set to start shopping. Note that you don’t need to use the gift amount now, and you don’t need to enter the code again. As long as you log in with your user name, iTunes will remember you and the amount left on your card.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Suppose you’re not near your computer, though. Maybe you’re trapped at a gathering and you really need some distraction. Apple feels your pain, and they’ve made it possible to get your credit applied to your account directly with the iPhone and iPod touch.
The first thing you’ll want to do is launch the App Store app (likely on your home screen, unless you moved it). Once you’re in, tap the “Featured” button on the bottom left of the screen.
After this, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the list to find the “Redeem” icon (with thick sarcasm, I would like to thank Apple for making this so easy to find).
Tap this, and you’ll see the blank field for entering your code.
If you’re not logged in, you’ll be asked to do so. Then, the money will be in your account.
It’s only slightly different on the iPad. The Redeem button doesn’t take as long to get to after tapping Featured, and code field just sits on top of the previous window, instead of taking it over.
Feel free to start downloading. Your iTunes and App Store accounts should be connected, so U.S. residents, at least, can use the card for app, movie, book and music purchases. As stated earlier, I understand that’s not the case in all countries, so check that out before redeeming.