iPhone and iPad Mac

How to Use Your Apple or iTunes Gift Card

James Hirtz Updated 12-12-2019

Not everyone knows how to use an iTunes gift card.

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It all depends on which gift card you’ve received. The good news is that Apple credit is often versatile. which means you can use it for all sorts of purchases. Everything from apps and music to subscriptions and accessories is fair game.

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Here’s a guide to what you can spend each kind of Apple gift card on. We also have a few recommendations for items you might want to pick up.

Which Apple Gift Card Do You Have?

There are two types of gift cards sold by Apple: App Store & iTunes, and Apple Store. These cards are only valid for redemption in the same country they were purchased in. So a US gift card will only work on the US iTunes Store, in a US retail location, or an online outlet.

You can use an App Store & iTunes gift card for purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store, Apple Books, or Apple TV app. Think of it as credit for virtual products. App Store & iTunes gift cards credit your Apple ID balance, so you can use them for movies, games, apps, books, music, and TV shows.

You can also use your credit to pay for other Apple-related services. For instance, you might upgrade your iCloud storage, or pay for subscription services such as Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Music.

An Apple Store gift card is only good on Apple’s website, over the phone, or in a physical retail location. You can purchase gift cards in Apple retail stores, or buy them online to be delivered later by mail or email. Once received, you can use them for any purchase in-store, whether it’s Apple hardware, accessories, or boxed software.

What Can You Buy With Apple Store Gift Cards?

A image showing the Apple Store gift card colors

You don’t need to “redeem” an Apple Store gift card—just spend it at a store like cash. Unless specified, there’s no expiry date on an Apple Store gift card.

Here are a few ideas for spending your store credit.

Buy a New iPhone, iPad, or Mac

An image of a 16" MacBook Pro

Even if your gift card doesn’t completely cover the cost of a new Apple gadget, you can use the balance towards any purchase. That means a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other pricey Apple product will be cheaper if you use your Apple Store credit.

The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro offer a performance leap over last year’s model. A new MacBook Pro is expensive, but a gift card can help make the price more manageable. You can also pick up the AirPods and Beats X wireless headphones at your local Apple Store.

If you’ve been considering a big purchase for a while, an Apple Store gift card might be the perfect excuse to go ahead with it.

Get an Apple Watch

The latest Apple watch is available in GPS and/or cellular versions, depending on your budget. Having Siri on your wrist is super useful, and built-in GPS lets you track physical activity and workouts. Despite this, many are unsure when to pull the trigger and buy one.

A photo of the different Apple Watch Series 5 finishes

Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 5 isn’t cheap. But it might not seem so expensive if you’ve got a nice discount courtesy of an Apple Store gift card. Maybe you’ve already got an Apple Watch, and want to buy a new band to replace your old one? You can use your gift card for that too.

If you’re on the fence about the wearable, check out some of the coolest uses for the Apple Watch Should You Get an Apple Watch? 6 Cool Things You Can Do With One Not sure whether to get an Apple Watch? Here are some of the many things you can do with an Apple Watch. Read More .

Consider an Apple TV 4K

Looking for a media streamer, set-top box, or way to watch content from your iOS or macOS devices on your TV? Maybe you want to use AirPlay to send music to your digital receiver?

The latest Apple TV unit is 4K-ready, and so are many of your existing iTunes purchases. If you have a 4K TV, why not accessorize?

Apple TV

Starting at $179 for the 32GB model (which is plenty for most users), a new Apple TV is a great addition to your living room.

Purchase Accessories for Your Devices

An image of an assortment of iPhone 11 cases

Apple stocks its stores not only with iPhone and Mac devices, but many first and third-party accessories too. This includes audio accessories like the Beats Solo Pro wireless headphones and Bose SoundLink Micro speaker. You’ll also find also useful Mac accessories like the Magic TrackPad 2 and mophie wireless charging stand.

Also for sale are game controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus, Rotor Riot Wired, Horipad Ultimate, and Gamevice for iPhone or iPad Air.

Other cheaper purchases include a huge selection of iPhone cases, charger cables, flash drives, bands, and more.

Also Consider: AppleCare

If you recently received a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or similarly valuable piece of hardware, you can visit an Apple Store or go online and enroll in AppleCare. Best of all, you can use your gift card towards the purchase.

While the exact policy and price differ depending on the device you buy it for, it’s a pretty worthwhile investment, particularly for iPhone owners. See our guide to AppleCare AppleCare Warranty: What Are Your Options and Is It Worth It? AppleCare+ protects your Apple device, but is it worth the cost? Here's what AppleCare+ offers and whether you should get it. Read More for more info.

What Can You Buy With App Store & iTunes Gift Cards?

An image of the App Store & iTunes gift card

To use an App Store & iTunes Gift card, you’ll first need to redeem it. Once you’ve redeemed the credit, it’s added to your Apple ID and can’t be transferred.

Any purchases you make will subtract from that balance. You can redeem App Store & iTunes credit using an iOS device, Android device, or from your computer.

Redeem on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Launch the App Store.
  2. Tap Today at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Select your user icon at the top of the screen (or sign in if needed).
  4. Tap Redeem Gift Card or Code to redeem by using your camera or entering your code manually.

Redeem via Android:

  1. Launch the Apple Music app.
  2. Press the menu button.
  3. Hit Account.
  4. Choose Redeem Gift Card or Code.
  5. Enter your code and tap on Redeem.

Redeem via the App Store on your Mac:

  1. Launch the App Store.
  2. On the sidebar, click your name or the sign in button.
  3. Click on Redeem Gift Card to redeem by using your camera or entering your code manually.

Redeem via iTunes for Windows:

  1. Launch iTunes.
  2. On the menu bar, choose Account, then pick Redeem.
  3. Sign in and follow the on-screen directions.

Buy iOS or tvOS Apps and Games

Perhaps the most common use for your Apple ID credit these days is to buy mobile apps and games. Considering the relatively low cost of items on the App Store, your credit will likely last you a while. If you prefer, you can make in-app purchases using Apple ID credit too.

Looking for some fun games to buy? Take a look at these:

  • Plague Inc. ($0.99) provides an immersive strategy option for those wanting to go against the entire world.
  • Geometry Dash ($1.99) offers an almost maddeningly difficult but still addictive platforming experience with one-touch controls.
  • Dead Cells ($8.99) gives rogue-lite and Metroidvania fans a challenging yet accessible action title on iOS.

You may also want to use your credit to grab some genuinely useful apps, such as:

  • CARROT Weather ($4.99) is a hyper-local weather forecast bot that’s built on Easter eggs and snark.
  • Tweetbot 5 ($4.99) is the best Twitter app you can buy.
  • The original Facetune ($3.99) is an awesome app to tweak your selfies.

Buy Mac Apps and Games

Your Apple ID credit also works on the Mac App Store. The apps you’ll find there are quite a bit more expensive than their mobile counterparts. But as they are more powerful, you can get real work done.

You might be able to get a nice discount on Apple’s pro-level video editor Final Cut Pro ($299.99) to bring it within your price range. If you’re looking for a good image editor but don’t fancy Adobe’s subscription model, Affinity Photo ($50) is modestly priced and sufficiently powerful.

In the play section of the store, macOS’s 2019 game of the year is a painterly puzzle-platformer called GRIS ($4.99). Also worth your time is Mini Metro ($9.99), a fun strategy puzzler about managing public transportation infrastructure. The legendary Civilization VI ($59.99) is a good pick for strategy fans.

Music, Movies, and TV

You can also buy media on iTunes directly (prior to upgrading to macOS Catalina). If you’re on Catalina or later, Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Movies, and the Apple Podcasts apps can utilize your funds as well. Regardless of which program you use, it’s easy to buy albums from your favorite artists or even use your Apple ID credit towards an Apple Music subscription (just be aware of the automatic payments when the credit expires).

An image of the Apple Music subscription across different devices

If you prefer, you can also buy or rent movies and TV programs; the latter is much cheaper. Once you’ve redeemed an App Store & iTunes gift card, you can also use it to buy content via your Apple TV.

Don’t Forget Books

If you use your iPhone or iPad as an ereader, you can also use Apple ID credit in the Apple Books app on either a mobile device or a Mac computer. That includes graphic novels, nonfiction, interactive books, and audiobooks.

For pre-Catalina users, iTunes allows for audiobook purchases and playback.

Use Your Apple Gift Card Wisely

Providing that you don’t want to sell your gift card for real currency, an Apple Store gift card can bring an expensive new gadget within reach of your budget. The best aspect of Apple’s credit is that it’s so versatile. If you want to buy a few iPhone apps, rent a movie, and start an Apple Music subscription, go for it.

Your gift card will go even further when paired with Apple hardware discounts you should take advantage of 7 Apple Hardware Discounts You Should Take Advantage Of In the market for a new Apple product? You should know about these discounts that can save you some cash on your purchase. Read More .

Explore more about: Apple TV, Buying Tips, Gift Cards, Gift Guide, iOS App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store.

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  1. Anita
    February 25, 2020 at 1:27 am

    First of, I'd like to say,I don't know you Michael,but if I understood correctly in past comments, for you to just try & help people when they're stuck,last thing that makes you is a loser. Thank you.
    My question to you is, can I put App store & iTunes credit on my pay pal? (I know you might be chuckling to yourself, but as you can tell, I don't know about this stuff.).

  2. kathryn bruner
    March 12, 2019 at 1:01 am

    i got an itunes gift card the blue one and loaded it fine but dont know how to set my phone to use it

  3. Sue
    December 9, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Can a company charge 50.00 to my card for ins and postage

  4. John
    November 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Just tried buying Applecare online and over the phone using gift card. This can NOT be done. Spent over an hour between phone and chat support. Must redeem in store for Applecare. Class action lawsuit anyone?

    • Michael
      January 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      You loser

      • Better than Michael
        January 5, 2018 at 8:07 pm

        Michael is the biggest loser I’ve seen

  5. Max
    August 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I have had an iTunes gift card sitting here for 2 years. A particularly inflexible gift card. Think carefully before you buy one for someone as a gift!

  6. D
    August 4, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Can a ITune gift card be used for downloading documents

  7. michaele
    June 9, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Can you use an iTunes card for calling people on cellphones

    • PDM (pretty Damn Mad)
      May 6, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Michaele... did you ever get an answer to this? I need to know this also. There's an online friend who asked me to buy one for him for this reason, claiming he had little Wi-Fi. I can find no where that it says it can be used for cellphone calls.

  8. Dynamo
    May 14, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    The iPhone 7 plus in one of the pictures is fake. It has FCC labels which nowadays those are only needed in China

    • Tim Brookes
      May 19, 2017 at 3:21 am

      That's not true, I took the picture myself for our iPhone 7 Plus review. Also I'm holding the pictured phone in my hand right now.

      • Michael Hill
        October 6, 2018 at 12:12 pm

        Simply need to know if iTunes gift card is usable to get app credits ?

        • Patricia Burton
          November 29, 2018 at 1:49 pm

          Can I Tunes card be used for internet data?