What Can You Buy With an Apple or iTunes Gift Card?

apple-gift-cards

Snagged an Apple Store, iTunes, or Apple Music gift card? You might wonder exactly what you can buy with it. It all depends on which gift card you’ve received. The good news is that Apple credit is often versatile and thus you can use it for all sorts of purchases, from apps and music to subscriptions and accessories. Here’s a guide to what you can spend each 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 three types of gift cards sold by…

Read the full article: What Can You Buy With an Apple or iTunes Gift Card?

apple-gift-cards

Snagged an Apple Store, iTunes, or Apple Music gift card? You might wonder exactly what you can buy with it.

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

Here’s a guide to what you can spend each 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 three types of gift cards sold by Apple: iTunes, Apple Music, 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 iTunes gift card only for buying software, music, and other similar downloadable products. Think of it as credit for virtual products. iTunes gift cards credit the iTunes account associated with your Apple ID, and can be used for in-app purchases.

Apple Music gift cards are only valid to redeem an Apple Music subscription. These cards come in three and 12-month flavors. When the gift card runs out, your account will be charged as normal unless you turn off auto-renewal in your Apple Music settings.

An Apple Store gift card is only good on Apple’s website, over the phone, or in a physical retail location. You can redeem one for any purchase in-store, whether it’s Apple hardware, a third-party accessory, or boxed software. You can use it online or over the phone via the code on the back.

What Can You Buy With Apple Store Gift Cards?

apple store giftcard

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.

A New iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Macbook Pro 15 inch

Even if your gift card doesn’t 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 XS and XS Max offer a performance leap over last year’s model. A new MacBook Pro is expensive, but a gift card can help make the price less eye-watering. 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 Wi-Fi and 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.

Apple Watch Series 4

Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 4 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, check out our Apple Watch Series 4 review.

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.

Or Buy Accessories

magic trackpad 2

Apple stocks its stores not only with iPhones and Macs, but many first and third-party accessories too. This includes audio accessories like the Beats Studio3 wireless headphones and Bose SoundLink Micro speaker. You’ll also find also useful Mac accessories like the Magic TrackPad 2 and fancy MacBook stands.

Also for sale are game controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus and PXN Speedy, which work with iOS, macOS, and tvOS (Apple TV) devices.

Other cheaper purchases include a huge selection of iPhone cases, rugged charger cables, flash drives designed specifically for iOS devices, USB battery chargers, 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.

What Can You Buy With iTunes Gift Cards?

itunes gift card single

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

Any purchases you make will subtract from that balance. You can redeem iTunes credit using an iOS device, or via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Redeem on an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Launch the App Store.
  2. Tap on your user icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Redeem Gift Card or Code to redeem by scanning the barcode or entering your code manually.

Redeem via iTunes for Mac or Windows:

  1. Launch iTunes and choose Music, Apps, or Films from the dropdown in the top-left.
  2. Click on the Store tab and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  3. Under the Manage heading, click Redeem.

Buy iOS or tvOS Apps and Games

Perhaps the most common use for iTunes 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. As previously mentioned, you can make in-app purchases using iTunes credit too.

Looking for some fun games to buy?

  • Hitman Sniper ($1) provides one of the best sniping experiences on iOS, complete with 150 missions to tackle.
  • 2017’s Monument Valley 2 ($5) is still worth playing for its soothing illusionary puzzles.
  • Million Onion Hotel ($4) is a frantic spin on the whack-a-mole theme, and it’s absolutely worth your time.

You may also want to use your credit to grab some genuinely useful apps.

  • CARROT Weather ($5) is a hyper-local weather forecast bot that’s built on Easter eggs and snark.
  • Tweetbot 5 ($5) is the best Twitter app you can buy.
  • The original Facetune ($4) is an awesome app to tweak your selfies.

Buy Mac Apps and Games

iTunes 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 ($300) 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.

We usually recommend you avoid buying games from the Mac App Store, but the selection has certainly grown over the last year or two.

Apple’s Mac game of the year is a moving puzzler with an excellent score called The Gardens Between ($15). Also worth your time is Mini Metro ($10), a fun strategy puzzler about managing public transportation infrastructure. The legendary Civilization VI ($60) is a good pick for strategy fans.

Music, Movies, and TV

You can also buy media on iTunes, which is all the service sold when it was established. It’s easy to buy albums from your favorite artists, or even use your iTunes credit towards an Apple Music subscription (just be aware of the automatic payments when the credit expires).

itunes card

If you prefer, you can also buy or rent movies and TV programs; the latter is much cheaper. Once you’ve redeemed an 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 e-reader, you can also use iTunes credit in the Apple Books store on either a mobile device or Mac computer. That includes graphic novels, nonfiction, and interactive books, but not necessarily audiobooks. (You can find those in the regular iTunes store, alongside music and TV.)

Spend Your Apple Credit Wisely

iTunes credit is one of the many ways to give the gift of entertainment, while 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.

Read the full article: What Can You Buy With an Apple or iTunes Gift Card?

How to Recognize and Avoid Free Gift Card Scams: 7 Warning Signs

apple-gift-cards

Have you won a free gift card? The answer, of course, is “no.” That’s not entirely fair—some firms do enter customers into competitions, especially when Christmas is coming up. But when was the last time you heard of someone winning a $500 Amazon gift card and it wasn’t a scam? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before clicking any links and becoming a victim of cybercriminals. 1. Is the Email Account Genuine? Fraudsters use gift card scams because they’re evergreen, and can yield a lot of cash without much effort. They don’t bother promising gift cards for…

Read the full article: How to Recognize and Avoid Free Gift Card Scams: 7 Warning Signs

apple-gift-cards

Have you won a free gift card? The answer, of course, is “no.”

That’s not entirely fair—some firms do enter customers into competitions, especially when Christmas is coming up. But when was the last time you heard of someone winning a $500 Amazon gift card and it wasn’t a scam?

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before clicking any links and becoming a victim of cybercriminals.

1. Is the Email Account Genuine?

Fraudsters use gift card scams because they’re evergreen, and can yield a lot of cash without much effort. They don’t bother promising gift cards for small stores few have heard of: they aim for the big names like Amazon and eBay!

They can guarantee that a large number of recipients are customers of the site and are more likely to fall for the scam.

So, if your inbox says you’ve got an email from “Amazon Gift Cards”, how do you know that it’s fake?

Look at the email address it’s come from. Most people overlook this, or quickly glance and miss the obvious. In reality, it might read “amzon.com”—something close enough to trick most users. Similarly, you shouldn’t trust addresses like “ebaydotcom”.

Don’t click on the link, or indeed any elements within the email. This won’t tell you anything; instead, it could download malicious software to your device.

Scammers sometimes redirect to the genuine site anyway, making victims relax and not realize they’ve downloaded malware.

2. Are the Images Pixelated?

neon sign silhouette man pixels pixellated

Here’s an indicator that not everything is as it seems: images might be pixelated on different devices, as scammers don’t always use high-quality pictures.

This extends to logos. Big-name companies won’t send pixelated versions of their own brands. If elements appear fuzzy, it’s likely the scammer has stolen a low-resolution logo from the internet.

If images won’t load, this is a sign the message could be fraudulent, but isn’t a certainty. That could simply be due to connectivity issues. However, the opposite is true too: just because pictures are HD, it doesn’t mean an email is real.

Take a look on Google and you’ll find large files containing all manner of corporate logos. If you can find it online, so can cybercriminals.

3. Are There Spelling and Punctuation Mistakes?

This applies to supposed competitions via email and social media, as well as on any websites they link to.

Any company worth its salt will employ a copy writer or editor to make sure their communications are well-written. It’s a level of professionalism that scammers don’t bother with. You don’t need a degree in Creative Writing to recognize poor spelling and grammar.

If a Facebook profile boasts that you can “WIN FREE GIFT CARDS!!!1!!”, don’t trust it. eBay doesn’t tend to use hyperbolic punctuation either. If its About page uses similarly questionable copy, don’t even bother “liking” the page.

(After all, a lot of personal data can be gleaned from social media!)

Regional differences may apply too: if you’re a customer of Amazon UK, for instance, don’t expect a message with Americanisms purporting to be from Amazon.com.

4. Does It Require Unnecessary Personal Details?

Fraudsters don’t always rely on you clicking on links to scam people. Ransomware can be installed onto your computer, but many happily volunteer their private details anyway.

You might be redirected to a login page that looks a lot like the real thing. You’ll enter your username and password—a big mistake. But even if you don’t type in your password, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t value other details.

So ask yourself: why would they need your social security number? Why does it ask for your date of birth? What information does the company it’s purporting to be from already have about you? Consider what details a genuine competition actually needs.

Simply “liking” a page on Facebook can be dangerous. “Like” farming scams encourage you to share posts to win gift cards and other free goodies. These are popular Black Friday and Christmas scams.

You risk your usernames, financial information, and other personal data stored in associated apps like WhatsApp and Instagram.

5. Is the Message Personalized?

It’s lovely that your aunt and uncle have sent you a message about winning a gift card by simply clicking on a link or retweeting a post.

Now that you come to think of it, though… why don’t they talk like normal human beings?

Cybercriminals use impersonal messages to perpetuate a scam because it’d be a bit too strange if they addressed them all to “Chris” or “Emma”. It’s also a tell-tale sign that it’s not really from someone you care about.

Some scams will be directly aimed at you, using your email address and username to appear personal. But you should still recognize when a relative isn’t using their normal syntax. If you read it and something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts.

6. Do You Know of Any Previous Winners?

The answer is, once more, “no”. It’s incredibly unlikely that your family or friends have won a free gift card via social media. When have you ever known a genuine claim?

Occasionally, companies do offer free gifts including cards, so you can’t immediately discount them. There should still be lists of winners, though.

When MakeUseOf runs competitions, we publish the names of the winners as proof that they’re authentic. Other sites should do the same. If they can’t prove that visitors benefited from a giveaway, why should you trust them?

There is a difference between genuine winners and the type of comments you’ll find on social media though. You’ll notice fake accounts saying things like, “THANK YOU, WALMART!!! I WON $500 AND HELPED ME PAY FOR XMAS!” Yes, they’ll likely be in all capital letters and use poor grammar.

Fraudsters post these in an attempt to verify their scam; instead, they’re a sign it’s fake.

That’s not to say you should ignore Twitter and other social networks. Plenty of feeds highlight scams to alert their followers. Never underestimate disgruntled tweets.

7. Does It Sound Too Good to Be True?

Here’s one last tip which should apply to everything you do online: ask yourself whether something is too good to be true. If you’ve got doubts, listen to your gut.

Do not click on links in emails. Stay skeptical when you visit Facebook and Twitter.

Gift card scams are particularly popular right now, partly because they’re harder to trace than fraud involving credit cards. That’s why cybercriminals are tricking people into purchasing iTunes cards.

Read the full article: How to Recognize and Avoid Free Gift Card Scams: 7 Warning Signs