How do I use an Apple gift card instead of my credit card?

Apple gift cards can be a great alternative to using your credit card for purchases on Apple products and services. With an Apple gift card, you can buy anything that you would normally use your credit card for on Apple – music, apps, subscriptions and even new devices!

In this guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about using an Apple gift card, including:

  • Where to buy Apple gift cards
  • How to redeem an Apple gift card
  • Using an Apple gift card for different types of purchases
  • Checking your Apple gift card balance
  • What to do if your Apple gift card has a low or empty balance

Follow along below to learn how to maximize the value of your Apple gift card!

Where Can I Buy an Apple Gift Card?

Apple gift cards can be purchased both online and in retail stores. Here are some of the most common places to buy an Apple gift card:

  • Directly from Apple, via apple.com or in an Apple retail store
  • Major retail chains like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies like Safeway, CVS, Walgreens, etc.
  • Gas stations and convenience stores
  • Online at sites like Amazon, eBay, PayPal Digital Gifts, etc.

Apple gift cards are sold in preset amounts, usually $25, $50, $100, with some retailers offering variable amounts.

When purchasing directly from Apple, you can get an Apple gift card instantly by getting the code emailed to you. Third party retailers will provide a physical gift card that needs to be loaded with your chosen amount.

How Do I Redeem an Apple Gift Card?

Redeeming your Apple gift card is easy and straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to apple.com/redeem or open the Apple Store app and tap on the Redeem Gift Card option.
  2. Enter the Apple gift card number and PIN either manually or by scanning if you have a physical card.
  3. Sign in with your Apple ID to apply the gift card to your account balance.
  4. Agree to the Terms & Conditions.

Once redeemed, the gift card balance will be added to your Apple Account and is applied automatically at checkout for any Apple purchases.

If you run into any issues redeeming your Apple gift card, you can contact Apple Support via online chat or by phone for assistance.

Using an Apple Gift Card for Purchases

The beauty of an Apple gift card is that it can be used seamlessly for any Apple products, services or subscriptions. Here are some of the most common ways to use your Apple gift card balance:

Buying Apple Products and Accessories

Use your Apple gift card towards the purchase of any Apple hardware like iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, Apple Watches, AirPods and more. You can also buy cases, cables, chargers and other Apple accessories.

When checking out on apple.com or in the Apple Store app, the gift card balance is automatically applied before asking you to pay any remaining amount with another payment method.

App Store and iTunes Purchases

Download apps, games, music, movies TV shows and more with your Apple gift card. Your gift card balance will be used for any App Store and iTunes transactions.

You can also subscribe to Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade or Apple One using an Apple gift card. The subscription fee will automatically deduct from the gift card balance each month.

Apple Services

Besides subscriptions, you can use an Apple gift card for one-time purchases on Apple services:

  • iCloud storage upgrades
  • AppleCare+ protection plans
  • iTunes Match subscription

The Apple gift card can also cover Apple service fees like out-of-warranty repairs or replacement fees for lost AirPods or defective devices.

Apple Retail Purchases

If you want to shop at an Apple Store, you can use an Apple gift card towards anything in-store including new devices, Genius Bar appointments, workshops, accessories and more.

You can even use it at the Apple Store for miscellaneous purchases like branded merchandise, bags, cases, chargers, headphones and any other Apple-related paraphernalia.

Checking Your Apple Gift Card Balance

It’s easy to check your Apple gift card balance at any time:

  • On an iOS device, go to the App Store and tap your profile icon at the top right
  • On a Mac, go to the App Store and click Account on the menu bar
  • Online, check at https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT209204
  • You can also ask Siri to check your Apple gift card balance

The gift card balance shown includes all redeemed gift cards attached to your Apple ID.

You can also view your purchase history and see transactions made using the gift card under your account settings.

What If My Apple Gift Card Has No Balance?

If you have redeemed an Apple gift card that no longer has a balance, it will stay in your account but cannot be used for purchases.

You can either remove empty gift cards from your account or reload them to start using them again.

To remove an empty gift card:

  1. Go to Manage Your Gift Cards under your Apple account settings
  2. Select the gift card and tap ‘Stop Using’
  3. Confirm again that you want to remove the gift card

To reload a gift card:

  1. Go to Manage Your Gift Cards and select the card you want to reload
  2. Choose ‘Reload’ and pick a reload amount
  3. Enter payment details to reload the gift card

Once reloaded, the gift card balance will be updated and available for purchases again.

Getting a Refund on an Apple Gift Card

Unfortunately, Apple does not allow refunds on gift cards, so the card balance cannot be exchanged back for cash. However, you do have options if your Apple gift card is unused or has remaining funds:

  • Spend the balance – Use the gift card for any purchases or subscriptions until the funds are fully utilized.
  • Give it as a gift – Transfer the gift card to someone else by providing them the code and PIN.
  • Resell it – You can resell an unused Apple gift card through gift card exchange sites.
  • Use it partially – Spend some of the balance and keep the gift card for future use.

As Apple gift cards do not expire, there is no time limit to use the balance. The gift card will remain in your Apple account until the funds are fully spent.

Important Tips When Using an Apple Gift Card

Here are some helpful things to remember when redeeming and using your Apple gift card:

  • Gift cards redeemed to your Apple ID can only be used in the country of purchase.
  • Balance remaining after a purchase will stay on the gift card for future use.
  • If your purchase exceeds the gift card balance, pay the difference with another payment method.
  • Apple gift cards cannot be used at Apple resellers unless specified.
  • Register your gift card in case it gets lost or stolen later.
  • Protect the gift card details as you would a cash card or credit card information.

Following these tips will help you avoid any issues or confusion when trying to use your Apple gift card.

Conclusion

Apple gift cards offer a convenient way to shop across Apple’s ecosystem without needing a credit card. You can seamlessly redeem gift card funds towards new devices, apps, subscriptions, services and any other Apple purchase.

To recap, remember that Apple gift cards:

  • Can be purchased both online and in retail stores
  • Are redeemed to your Apple account for use on apple.com and in-store
  • Can be spent on products, accessories, services, repairs and more
  • Balance remains on the gift card until it is fully used
  • Cannot be exchanged for cash but can be regifted if unused

So don’t let that Apple gift card go to waste – take advantage of the funds to upgrade your devices, stock up on apps and accessories or pay for subscriptions and services. With some planning ahead, an Apple gift card can cover most of your Apple expenses.

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