How do you check if a Steam gift card has been used?

Steam gift cards are a popular way to add funds to your Steam wallet and shop on the Steam platform. However, before purchasing or using a Steam gift card, it’s important to make sure it hasn’t already been redeemed by someone else.

Check the Gift Card Balance

The easiest way to check if a Steam gift card has been used is to attempt to redeem it on Steam and see if it has any funds remaining. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Steam client and log into your Steam account.
  2. Click the “Games” menu at the top and select “Activate a Product on Steam.”
  3. Enter the gift card code and click “Next.”
  4. Steam will let you know if the code is valid and display the amount added to your Steam Wallet if there is a balance remaining.

If the code has already been redeemed, Steam will alert you that the code is invalid or has already been used. This confirms that the gift card has no balance on it.

Inspect the Gift Card Packaging

Another way to potentially identify if a gift card has been used is to closely inspect the gift card packaging and card:

  • Check if the protective sticker on the back has been peeled off to reveal the code.
  • Look for any signs of tampering, such as tears or re-applied adhesive.
  • See if the code scratches have been revealed by someone scratching it off.

If the card shows signs of the code being revealed, it may indicate that the card has been used, although not definitively.

Purchase Source

Consider where you obtained the Steam gift card from. If you purchased it directly from an authorized retailer in its original packaging, it is unlikely to have been used. However, if you purchased it from an individual reseller, there is some risk that it may have been previously redeemed.

Check the Balance Online

Some third-party websites offer Steam gift card balance checking services. You can enter the card’s code and they will query Steam’s database to see if any funds remain on that code. This can provide additional confirmation on whether the card has been redeemed. Some sites that provide this service include:

  • CardPool
  • GiftCardGranny
  • GiftCardSpread

However, be aware that entering your code on any third-party site carries some risk of potential code theft. Only use reputable sites you trust.

Contact the Seller

If you purchased the Steam gift card from a retail store or reseller site, you may be able to contact the seller and provide the card’s code to have them look up the balance in their system. Many sellers keep records of gift cards sold and can check if it has been redeemed.

This isn’t foolproof, as cards can be redeemed elsewhere, but can provide another data point on the likelihood the card still has funds.

Attempt to Add Funds

If you want to definitively confirm if a Steam gift card code is valid, attempt to add funds using the code on Steam. This will immediately tell you if the code works or not.

Go to Add Funds in your Steam Wallet and select “Redeem a Steam Gift Card or Wallet Code.” Enter the code and Steam will let you know if it can be redeemed.

The downside to this approach is it permanently redeems any remaining funds, so only try it if you are committed to using the card yourself.

Check the Experation Date

Steam gift cards have an expiration date printed on them, typically 1 year from the date of activation. If the expiration date has passed, the card is definitely used and invalid.

However, an unexpired date doesn’t necessarily mean the card is still valid, as it could have been redeemed already. But an expired date confirms the card can’t be redeemed.

Contact Steam Support

If you are still uncertain about the status of a Steam gift card, you can contact Steam Support for assistance. Provide them with the gift card code and ask them to check if it has already been redeemed.

Steam can look up the code in their database and see its redemption status. This should give a definitive answer on whether or not the code is still valid.

To contact Steam Support, open a ticket at and select “Steam Gift Cards” under the Games, Software, etc. category.

Use a Reseller

For additional peace of mind, consider purchasing Steam gift cards from reputable resellers who guarantee the validity and remaining balance of the cards they sell.

Many sites like PayPal Gifts and CardCash have buyer protection policies where they promise the gift cards they resell are unused and they will replace any spent gift cards for free.

While pricier than potentially discounted gift cards elsewhere, it ensures you get a card with its full value.

Avoid Suspicious Sellers and Listings

When browsing marketplaces and classifieds for Steam gift cards, be wary of sellers offering cards at steep discounts or deals that seem too good to be true. This increases the likelihood the card may have already been redeemed.

Look for reputable sellers with good ratings and reviews. And avoid listings with stock photos only or other signs of potential scams.

Use Soon After Purchase

To reduce the chances of purchasing a Steam gift card that has already been redeemed, try to use the card soon after you buy it to add funds to your Steam Wallet.

The longer a gift card sits unused, the more time it gives for someone else to steal and redeem the code. Redeeming shortly after purchase helps minimize this risk.

Take Precautions When Selling

If you are selling a Steam gift card you haven’t used, take measures to prove to buyers the card is unused:

  • Send photos showing the intact, untampered packaging and concealed code.
  • Capture video of scratching off the code to reveal it for the first time.
  • Offer to verify the balance in a live video chat.

This provides buyers with confidence in the validity of your unused gift card.

Check Multiple Indicators

No single check is definitive in determining if a Steam gift card has been used. For the most certainty, combine several validation methods:

  • Physically inspect packaging and card for signs of use.
  • Verify the balance through Steam’s redemption workflow.
  • Confirm with the seller or marketplace the card hasn’t been redeemed.
  • Use a balance checking site to see any remaining funds.

Together these indicators will help identify if a card appears legitimate and unused. However it’s still possible a redeemed card slips through, so purchase from trusted sources when possible.

Understand the Risks

There is always some inherent risk when purchasing gift cards secondhand from unofficial sources, as you can’t completely guarantee a card hasn’t been redeemed.

To eliminate that uncertainty, purchase directly from Steam or authorized retailers. If buying from resellers, be prudent and take steps to validate the card’s status firsthand where possible.

With extra vigilance, you can feel confident in adding funds to Steam safely using gift cards.


Checking whether or not a Steam gift card has already been used requires a multi-step approach. Physically examining the card packaging and code for signs of tampering can provide initial clues. Attempting to redeem the code directly on Steam will confirm if funds remain. Contacting the seller or Steam Support are other options to validate card status. While not foolproof, combining these tactics helps identify if a Steam gift card has likely been redeemed or can still be utilized successfully.

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