Apple released a new gift card product today that unifies the previous App Store & iTunes Store gift cards with the Apple Store gift cards. The new approach offers a much simpler experience. Read along for how to manage and use the new universal Apple Gift Cards.
The previous approach of having separate gift cards for the App Store & iTunes Store and the Apple Store left the door open for confusion and frustration for those not dialed into the difference which was then passed on to gift getters.
Now when you redeem an Apple Gift Card, it’s added to what’s called your Apple Account Balance (tied to your Apple ID) and can be used across the App Store & iTunes Store (including iOS and Mac) and the Apple Store for any products in the US. That also means you can use the balance for iCloud and other Apple subscriptions like Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Books, and more.
How to use universal Apple Gift Cards on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Digital gift cards
- When you receive an emailed Apple Gift Card, you can bring it to a physical Apple Store to use
- Alternatively, tap the Redeem Now link in the email to use it on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac
- The value will be automatically added to your Apple Account Balance
- Tap the Shop App Store or Shop Apple Store Online to use it right away
- Tap Done in the top right corner to use it later
If you want to send an Apple Gift Card to someone, you can do it from Apple’s new Gift Card website. Tap or click “Buy” in the top right corner.
If you want to add funds to your own Apple Account Balance, you can do it in a few places including the App Store app > tap your profile icon (top-right) > Add Funds to Apple ID.
Physical gift cards
- If someone sends you a physical Apple Gift Card, you can redeem it in a few places
- One option: Open the App Store app > tap your profile icon (top-right) > Redeem Gift Card or Code
- Now you can add your gift card manually or with your camera
- Another option: Head to the Settings app > tap your name > Payment & Shipping > Apple Account > Redeem
- Add your gift card manually or with the camera
- A third option is using the Redeem link at the top of Apple’s Gift Card website here
How to use your Apple Gift Card
Use for apps, music, movies, TV shows, subscriptions, etc.
Any purchases you make with Apple through the App Store, iTunes Store, subscriptions like iCloud, Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+, etc. will use the Apple Account Balance first before charing your debit or credit card that’s on file for your Apple ID.
Apple also notes that your balance can’t be spent by others if you’re using Family Sharing, just you.
Use in the Apple Store app
- To use an Apple Gift Card or your Apple Account Balance to when making a purchase in the Apple Store app, first shop and add what you’d like to your “Bag.”
- Tap Checkout (don’t choose Apple Pay)
- Now look for Apple Account Balance option to use all or some of it
- After entering an amount, tap Apply in the top-right corner
- Now you can place your order
How to check your Apple Account balance
Where can you find your balance when you’re ready to make some purchases?
Settings on iPhone and iPad
- You can see your balance at any time by heading to Settings app > tap your name > Payment & Shipping > Apple Account
App Store on iPhone and iPad
- In the App Store on iPhone and iPad, you can see your Apple Account Balance by tapping your profile icon in the top-right corner
- Look for how much you have near the top under Game Center
App Store on Mac
- In the Mac App Store click your profile icon in the bottom-left corner
- Now in the top-right corner, click View Information
- Enter your password if required
- Apple Account Balance is the third section down
iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad
- From the iTunes app on iPhone and iPad, swipe to the very bottom
- On iPhone, the balance shows there, on iPad, tap your Apple ID to see it