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Can you buy games with an iTunes gift card?

There have been a lot of questions online, especially on Yahoo Answers about whether you can buy iPod games with an iTunes gift card. Before I answer the question, I want to make a distinction between the iTunes gift card and the Apple Store gift card. The iTunes gift card can be used to purchase stuff you can play or use on your iPod-like devices (iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPhone). The Apple Store gift card can be used to purchase hardware and software at the Apple Store (like the iMac, MacBook etc). They are not interchangeable. For example, you cannot use the iTunes gift card to purchase an iMac, neither can you use the Apple Store gift card to purchase music at the iTunes Store.

So, back to the question of whether you can use the iTunes gift card to purchase games. The answer is a qualified yes. You can use the iTunes gift card to purchase games that are compatible with iPod-like devices (iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPhone). Some of these games are built exclusively for specific devices. For example, there are games designed for the iPod Nano that cannot be played on the iPhone. In addition, these games cannot be played on your computer.

To buy iPod games, simply log-on to your iTunes, go to the iTunes Store and click on iPod games.

Apart from iPod games and music, you can also use the iTunes gift card to buy Podcasts, TV Shows, Music Videos, Movies, Audiobooks, and applications designed for iPod like devices.

Update (10/27/2011)

In response to some of the comments below, I called iTunes support today asking them to walk me through the steps of buying an iPod game with an iTunes gift card. Below is what they told me.

1. First, you need to have already redeemed your iTunes gift card. Meaning that your iTunes account should show your iTunes gift card balance. For steps on how to redeem your iTunes gift card, click here.

2. Once your account is showing the gift card balance, click on “Ipod Games” under “iTunes STORE”. Select the game you want, and click on “Buy Game”. The price of the game will then be deducted from your gift card balance.

As long as there is a balance on the gift card, I am told that it will be the default payment method, until the balance runs out, at which point it will go to the credit card or ask for a credit card. If you have not yet redeemed your gift card, the system will NOT prompt you for a gift card (it will default to a credit card in absense of a gift card balance).

3. Once you purchase the game, you now need to sync the game to your iPod. For instructions on how to do that, click here.

Hope this helps.

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44 Comments

  1. person

    i tried but it wont do anything i buy the game then it goes to billing info then back to the spot i was at the start i have tried everything and it still wont work i have an ipod nano chromatic and its not working i have already tried what u said so now what

  2. charlene

    I tried this to and they told me because I live in Canada is doesent work. They are going to undo the gift card but what good does it do me. I still cant use it,

  3. k_girl

    it wont let me buy the game i want with a gift card but it wont do anything i buy the game then it goes to billing info then back to the game page, what can i doo ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ?

  4. Wibjibble

    iTunes card will not let me purchase games. Music, videos, TV shows yes but games NO! extremely frustrating sice there is no Help info to that affect!

  5. wtf!!!

    UGHHH!!! I HAVE THE SAME EXACT PROBLEM AS THESE GUYS!!! can someone friggin help?!!? would changing the ocuntry you will in work? ughh. i bought a 25 gift card for nothing!!! =( please someone help!

  6. jamr

    i wonder what they would do if you changed your country info. Cause you could just argue that you paid for the card and you should recieve the same product selection as everyone else even if your country is different

  7. Paul

    Exact same problem here too, I bought a giftcard for the purpose of getting a game and it takes me to billing information and then back to the game screen without downloading anything, is there a way around this?

  8. Becky

    Yes, I’m having the same problem. Also Canadian, but it didn’t mention region to me. It just keeps taking me back to the billing page, even though I have more than enough on my gift card balance to cover the game.

    This is so disappointing! I wanted to have some games for my 3 hour daily commue! 🙁

  9. Sgar

    Hey guys… i just learned that in Canada you cannot buy a game witha a gift card…. it sucks cause i just bought a card to buy games

    http://enkerli.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/apps-and-itunes-cards-in-canada-follow-up/

  10. GiftCardBlogger™

    Sgar, thanks for passing that along.

  11. Jesse

    Hello I have the same problem but with my new touch. In Canada we can not get games on a gift card. I bought the touch and 30 in gift cards. The problem is I would have never wasted my money on the touch at all. Though they have no warnings on the cards or ipod at all so what I did is contact the bbb and opened a case since we can not take them back for refund after there redeemed. This is a very good reason to open complaints. so I say we should all contact the BBB and maybe we can force itunes to allow canadians to get the games we have already payed for.so pls everyone contact the better buisness bureuo this is strait up robbery the touch is not the funnest iPod without games.

  12. Jesse

    Also the cards say on the front that you can download music,movies and more well what is the more anyway seems like they wanted us to think we could get games when we can’t. I was a loyal iPod customer up untill now.

  13. Jesse

    Well WTF I put up a comment telling everyone to contact
    The bbb but it gets deleted did iTunes do this WTF. There are no warnings on the cards
    Or iPod staiting that you must own a credit card in Canada to buy games. You only find this out after you redeem it and it’s too late to get a refund. I’ve conntacted the bbb and they forwarded the complaint so this is a good reason to contact the better buisness bureo. Pls stop deleting my comments we should do something about this and not just take it. There should be warnings when there is not. So we all should conntact the bbb. Is this blog run by iTunes or what and not want ppl to see this?

  14. really it F"%()*N SUCKS

    seriously this really sucks…CANADA IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONTRY AND WE CANT EVEN GET A FKCIN GIFT CARD TO WORK! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! CMON ITUNE WAKE UP OR URE SIMPLY ABUSING OF OUR MONEY AND URE WAITING FOR US TO BUY MORE AND WASTE IT AND THEN FUCK ALL WE CANT DO NOTHING WE WANT DAMN GAMES UNDERSTOOD ….dumbasses

  15. really it F"%()*N SUCKS

    i will try something…my mom’s credit card is full..so…i guess the money will be taken from my lil card..maybe…i will see and post back some crap..

  16. Olferf

    to answer the question..
    you CAN buy games if you are from the US
    if you’re from CANADA, you CANT buy games.

  17. Laura

    Same problem. I payed $20 for an ITunes card, specifically to buy games, and like ALL these other people who got sucked into a supposedly wonderful product, I’m feeling ripped off and totally frustrated. I kind of want my money back. Not everyone has a credit card, and if they do, not everyone is going to be willing to put it online. I just want a game. I have all the music I need on my computer already…..Has anyone found a way around this yet?

  18. Kadee

    After reading all the comments and complaints, I’m now having second thoughts about buying a game that I really am looking forward to playing during the most boring school bus ride I have to bear with every school days.
    My mom and I both have credit cards but am I willing to go about doing stuff with it online? I don’t think so. I haven’t done anything like that before, I’ve used my cell phone once but not my credit card. I’m really doubtful about buying the game now, even it’s Apple, not with all this complaints going on and stuff.

  19. reyarag

    same here, i just bought a cdn 50$ for nothing. my question is: why is apple advertising games and so called apps here in canada if we can’t buy them? why didn’t they just labeled the itouch here as a REGULAR MP4/MP3 ipod, with its touchscreen as the only distinct feature?…

  20. unhappy itunes customer

    I was ripped off by apple because i can’t buy games with my itunes card! i do NOT trust apple with my credit card. so much for user friendly apple in canada. Very unfair as I can’t
    refund my card! i hate apple products!!!! NOW OFFICALLY!!!

  21. unhappy itunes customer

    LABELS ARE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says you can buy games but you CAN NOT!!!!! (in Canada)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. redaholic

    just change your country setting for your account to US. then you will be able to buy games:)

  23. Kykywox

    I just read all the commets and I’m freakin pissed.
    I mean how can they do that? do they hate us or what?
    I just bought a 15$ gift card because I don’t have a credit card and I canT buy bomberman???????

    come on, I don’t want to be stuck with the breakout and solitaire, it’s getting lame…

    So anyways, just to say now officially I am pro PC, it’s totally the crashing and shit. REALLY.

  24. Mud

    You Can change the country setting… but ONLY AFTER YOU’VE USED ALL YR Gift Card Credits!

    Thats total BS! now I have to use up this gift card on a bunch of crap i dont need or want… then get a new card… then change my settings… then try again? F That

  25. steph

    can you change your country to the US?

  26. regg

    ok, how do you change your country settings? i already have it on canada

  27. regg

    omg everywhere it says, that you can download games in canada! i dont know what is going on now…im soo confused and the same thing happens to me when i try to buy a game. this is ridiculous!!!

  28. THE gUIDE

    basically apple stole my money.

    I bought a gift card for app’s and I can’t buy them? is that even lawfull? nowhere in the store did it say music only I think it should be illegal to not tell you that you are giving them $15 for free cause all I wan’t is apps.

    itunes does not have the music I listen too soo wtf am i supposed to do with this wasted money? every time I’m in the itunes store it pisses me off even more taunting me with the balance on my account that can only be used for songs i don’t want or already own the CD!

    This alone made me hate my iphone. bye bye apple you lost a customer!

    Sincerely: Very Angry EX Customer.

  29. StEC

    I am with the majority of people here and also Canadian and I just got ripped off by Apple. I bought the iPod Touch mainly for the games & applications, I don’t have a credit card nor can I get one but I bought a $15 iTunes gift card which does not say it does not work for games it says for music, movies, tv shows and “more”. Now I have an iPod that is pretty mush useless to me so Apple just got $300 from me plus $15 for a useless gift card and they lost a customer for good!

    I will make it a goal of mine to make sure this disgusting business practice is brought to the public’s attention! I also think this has affected enough people that a class action lawsuit should be an option!

  30. Pissed Off.

    Apple sucks and is stupid,
    but somehow smart enough to scam a whole country out of their money. You suck Apple, go home!

  31. jay

    bullshit! cant buy apps or games with giftcards in canada! but…..hint to all with this problem… get a prepaid cc , and let it take 1 dollar for varifying your purchase… the payment doesnt go thhrough for 2 days, in other words,… get all the free apps and games you can in 2 day period, with a pre paid cc… and all you have to have on it is 1 dollar, not to smart on that apple ! got a pre paid cc, nad have 75 apps so far, and stiull they havent charged me, lmao… hope this helps all

  32. ihateitunes

    Like WTF i dont understand why you cant buy apps when u live in canada but if you change your region it will let you WHATS THE DIFFERENTS i use to love apple anything not i really dont like it

  33. Caitlyn

    I bought an iTunes gift card a little while ago. I live in Canada just like most of you and also tried to buy games. On the back of the gift card it tells you that you can’t buy games with it. They can’t be charged for not telling people when it’s right there on the card. It still really sucks though and I hope they fix it soon!!

  34. Leona

    I tried to purchase an app, couldn’t do it. Next I read the FAQ’s, and was advised to make sure I was in the App store, then redeem the gift card. I did this, and input another card, putting my balance to 30.00. But, It still wouldn’t allow me to purchase an app. It suckered me for another 15. How dumb am I. I’m going to contact them and get my money back, or take the whole pack of gift cards back to costo…you can take anything back to costco

  35. Apple aka Conrad Black

    Apple is pertty much scaming us all. Everyone got a gift card so we dont have to use a credit card online. It says write on the back of the card not valid for any apps store or ipod games!!! WTF!!! Why does this apply only to Canada!!!! I would love to change my account info to US, but i have heard you can only do that after spending the money, on what, songs, NOOO, thtas not why i bought the gift card, now i have 15$ of money sitting thier, unuseable. I think Canada should bycott apple all together.

  36. Lees

    For all the people who are thinking to change their country to US to be able to purchase apps/games, I haven’t tried it myself but the cards do state on them that they are for the Canada store ‘ONLY’. Think on that before giving Applr more free money!

  37. Matt

    K I had the same problem and I am furious cuz I checked many website and I find out that the us can by games and canadians can’t which is pure bull cyuz it actually kinda says it on the back of the prepaid card it say unless not stated otherwise and then it say you will not be able to purchase games and that is gay

  38. FUUUUUUUU

    I live in the US…but it just goes straight to freaking billing, totally ignoring the fact that I have enough money in my account already >_<

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  40. F.U. Apple

    Those ripoffs think they can steal my money. im actually thinking about a lawsute. im in the u.s. and i just redeemed a itunes card. i went to buy an app but i had to go to billing info. and i had 25$ able to be spent but still nooooo i couldent do eneything with that money. So F.U. apple prepared to get sewed for 10 grand, refunds to every costomer, and give everyone that bought an itunes card an extra 100 bucks and good luck trying not to get bankrupt. so fix it or else!

  41. F.U. Apple

    And itunes guy no-one gives a SHIT about the prices! all those gift cards are just a hunk of plastic that should be worth 10 cents!

  42. smiley

    totally not impressed…think I will take my Ipod touch 4th Generation back for a refund….whats the point of keeping it….Apple…NOT IMPRESSED at all. and my little girl got one for xmas and all she is using hers for is “keeping notes” eeeerrrrrrr up yours Apple

  43. tammy

    i have a ipod touch it shows i have 15 dollars available but when i go to buy a game it saids sign in and im already signed in and then to verify payment info

  44. Why dont u freaking move to the usa u bunch of dipwads u can sit around all sitting on ur laptop,ect.(i am on my suckish nookcolor looking for fuming (not allowed to swear)something to do with $20 and a itunes card AND I DON’T EVEN USE MY SHUFFLE AND NOW I THINK I WILL JUST GIVE IT TO MY LITTLE SISTER and i like turttles .jk.

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