How to Give iTunes Credit as a Gift

Various methods of giving someone credit to buy products on the iTunes Store

The Apple Store in SoHo
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Whether you want to pick up a physical iTunes gift card at your local store, print out a gift certificate at home, or instantly send iTunes credit via email, this article highlights in detail your available options when giving someone iTunes credit as a gift.

Does the Recipient Need an iTunes Account?

Although it is more convenient for the recipient to already have an iTunes account, you can give anyone iTunes credit regardless of whether they use Apple's online store or not. However, in order for them to be able to redeem their gift and purchase digital products, they'll need to create an Apple ID. When setting up an allowance (for your child as an example), you can create an Apple ID at the time of purchase, but for all other gifting methods, it is the recipient who normally does this.

Your Options When Giving iTunes Store Credit

  1. Physical iTunes Gift Cards: This method is perhaps the most popular way that people use to purchase gift credit from the iTunes Store. As well as buying directly from Apple's online service, there are also thousands of retailers across the country that stock iTunes gift cards, making it a very convenient way to pick one up. They come in different designs and are pre-loaded with a set amount of credit. Currently, you can choose the following levels of pre-paid credit: $15, $25, $50, and $100. However, if you're short on time, or the person you are giving credit to is a long distance away from you, then this might not be the best method. In this case, one of Apple's other options (see below) will probably be more suitable for gifting iTunes Store credit.
  2. iTunes Gift Certificates: There are two ways you can give an iTunes Gift Certificate to someone. You can either purchase credit and print the certificate out yourself (to present it in person), or instantly send it via email -- useful for when time isn't on your side. Choosing the amount of credit you want to buy is the same as for physical gift cards except that everything is done through the iTunes software. You choose a pre-paid amount of credit that fits your budget (ranging from $10 - $50) to either print out or send to the recipient's email address.
  1. iTunes Gift Allowances: This is another electronic means of buying iTunes credit for someone. However, the biggest difference is how you pay for it. Rather than paying upfront in one lump sum, you pay a set monthly amount from $10 - $50. This method is useful for kids or other family members who you want to setup with an iTunes account. It is also a great way to spread the cost over a few months -- especially if there's more than one person to buy for.
  2. Gifting Songs, Albums, Apps, and More: If you want to choose something specific from the iTunes Store instead of just giving a set amount of credit, then this method is worth considering. If you know someone who likes a particular song, artist, or album for instance, then you can send them a more personal gift. This feature isn't limited to just music-oriented gifts either. There are all sorts of other iTunes Store gifts you can send such as apps, movies, TV shows, etc. -- you can also compile your own custom-made playlists and gift them too. To send a specific product (you are currently viewing on the iTunes Store), you'll need to use the 'Gift This' option. This is accessed by clicking the drop-down menu next to the 'Buy' button. A short form will be displayed where you can choose either to print out a certificate (to present in person) or instantly email the gift to the recipient.