How to Give iTunes Credit as a Gift

Gift your favorite iTunes fan with credit for a movie, book, song or app

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, you have several 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. However, in order for them to redeem the gift and purchase digital products, the recipient needs an Apple ID, which is free. It is the recipient who applies for the Apple ID, which is the credential necessary to log in to the iTunes website and redeem the credit.

Your Options When Giving iTunes Store Credit

You have several options when you want to give someone credit to be used in the iTunes Store or App Store.

  • Physical iTunes Gift Cards: This method is perhaps the most popular way that people use to purchase gift credit from the iTunes Store. In addition to buying gift cards directly from Apple's online service, you can also buy gift cards at thousands of retailers across the country making it convenient to pick up one. The cards come in different designs and are preloaded with a set amount of credit, typically $15, $25, $50, $100, or $200. 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 is probably better suited to gifting iTunes Store credit.
  • iTunes Gift Certificates: Select the "Gift Now" option at the iTunes Store to give an iTunes Gift Certificate by either purchasing credit and printing a certificate yourself to present in person or by sending it via email, which is useful for when time isn't on your side. Choosing the amount of credit you buy is the same as for physical gift cards except that everything is done through the iTunes software. You choose a prepaid amount of credit that fits your budget ranging from $15 to $200 to either print out or send to the recipient's email address.
  • Gifting Songs, Albums, Apps, and More: If you want to choose a specific item from the iTunes Store instead of giving a credit, then this method is worth considering. If you know someone likes a particular song, album, or book, you can send them a personal gift. This feature isn't limited to music-oriented gifts. There are all sorts of other iTunes Store gifts you can send including as apps, movies, and TV shows. You can also compile your own custom-made playlists and gift them. To send a specific product, view it on the iTunes Store and use the Gift This option, which is accessed by clicking the drop-down menu next to the Buy button. A short form is displayed where you can choose either to print out a certificate to present in person or instantly email the gift to the recipient.

Apple ended another program, the iTunes Gift Allowances program, in 2016 and suggested that parents use the Family Sharing option instead to oversee their kids' spending.