I Just Got an Apple Gift Card. Now What?

How to add to and use your Apple account balance

One of the most popular gifts for iPhone and iPad owners is an Apple Gift Card (formerly called iTunes Gift Card). Each card provides digital cash that you can use to buy content from Apple's apps and physical stores. If you’ve never gotten an Apple Gift Card, you may not be sure what to do with your present and may be wondering "What can I buy with an iTunes gift card?"

The Basics: Get an Apple ID

Create Your Apple ID page on Apple's website

Whether you're using an Apple gift card or just a regular credit or debit card, you need an account to buy movies, music, apps, and other downloads from Apple. The account is called an Apple ID

You may already have an Apple ID. Apple uses it for all kinds of things, including backing up and storing data with iCloud, making calls with FaceTime, and Apple Music. And you probably created one when you set up your device.

If you already have one, you're all set. If not, you'll need to create an Apple ID.

Windows-Only: Install Music,

If you're using a desktop or laptop Windows computer, you can purchase movies, music, apps, and more using iTunes. On the Mac, iTunes has been replaced by apps like Music and TV, but on Windows, it's still the place to get your Apple media content.

Redeem Your Apple Gift Card

iTunes on a Mac with the Redeem link highlighted

To move the money stored on the gift card to your Apple ID, you need to redeem the card. You can do this either on a desktop computer or an iOS device, whichever you prefer. Either way, you'll need to sign in to your Apple ID account and use the code on the back of the card at the Redeem link to add the money to your account. Windows users can redeem their gift cards on iTunes.

Buy From the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Music, or iTunes

Apple Music gift card.
Apple, Inc.

If you primarily use an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad), the App Store and Apple Music apps are pre-installed. You can use your Apple Gift Card to purchase apps and other media from the App Store, to get an Apple Music subscription, or to download movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store app.

To use your gift card on eBooks from the Apple Books Store, use the Apple Books program that comes pre-installed on all modern Macs and iOS devices. Apple Books doesn't run on Windows.

The iTunes Store has 50 million-plus songs, tens of thousands of movies, TV episodes, and e-books, and over 1 million apps and games for you to spend your gift card on.

When Apple changed its gift cards from iTunes Gift Cards to Apple Gift Cards, it made one important change—you can use your gift in physical stores, too. The old iTunes Gift Cards were only good for downloading media, but with the new gift card, you can use your balance to buy physical items at Apple retail stores, too.

Optional: Sync Purchases to Your Device

Once you've bought content, you need to get it onto your iPod, iPhone, or iPad and start enjoying it.

If you made your purchases directly on an iOS device or your devices automatically sync using iCloud, you're all set. All of your purchases go directly to the appropriate app on your device. Songs are in Music, Movies and TV episodes go to the Apple TV app, and you'll find books in Apple Books. Open the appropriate app to check out your purchase.

If you made your purchase using iTunes, Apple Music, or TV on a computer, you might need to transfer them to your device to start using them. You can do this by syncing your phone or tablet to your computer.

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