If you get a Google Play gift card, you may be wondering: what can I do with this card?
And the answer is: a lot.
If you plan to buy a Google Play gift card, I recommend that you download one or all of the apps listed to get the most out of your purchase:
[list_item]Google Play Books: Get the Books app.[/list_item]
[list_item]Google Play Games: Get the Games app.[/list_item]
[list_item]Google Play Movies & TV: Get the Movies & TV app.[/list_item]
[list_item]Google Play Music: Get the Music app.[/list_item]
[list_item]Google Play Newsstand: Get the Newsstand app.[/list_item]
You can use a card to purchase books, games, music, newspapers, movies, television shows and apps. It’s the versatile gift card that a lot of people want when receiving a gift. If you want to buy a card for yourself or plan on asking for one as a gift, you’ll want to know the following:
1. Google Play Gift Cards are Cheaper at Retailers
Google will charge you 100% of the card’s value when making a purchase from Google itself. Everyone seems to do this because it doesn’t make sense for the company to discount their own gift cards.
If you want to purchase a $50 gift card, it will cost you $50.
It’s a simple dollar-to-dollar value exchange. But you don’t have to purchase your gift card directly from Google. There are plenty of great options to go around, and you’re not tied to buying directly from Google.
In fact, I recommend that you shop around.
You can find discounts from other retailers. That’s the beauty when you buy Google Play gift cards online – there are ample discounts.
Discounts vary greatly, but they are often a small percentage difference off of the price. You may pay $9 for a $10 gift card, or the price can be even closer to the card’s value and be something along the lines of $9.50 instead of $10.
The higher the value of the card, the more you’ll be able to save.
I would recommend looking for retailers that are reselling their cards. A lot of retailers accept cards from people that have received them as gifts and don’t want them anymore. You can cash in on someone else’s loss by opting to purchase a gift card from a third-party.
You may even be able to find people on Facebook or eBay selling their card for a discount.
But most discounts that we’ve been able to find are just 7% – not crazy, but it’s still a decent discount. You may be able to find better deals closer to the holiday season or a special sale weekend.
2. Google Play Gift Cards are Region Specific
A lot of people make the mistake of finding a discounted gift card in another currency and purchasing it. You may be looking for a US card, but you found a Canadian card that is discounted.
Don’t purchase it.
I’m all for a good deal, but gift cards are region specific. If you live in the US and purchase a Canadian gift card, you will not be able to redeem it on your US account. This means that you have to be very discerning when choosing the right gift card for you or another person.
Always choose your local currency, or you may not be able to redeem the card.
If you do make this mistake, you can resell the gift card or use a platform that allows you to trade gift cards with others. You may lose a lot of the card’s value in these cases, but it’s an option that is available when you’re locked out due to region requirements.
3. Non-Google Retailers Offer A Variety of Payment Methods
Google will charge you full price for your gift card, but other retailers will offer you better deals and a variety of payment methods. You’ll find that digital stores are the easiest way to make your purchase.
There’s also the main benefit of having over 100+ payment options at some stores.
Let’s go through a common scenario for couples. You share your bank account or credit card account with your significant other. You tell each other everything and are perfectly content with pooling your money together.
It’s a sign of a strong relationship.
But what happens when you make a purchase for your significant other’s birthday or as a random present? If you’re a male, your wife may ask you why you purchased something from Google. She may even assume or know that you purchased a gift card based on the debit in your account.
Different payment options allow you to pay with Bitcoin or another form of payment that can conceal your purchase.
And it’s also nice to have other options. Perhaps you don’t have a Visa card, or you don’t want to allow payment from your debit card (there’s higher risk of fraud). Well, you have options when you purchase from online retailers rather than purchasing directly from Google which has limited payment options.
When you want to avoid using your regular big-bank payment method or credit card, online retailers offer the best payment options every time.
4. Country Availability Varies for Apps and Digital Content
Google is trying to bring Google Play to every country around the world, but there are restrictions that make this difficult. And it changes from service-to-service, so you really have to be sure that the gift card is going to be able to be used in your respective country.
This is easy by choosing a gift card with your local currency.
But if you’re curious about country availability, the following rules apply:
Paid Android Apps
Google allows Android App purchases in many countries, and you can see the list here.
The purchase of e-Books is easier than audio books, but the vast majority of countries allow these purchases.
Movies are easy to obtain, and most countries have agreements in place where you’ll be able to buy movies through Google Play. Television shows, on the other hand, are different. The following countries are the only ones that allow the purchase of television shows:
Music can be purchased in most countries, and music subscriptions are also available and allowed in many countries.
The newsstand app allows for content worldwide, but paid content is limited. You will find paid content for most countries, including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States and even the UAE.
If you want to check availability, and it can change at a whim, you’ll want to check Google’s official help page. The page goes in-depth about each form of content and which ones are available in every country.
Keep in mind that just because a country is included on one of these lists, it doesn’t mean that the territories or provinces within the country are as accepting. Google may be allowed in Canada, but a province may choose to disallow it.
It’s important that you pay attention to these potential issues before making a purchase.
5. You Can Do a Lot with a Google Play Gift Card
When you buy a Google Play gift card online, there are a lot of things you can and cannot do with your card. You might be playing Fortnite, and since you’re using an Android, you may assume that you can use your gift card for in-app purchases.
It sounds perfectly logical.
And while you’re right that Fortnite is playable on Android (and a lot of games do allow in-app purchases), it’s up to the developer to choose whether or not to accept Google Play.
Why wouldn’t a developer be on the Play Store or allow gift cards?
Google runs their store to make money. When you make a $100 purchase, Google will keep a staggering 30% share of the revenue. This means that developers are left with just $70 instead of $100.
It’s a terrible price to pay to be a success, so a lot of developers, especially when the game is massively popular, will opt to skip over the Play Store. You can still download their apps on their respective websites, but you won’t be able to download the game on Google Play. You also won’t be able to use your gift card.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot that you can do with your card.
There’s just a lot you should know about Google Play gift cards.
[list_item]Donating money to a charity and giving back to a community. When you make a donation, Google will not require a commission, so the entirety of your donation will go to charity.[/list_item]
[list_item]You can pay for Netflix, so you’ll be able to stream your favorite movies and television shows.[/list_item]
[list_item]YouTube TV can be paid for with your gift card, and this goes for most of Google services.[/list_item]
If you’re purchasing a gift card for a specific purpose, such as buying in-game items on an app, just make sure that you’re able to use a gift card. Most apps and games will allow you to use your gift card for the purchase.
It’s a safe way to transfer money to an app developer, too. You don’t have to put in all of your payment information to a third-party like Fortnite requires.
6. People Love These Cards as Gifts
Do you remember when people thought that you picking out the perfect gift was so thoughtful? A lot of people seem to have left these good old days behind. I have had people ask me to return items that I have purchased for them.
It’s embarrassing for me as the gift giver.
But for others, it is all about picking out the gift that the person wants. When you give a gift card, you’re offering the perfect gift for the holidays.
I do want to make it known that you should make sure that the person uses an Android or uses Google Play. There are some fans of Apple that will never touch the Play Store, and if this is the case, the person may not get much use out of the gift card you give them.
It’s unfortunate, but some people are very picky.
The good news is that most people use Google or Google products and services without really knowing it.
You have to remember that people can use their gift card to:
[list_item]Buy television shows and movies[/list_item]
[list_item]Buy newspaper subscriptions[/list_item]
[list_item]Donate to charity[/list_item]
[list_item]Subscribe to Netflix[/list_item]
[list_item]So much more[/list_item]
It’s a versatile gift card that can be used for a variety of different purchases. It’s the perfect option for anyone who is always on their phone or uses Google services often.
In fact, researchers have done studies and found that more than half of people wish that they would receive a gift card over a traditional present. There’s a massive shift going on, and this shift is causing gift card sales to rise.
And let me just explain the popularity of Google and the Android operating system for a minute. Tablets and mobile devices run the operating system, but a lot of people think that iOS is close or even the market leader – it’s not.
Based off of April 2019 statistics, Android holds a 74.85% market share in the mobile operating system market, while iOS holds a 22.94% market share. Android is used by three times the amount of people that use Apple.
It’s a major difference, so there’s a good chance that the person in your life that wants a gift card will be able to make use out of a Google Play gift card. Three out of four people are using Android in some form, and this is Google’s operating system that comes with Google Play built-in.
Google Play offers you plenty of options, from giving out gift cards as gifts to using the gift card to purchase your favorite movies, television shows, apps, games, books and so much more. When it comes to offering a person a variety of options with a gift card, very few gift cards offer the same level of versatility as Google Play.