If you’ve received a Google Play gift card, you’re probably like a lot of people – thinking of how to use a Google Play gift card. While the card may not be as versatile as other options, it’s still an entertainment-filled card.
But instead of telling you what you can do when you buy a Google Play gift card, let’s talk about some of the restrictions and things that you may not be able to do without a workaround.
1. Things You Can’t Do: Forget About Using Your Card for Fortnite
Fortnite has taken the world by storm, and you’ll find most teens and even some adults glued to their smartphones playing the night away. And while the game has come to Android, Epic Games has decided to bypass the app store.
What does this mean?
Epic Games realizes that the game doesn’t need Google Play’s store to be a success, and they don’t want to share 30% revenue to be hosted on the Play store. The developer has decided that they don’t need the Play Store, so they’re offering their own dedicated installer that works on Android.
The middleman is not required, so the developer earns more money and consumers can save money.
Since Fortnite has chosen to take this path and bypasses the Play Store, you can’t use the Google Play gift card to make in-game purchases. If Fortnite is one of your main reasons for buying a gift card, you’ll definitely be upset about this.
But there is still a lot that you can do with your card, and there are still millions of apps and games that you can use to redeem your Google Play gift card.
IOS users can still download the app on the App Store because Apple doesn’t allow for apps to be installed without an internal review process, making the marketplace almost essential.
Android doesn’t lock down their system in the same way, so it makes economic sense for the developer to bypass the store, with their massive presence fueling organic downloads from the company’s site.
2. Things You Can’t Do: Spotify Premium Won’t Work Either
I’m listening to music as I am writing this article, and I just realized that Spotify doesn’t accept Google Play gift cards. And this is odd for me because you can still download Spotify on the app store.
You can use the free app just fine, but if you want to upgrade to Spotify Premium, it cannot be done through the Google Play store.
I have searched for workarounds to this, but it seems that Spotify doesn’t have one, if they ever did have a workaround.
So, you can opt to use Google’s music platform if you like, but Spotify won’t work.
These are the two main drawbacks when you choose to buy a Google Play gift card online. And I wouldn’t let them discourage you from buying a gift card. There is still so much that you can do with your gift card.
You have countless options when using your Google Play card.
Just what can you do?
3. Things You Can Do: Donate to Charity and Give Back
You know what really feels good? Donating to charity. A lot of people want to give money to charity, but for some reason, they just never get around to actually donating. This can lead to regrets in the future.
Do you really need that game? Do you really need that app?
Could you be spending your money to have a meaningful impact?
Android users now have the ability to use their gift card to donate directly to charities through the Google Play Store. You have the ability to make a positive change in someone’s life, or in the world, depending on the charity that you choose.
Android has been behind the mark for a while, and Apple had done very well in respects to allowing users to donate to charity. In fact, Apple offers Red Cross donations, while Android now allows for donations through a number of organizations.
Users will have restrictions based on their region or country, but in the countries that allow charity donations, you’ll be able to donate to an array of organizations, including:
[list_item]World Wildlife Fund[/list_item]
[list_item]World Food Program USA[/list_item]
[list_item]Girls Who code[/list_item]
[list_item]Doctors Without Borders USA[/list_item]
[list_item]Room to Red[/list_item]
[list_item]Save the Children UNICEF[/list_item]
And many, many more. Google has their own official donation page that can help you get started.
What’s really neat is that Google will be covering all of your transaction costs. For example, when any transaction occurs on the Play Store, there’s a 30% charge that is assessed. Google needs to make their money, but developers are more than happy to pay because they receive a lot of promotion in the process.
Donations do not incur this same charge – 100% of your money goes to the organization of your choosing.
The feature is very new – just introduced in the beginning of December 2018 – and it’s still fully rolling out across different countries. Supported markets should have the feature available, and if your market isn’t available, it may also be added in the future.
4. Things You Can Do: Pay for Netflix
Netflix offers you endless entertainment with the best streaming content in the industry. Television shows, movies and Netflix’s own content is worth every penny. What’s neat, according to Netflix’s own website, is you can pay for your subscriptions using your Google Play gift card.
Now, there are a few things you need to know:
[list_item]The gift card must be supported in your country[/list_item]
[list_item]You must be billed through Google Play[/list_item]
This means that if someone bought you a gift card, you’ll be able to use it to keep your subscription up-to-date. It’s a fast and easy way of being able to keep watching your favorite content and shows.
But you will need to have a card from the correct region and also be billed through Google Play.
5. Things You Can Do: YouTube TV
YouTube TV will allow you to use a gift card to pay, but you won’t see this on the payment method setting within YTTV. Instead, what you’ll need to do is redeem your gift card on the account that is linked to your YouTube TV subscription.
When you do this, you’ll then want to go back into the payment method settings.
Within this setting, you’ll find the option to pay with your: Google Play balance. This balance will come right out of your account. If you have a credit or debit card linked to the account, just make sure that you choose the appropriate payment method.
This is the fast and easy way to pay for YouTube TV, but make sure that you have the balance to pay for the subscription, which is $40 per month. YouTube does have other, cheaper options, but they don’t have all of the content that YouTube TV offers: ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN to name a few.
6. Things You Can Do: Buy Books and Movies
Do you read books or watch movies? If so, you can use your card to buy them. Spend your credits on a book, and after you make your purchase, your book will be added to your library.
It’s a digital copy that you’ll be able to keep forever.
Movies can be purchases if you want to own them. The movie will be added to your library, too. But if you want to stretch out every last dollar out of your credits, you can choose to rent movies, too.
Let’s say that you saw a movie based on a book or you started playing The Witcher III. Now, you can purchase a copy of the book, too. You’ll find more than enough readers on the app store that will allow you to read your book on your Android device.
And you’ll never need to lug around heavy, big books again.
You can keep hundreds of books in your back pocket – it’s awesome when going digital. You can also purchase one of the premium reader apps that allow you to bookmark pages and highlight content whenever you like.
It’s the perfect way to read books without having to cut down trees in the process.
Television series can also be a great option to buy because you’ll have access to most of the series that you like at your fingertips.
7. Things You Can Do: Buy Premium Apps
If you’ve seen apps that you have been dying to try but haven’t had the money to do so, it’s time to purchase them with your credit. Premium apps are powerful, and these are the apps that have fewer bugs and truly support developers.
You see, free apps come filled with ads because it’s the only way a developer is able to make their money.
Apps take a lot of time and resources to develop. A lot of the apps you love are made by small teams or even single developers. The ads, oftentimes, barely cover the cost of keeping the app properly hosted online.
Premium apps help support these developers, and it allows for developers to create a better product.
You’ll also find premium apps are updated more frequently. Why? The developer is making money, and he or she has an incentive to keep the app running. Free apps definitely make developers money, but there needs to be a lot of users for the app to be profitable.
If you have an app that you use a lot, you can also see if there’s a premium version available. When you upgrade to premium, you’ll be sure to receive a few additional features or the removal of ads.
It’s definitely nice to give some of the higher end apps a try if you haven’t done so already. Not only are these apps rather affordable, but they usually blow away the competition and are more of a “professional” solution than a free program.
8. How to Avoid Google Play Gift Card Scams
Scammers are out there trying to steal your gift card, and oftentimes, these scammers will use your lack of knowledge to trick you into handing over your gift card’s information. We’re seeing this with fake IRS scams.
These scams try to trick people into thinking that they can pay their taxes with a gift card.
The IRS doesn’t allow this, but people don’t know that. Instead, people are just handing over their information willingly, thinking that they’re paying off their tax debt. Primarily older people fall for these scams, but we’re also seeing younger people falling for them.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning about these scams, which in the first 9 months of 2018, caused losses of $53 million.
And more and more people are being tricked.
The number of people that have submitted fraud reports indicating that a gift card was used in a scam rose 270% from 7% in 2015 to 26% in 2018.
Telephone calls are the main form of contact with these scams, and they may include:
[list_item]Paying to receive a new Medicare card[/list_item]
[list_item]Calls saying that a loved one is in trouble[/list_item]
[list_item]Scams with people claiming to be from the IRS[/list_item]
Con artists will stoop very low to try and trick you into turning over your gift card information. What you’ll want to do before using your gift card for any odd payment request like those listed above is to do your own research.
Why would you ever use a Google Play gift card to pay the IRS?
It doesn’t make any logical sense, and despite how convincing or scary the phone call me be, it’s up to you to realize that you’re being scammed. Take a moment, breathe and do your research. Just by doing your research, you’ll be more than able to avoid scams in the future.
Never relay your activation codes to anyone asking you to do so on the phone.
Google Play gift cards are great, and since they’re offered by one of the world’s biggest companies, they also come with great support and a lot of new items you can buy each week. If you need a Google Play gift card, get a $100 Google Play Gift Card (US) for only $98.50 here.
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