Read This Before You Buy an Xbox Gift Card

If you plan to buy an Xbox gift card, there are a lot of things you need to know. Keep in mind that this isn’t your ordinary gift card (more on that in a bit).

Xbox is a great gift card because you can do a lot with it.

What can you do with your card?

  • You can buy full games right online for Xbox, which you can download immediately and play
  • Pay for apps
  • Buy the latest movies
  • Purchase the most recent television shows
  • Buy devices, too

You can’t use your gift card at physical Microsoft Stores, but you can use them on Windows, on Xbox and on the Microsoft Store online.

You can redeem your Xbox gift card for most entertainment-related purchases, and it’s one of the best choices for any teen who owns an Xbox console. If you’re running late (like most people) come a person’s birthday or the holiday season, you can always purchase a digital code online and send it to them via text or email.

It’s a fast and easy way to be able to send a gift even if you forgot to purchase it in stores.

xbox design lab

Xbox Gift Cards Are Not Your Ordinary Gift Card

Microsoft knows that if you’re a gamer and buying a gift card, you’re looking to bring your entertainment to a new level. Games, apps, movies and television shows are all fun, but you need accessories to really enjoy your Xbox.

What kind of accessories will you be able to purchase?

  • Controllers
  • Headsets
  • Racing accessories
  • Console accessories

And it gets even better than that. I mean, not only are these accessories awesome, but Xbox lets you truly customize your gaming experience.

Through the Xbox Designs Lab, you’ll be able to create your own custom controllers. For a gamer, this is amazing. Just think about yourself or the person that you plan on gifting the card to. Everyone has their own personality, likes and dislikes.

When you buy an Xbox gift card online, you’ll be able to go to the Design Lab and create a custom controller that features:

  • Billions of color combinations
  • 32 NFL team options
  • Forza Horizon 4 Victory Lap
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider inspired options
  • Soulcalibur VI inspired options

Design Labs allows for full customization of a wireless controller, so anyone can create a controller that matches their own tastes. It’s the perfect way to “get in the game.”

These customizable controllers feature:

  • Compatibility with Windows 7/8.1 and 10
  • Compatible with Xbox One
  • 40-foot range (Xbox One S)
  • Remap buttons through the Accessories app
  • 3.5mm stereo headset jack
  • Textured grip

And you can buy it with your gift card.

xbox gift card online

What Types of Accessories Can You Buy With an Xbox Gift Card?

Xbox, or the Microsoft Store, allows you to purchase a variety of console accessories. All of these accessories will change your gaming experience, and they can help you create the ultimate gaming station, too.

What can you purchase?

  • Vertical Stand. Want to keep your Xbox One S upright? You have a vertical stand that offers this option and will allow you to keep your console upright at all times.
  • Mount. A TV mount is available for the Kinect sensor that will work with nearly any television you try.
  • Wall Mount. Forza Designs has an awesome Xbox One S wall mount that allows you to mount your Xbox to the wall. The benefits of a wall mount include enhanced security, and safety from drops, kicks and even spills.
  • Game Drive. You can purchase a variety of game drives from the store, including special edition models and SSD drives which offer blazing speed options.
  • Microphone. Want to stream with crystal clear audio? The Turtle Beach mic will allow you to start streaming with studio-quality audio.

As you can see, there are just so many options and accessories that you can purchase with your gift card. It’s a universal gift card, and it’s one that allows gamers to really enhance their gaming experience. Parents or anyone that doesn’t game may not see the benefit of having an extra, higher capacity game drive. They may also not see the benefit of a microphone and streaming content on Twitch.

But for a gamer, it’s these accessories that make games more fun and rewarding.

region lock

What About These Region Restrictions You Keep Hearing About?

Now, if you’re buying a gift card online or for someone else, you need to be careful about which region you’re purchasing the card in.

Let’s assume that the gift card is from the UK and has a value of £75. If you go to redeem the Xbox card in the US, you’ll not be able to proceed because you’re in a different region.

The region restrictions are annoying, but what a lot of people have done is the following:

  • Switch your account to the UK region
  • Buy the item that you want
  • Switch back to the US region

You’ll just need to restart the console after switching regions. It’s a quick and easy way to get around these restrictions.

But if you’re buying your gift card for someone else, you’ll need to tell them about these restrictions and what to do. In an ideal world, you’d buy a card from the right region so that there’s no need to switch regions.

For yourself, I recommend buying whatever region has the cheapest cards and switching regions.

Note: Xbox’s customer service recommends this exact action if you get an error when trying to redeem your card.

You also have the option of returning the card if you want, but this is a rather big hassle when you can just switch the location on your console.

Why does Xbox have restrictions on redeeming an Xbox gift card?

Well, when you see content on Xbox, you’ll find that it’s all region-specific. So, let’s say that you’ve switched your location to France. All of the offers will be for the region of France. But even more importantly, you’ll find that all of the currency is in euros.

The currency is what changes when you switch regions.

If you have $100 in the account and switch to a different locale, you’ll lose the $100 currency in the account. This is very important to remember because the $100 won’t be converted to euros or anything like that.

video game tax

Are Taxes Going to Be Taken Out of My Purchase?

There’s no way to get out of paying taxes, and this goes well beyond making purchases with gift cards. Let’s assume that a game is on sale for $14.99, and you have an Xbox gift card that has a $15 balance.

Well, you may assume that you can redeem your card and make a purchase.

But you would be wrong.

Game purchases, like most purchases, will have taxes applied to them. When you make the purchase, you will have the option of paying the excess balance using another payment method.

So, perhaps you’ll have to pay an additional $1 in taxes.

If the card has a balance that is high enough to cover the taxes, you can complete the purchase. This is why I recommend buying higher valued cards so that the person who receives it won’t have any issues with their future purchases.

xbox reload balance

How to Redeem an Xbox Gift Card

Microsoft makes it as easy as possible to redeem their gift cards. Whether you’re buying the card for yourself or someone else, you’ll be able to redeem the card in quite a few ways:

Xbox One

When you have an Xbox One, you can quickly and easily redeem the code. What you’ll want to do is make sure that you are signed into the account, and then you’ll want to hit the “Xbox” button and go to the Home screen.

Once you’re in this screen, you’ll then want to navigate to the Store tab.

When you’re in this tab, grab your gift card and locate the 25-character code on the card. This is the code that you’ll need to enter into the Use a code section. Don’t worry about adding in hyphens or anything like that.

If you’re using a card from your region, the process will take a minute or so to complete.

Xbox App on Windows 10

Windows 10 has apps, and one of these apps is the Xbox App. When you’re in this app, you’ll be able to navigate to Xbox.com on your web browser. Enter in all of your login information.

Now, all you have to do is select your profile and then click on Redeem code.

All you have to do is enter in your 25-character code and then follow the prompts on the screen.

Windows 10

Don’t have an Xbox? You can still redeem the card on your Windows 10 account. What you’ll want to do is log into your personal computer, and make sure that you’re on the Microsoft account that you want to redeem the code on.

Now, you’ll go into the “Start” section on the lower right portion of the screen and press the Start button.

Once you’ve done this, type in store.

Navigate to the Microsoft Store, which you’ll want to select. When in the Store, you’ll want to navigate to the More section and then find the Redeem a code section.

Now, enter in your code and follow the prompts on the screen.

It’s that simple.

If you’re using an Android or something similar, you can also redeem your code following the same steps above. All of the steps are similar, and you’ll want to go to a section called “Redeem a code” or “Use a code” or something similar.

All of the funds will be deposited into the associated Microsoft account, so you’ll then be able to use the funds on Xbox or anywhere that your account is connected to.

xbox gift card buy vbucks fortnite

Buy a DLC Using an Xbox Gift Card

You’ll want to go to the store tab as mentioned above to add the gift card to your account. All of the funds will be transferred to your Xbox account, so you’ll be able to use it for buying DLCs. Once you’ve redeemed your code, go into the game that you want to buy a DLC or in-game items from.

I am going to use Fortnite as an example.

Perhaps you want to add some V Bucks to your account to buy the Battle Pass. What I would do is choose how many V Bucks you want to buy, and then you’ll see a screen that tells you how much real money you’ll need to make the purchase.

You’ll be able to choose to buy the in-game items using your Microsoft account balance.

Note: Remember to redeem the code prior to going to buy the in-game item so that you have the funds in the account to make the purchase.

You’ll be able to purchase any DLC or in-game items using the same method. Remember to make sure that you switch to using your account balance rather than using a credit card if you have one associated with your account.

xbox support

Check Out the Xbox Gift Card Support Section

Xbox has an amazing support section, and it’s a section that I recommend everyone checks out. The section is on the company’s YouTube channel, and it has everything support-related, including:

  • Using the Xbox app
  • Reporting problems
  • How to buy digital gifts in the store

Microsoft’s official website also has a variety of different options for support. There are large knowledge bases, and question and answer sections that will give you some insight into using your gift card.

Xbox gift cards offer a variety of purchasing options from accessories to games, movies and apps. There are always reasons to buy an Xbox gift card.

So, the next time you think of buying the perfect game for yourself or that special gamer in your life, purchase a gift card instead. You’ll offer them a card that can be easily redeemed to buy the items that the person wants to buy.

And since most consumers prefer gift cards, it’s the perfect choice.

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