Google and the Google logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. The Android operating system is one of the most used in the world. This popularity also extends to Google Play, an online store for buying apps on Android devices and digital content, like iTunes on Apple devices. Google Play, like many other online marketplaces, allows users to buy and redeem gift cards. Gift cards are an easy way to purchase digital stuff, but what about Apple users who receive a gift card to be spent on Google Play? This article will explain how an iPhone user can redeem a Google card without switching to Android.

Table of Contents

1. Google Play and Gift Cards

Google is the owner of one of the most popular alternatives to iTunes—crafted for most phones and tablets running the Android operating system. It may not be surprising that Google, like Apple, allows users to buy gift cards to spend in their digital stores. Google and the Google logo are trademarks of Google LLC.

2. What Can You Purchase With a Google Play Gift Card?

A premise to Google Play gift cards is that, in the past, they were commonly used for purchasing songs on Google Play Music. Now that is no longer possible, as this digital store does not exist anymore. But cards can be redeemed for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music subscriptions. These allow enjoying an ad-free experience, offline video caching, and unlimited listening. Google has simply turned its focus from a purchasing-based model to a subscription-based one, following the actual trends. Google Play gift cards also allow purchasing digital books, movies, paid apps on the Play Store, and subscriptions to digital newspapers.

3. Google Play Gift Cards on Non-Android Devices

The first problems start when one wants to purchase digital content from a specific store, finding later that this store is not supported on their device. For example, movies purchased on iTunes cannot be watched on Android devices, even if they can still be played on PCs with iTunes software installed. At the same time, one cannot use a Google Play gift card to purchase apps on an iPhone, as the Play Store is only available on Android devices. Moreover, while iPhone users can still download and use YouTube and YouTube Music on their devices, they can buy subscriptions only through the iTunes payment system. Does that mean an iPhone user cannot use a Google Play gift card whenever they get one for whatever reason? The answer may be surprising, but iPhone users can redeem a Google Play gift card.

4. How Can an iPhone User Redeem a Google Play Gift Card?

Redeeming Google Play gift cards is possible even for iPhone users, with two main caveats:

They cannot be used, of course, for purchasing apps, being Play Store available only on Android devices; They can only be redeemed while browsing Google services through Chrome or Safari, while apps can still be used to play content.

This means that iPhone users can redeem Google Play gift cards while browsing Google Play website on their mobile browser. They can pay for movies, subscriptions to YouTube, or books they can enjoy later even though the official iPhone apps for YouTube or Google Play Books and Movies. There are some steps an iPhone user should perform to redeem their Google Play gift card: After redeeming the Google Play gift card, it’s time to use it. Here are a couple of good options available to you:

Buy Google Play Movies/Books on an iPhone

By still using the browser and the Google Play Store page previously loaded, look for Movies or Books in the left column, then open the store specifically for the desired content. Search for the wanted book or movie, then proceed with the purchase. While using the browser, it is possible to use Google Play balance with no issues. You can then get back to using iPhone official apps for Google Play Books and Google Play Movies to enjoy the new content with no limitations. A browser must be used only when physically making the purchases: this is the only difference with Android devices, where also buying stuff can be performed through an app. At the end of the purchase, the content will be enjoyable in any case with no limitations on the official apps for iPhone. This means that, despite the additional step of the opening browser, Google Play gift cards can be fully used by iPhone users for buying digital content, except for apps.

Buy YouTube Subscriptions on an iPhone

The alternative way to use a gift card is to subscribe to YouTube Premium or Music. The steps involved are the following: After performing all the previous steps, it is possible to use YouTube and YouTube Music official apps for iPhone and enjoy the new subscriptions.

5. How to Redeem iTunes Gift Cards on Android

We have seen how an iPhone user can quickly redeem a Google Play gift card without switching to Android: what about the opposite situation? Can Android users redeem an iTunes card? The answer is yes, even if Android users have less choice on how to spend the gift card balance. In fact, there are no apps for Android allowing one to play movies or read books purchased on the Apple digital store. It is easier for an Apple user to take benefit of a Google Play card instead of the opposite, in which the only solution for users not having Apple devices would be to stick with the iTunes software for PC to experience purchased digital content. Luckily, there is still an opportunity for Android users to redeem their iTunes gift cards, even if this would only mean being able to purchase music.

How Android Users Can Purchase Music on iTunes

Android users can easily purchase music on iTunes because they can listen to it even on their phones. This is possible not only because Apple has released a specific Music app for Android devices (the only official app from Apple allowing to enjoy iTunes content on iPhone, even if it works only with an Apple Music subscription, so not with purchased songs), but also because digital songs are exempt from DRM protection. The lack of DRM protection on songs purchased from iTunes means that these can be easily downloaded as free audio files and then played locally or uploaded to cloud services like YouTube Music without being obliged to stick with Apple Music. To proceed with purchasing music from iTunes and listening to it on an Android device, these steps must be taken: If you listen to music by using subscription services like Spotify, you can consider pausing your existing subscription and using your iTunes gift card to pay for an Apple Music membership until you have spent all your balance. In this case, after having subscribed, you can download the Apple Music app on your Android phone and enjoy your membership.


It is possible to redeem and use a Google Play gift card balance on an iPhone, even if it requires additional steps than on an Android phone. In no way should an iPhone user should be discouraged from using the balance of a gift card in the event they receive it, for example, as a gift by someone. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters. © 2022 Alessio Ganci

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