How to Use an iTunes Gift Card with Family Sharing (2019)

If you're interested in learning how to add an iTunes gift card to your Family Sharing Group, then look no further. In this article, we'll explain several methods for using gift cards via Family Sharing and how to set up an Apple ID with the Ask to Buy feature activated for your kids. Family Sharing is a great way to keep the whole family safe and happy in the Apple ecosystem, but navigating the sharing options is not always straightforward. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Read on to learn more about Apple IDs, the Ask to Buy feature, Family Sharing, and how to setup gift cards for different family members.

Related: How to Access & Download Shared Purchases in Family Sharing

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Add an iTunes Gift Card to Your Family Sharing Account

As the family organizer, you're charged for every purchase made by members of your Family Group; it's all billed to whichever credit card you had assigned to your Apple ID when you set up your Family Group. Applying a gift card to your own Apple ID means that purchases made by other members of the Family Group will be charged to your credit card, but any purchases you make while logged into your Apple ID will be charged to the gift card. This method requires some bookkeeping on your part, as you'll want to keep track of how much credit you still have on the gift card vs how much each family member is spending via Family Sharing.

To add an iTunes gift card to your account on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:

  • Tap on the iTunes Store app.
  • Tap the Featured tab.

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  • Scroll to the very bottom of the screen and tap the Redeem button.
  • Use your phone camera to scan your iTunes gift card, or enter the card code manually.

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After redeeming your card an updated balance will appear, and you'll be given a choice of applying your credit towards an Apple Music subscription or using the card for iTunes store credit. 

  • Tap Done to finish or Redeem Another Code if you have another gift card to enter.

Once you add your iTunes gift card, all of your purchases will be applied to the gift card until it is depleted. After that, your credit card will be charged for any additional purchases. This means that if your Apple Music subscription or Student Memberships come due, those subscriptions will be charged to your gift card if the card still has a positive balance.

Redeem an iTunes Gift Card on Your Child's iPhone

You might prefer to apply the gift card directly to your child's Apple ID rather than trying to keep a ledger of shared credit for your Family Group. If you apply the gift card directly to your child's Apple ID, you can still use the Ask to Buy feature to approve their purchases. Because the card is applied to their Apple ID, and not the Family the group, the cost of their purchases will come off of their gift card until it's depleted. If you have your child's iPhone handy, then you can log into their Apple ID on their device and add the gift card to their account following the steps in the previous section. If you don't have access to their iPhone then you can also add the gift card to their account remotely using the method below.

Allocate iTunes Credit to Your Child's iTunes Account

To designate a gift card to your child's Apple ID from your own device:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap on your name at the top.

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  • Tap on your Apple ID.
  • Tap Sign Out.

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  • Sign back in using your child's Apple ID and password.

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You can now go back to the iTunes Store and redeem your child's iTunes gift card using the steps I outlined in the beginning of the article. 

Check your iTunes Gift Card Balance

You can check the gift card balance at any time. This comes in handy if you want to cut back on their purchasing power using Ask to Buy before the gift card is depleted and your credit card starts getting charged. To check the gift card balance for either your own or your child's Apple ID, follow these steps:

  • Open the App Store
  • Tap on the Apple ID icon at the top of the screen.

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  • If your child has a credit balance, it will appear underneath their Apple ID.  As you can see, my daughter has no credit right now!

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Now you know how to deposit an iTunes gift card in your child's Apple account from your device or theirs, and how to check their account balance. I hope this information helps you keep everyone's gift cards in order with a bit less confusion and a lot more fun!

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Leanne Hays's picture

Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.