How to Redeem an iTunes Card to a Child or Family Sharing Account

Learn how to add an Apple gift card to a child's account or use an iTunes gift card for Family Sharing.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you're interested in learning how to add an Apple gift card to a family account or to an individual family member's account, you've come to the right place. We'll cover the Ask to Buy feature, Family Sharing, and how to redeem iTunes gift cards for different family members.

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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 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, including shared family subscriptions such as Apple Music or iCloud storage. 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:

  1. Open the iTunes Store app.

    Tap iTunes Store and learn how to use Apple gift card with family sharing.
  2. Tap the Featured tab.

    Tap Features in the iTunes Store.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the screen and tap Redeem.

    Tap Redeem at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap Use Camera to scan the iTunes gift card instead of typing it in manually. 

    Tap Use Camera to redeem the iTunes gift card with family sharing.
  5. Tap Enter Code Manually if you prefer to type the code. 

    Select Enter Code Manually to type in your Apple gift card code.
  6. After redeeming your card an updated balance will appear. 
  7. Tap Redeem Another Code if you have another iTunes card to enter.
  8. Tap Done when finished.

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. 

Redeem an iTunes Gift Card on Your Child's iPhone

You might prefer to apply the iTunes gift card directly to your child's Apple ID (or that of another family member) rather than trying to keep a ledger of shared credit for your Family Group. If you add an iTunes gift card to a child account, 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 Sharing 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. You could also just add the gift card to your own account balance and send your child or family member Apple Cash instead, since Apple Cash can be used to make purchases from the App Store, the iTunes Store, and Books.

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

Check an iTunes Gift Card Balance

You can check your iTunes card balance at any time. This comes in handy if you want to cut back on your kid's 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 your account, your Family Sharing account, or the account of your child or another family member, follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Store app.

    Tap App Store to check your iTunes gift card balance.
  2. Tap on the Apple ID icon at the top of the screen.

    Tap your profile icon in the top corner.
  3. If the Apple ID in question has a gift card balance, it will appear underneath their Apple ID. As you can see, I have no credit right now!

    You'll see your iTunes gift card balance beneath your Apple ID.

Now you know how to redeem an Apple gift card on your child's account and how to check their iTunes card 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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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.