It looks like the biggest leak of the Play Store's soon-to-launch gift cards may be coming from Google itself. A support page showed up in search indices (that has now been pulled) which confirms the cards will be US-only at launch and will come in $10, $15, $25, and $50 increments. Through some Google-fu, we've also learned your Google Play balance will have a $2000 limit and cannot be used on subscriptions or devices. So, sorry about your plans to buy a hundred $50 gift cards and then buy 25 Nexus 7s. That's forbidden.


Below is what we've been able to piece together of the currently-unavailable page. Obviously, this is incomplete, but it does contain some interesting info. Keep in mind this is coming from excerpts of removed caches, so it is possible that this info could have changed between the time it was originally posted and the time the gift cards launch. Of course, since much of this info is tied into how gift cards will operate, it's unlikely it will.

Google Play gift cards are available in the United States in the amounts of $10, $15, $25, $50. To find a retailer near you, visit play.google.com/about/giftcards. Any gift cards you redeem will appear on your account as part of your Google Play balance. Note that the Google Play balance has a $2000 limit.

How to redeem. You can redeem your Google Play gift card four ways ways: At play.google.com/redeem

On the back of your Google Play gift card, SCRATCH TO REVEAL CODE. Visit play.google.com/redeem and enter the redemption code found under the scratch-off section. Once you've entered a valid redemption code, the value of the card will be automatically applied to your Google Play balance, which will appear as a payment method when you go through the purchase flow on Google Play.

While making a purchase on the Google Play website (play.google.com)

Ensure you're signed in to your Google account, and select an item to purchase*.

*Note that Google Play gift cards may not be used to purchase subscriptions or items from the Devices section, including accessories (chargers, covers, etc.).

While making a purchase using the Google Play Store app on your device. Open the Google Play Store app on your device, and navigate to the content you'd like to buy; Tap on the item to see the details page; Tap the blue box that lists the item's price; Tap the gray drop-down arrow to see a list of payment options; Select Redeem; On the back of

And that's all we've been able to find. Emphasis added to highlight the interesting bits. It shouldn't be much longer before the cards are released for real and we won't have to label this information with the "probably" disclaimer anymore.

Thanks, Jason!

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/Parad1s3 Paradise

    Classic Google's approach..

  • http://twitter.com/namd88 Nam Dang

    Hate that you use Mac

    • M_JM

      Blame the tipster ;)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yup, not our Mac. We took the tipster's screen, then did the rest of the digging.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        Artem apparently is a hardcore Windows user and Android enthusiast. I know things about him! XD

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          That's accurate.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

            He also has a sister site that he doesn't mention to often called Beerpla.net. So read it and give nice comments! XD

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    To do this, I figured out how to get Google to feed us the info that is not available (was removed) in its cache and only shows up in search results and spent the last hour doing. Fun times, got us a few new things that we didn't know about (like the max $ and a confirmation on what it can't be used on). Woo.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ondrej.vagner Ondřej Vágner

    US-only. Because that's the one part of the world that desperately needs non-credit-card-powered options to buy apps.


    • M_JM

      I am pretty sure they will launch in more countries as they go.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Google has to start somewhere - the country where the main HQ, the most familiar laws, and one of the top economies are located makes the most sense.

      If we were to wait for every country in the world, or maybe the top 50, we'd be waiting for another 3 years.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ondrej.vagner Ondřej Vágner

        It's just hard to get excited about anything Google-related, because by the time it gets here, there will already be something new and better.

        • Bogdan Sladaru

          Yeah. Like the Nexus 7... let's say I understand it's not so easy to sell movies/music in every country in the world, but what's the problem with the hardware!?
          And what's more annoying, I managed to buy a Nexus 7 and I got no $25 bonus, because the card I use is not registered in US/UK/Canada. So I'll start looking for alternatives for Android, let's hope WP8 will be a success.
          Note: I know I can use a proxy and give a fake US address, but for $25 I don't wanna risk losing my Google account.

          • GazaIan

            You're going to switch to WP8 because you didn't get $25? Wow, that's sour.

          • Bogdan Sladaru

            No, you don't get it. I bought the Nexus 7 16 Gb for about $450; that's the final price here, almost double - I assume Google gets the $250, shipping fees and taxes maybe $100 and the middlemen (the shops importing it) $100.
            Do you really believe a puny $25 is the reason I'll switch to WP8? Hell no, what annoys me is that we're treated differently.

          • JG

            I believe (I could be mistaken) there are some laws governing the exportation of software as well, though I don't know if any would be applicable to Android. But it could be why Google was unable to do a complete world-wide release of their tablet.

            Also note that Microsoft, much like Google, is an American company. So if there were legal issues that prohibited Google from launching their Nexus tablet in your country, likely the same laws will prohibit Microsoft from launching a Windows tablet as well...

          • Bogdan Sladaru

            There is no restriction for importing software here; I bought my Galaxy Note 1 or 2 months after the release date. Also, the iPhones and iPads are available here shortly after the US launch, and since Apple is also an US company, the restriction would be the same.
            It's just Google's way of telling us 'f**k you, we don't care about you'.
            The software export bans are usually about encryption and other stuff that can be proved dangerous. Since they already sell Android devices around the world (including my country), I'm sure there is no legal reason for their decision.
            I just wonder what the impact of the Apple vs Samsung decision would be on Google's attitude, now that a big chunk of their Android market is threatened in the US. Will they expand faster towards Europe? :)

      • Raphaël Briand

        No it doesn't have to start somewhere. It could start everywhere. Why does it always pussyfoot around with limited, tentative betas instead of rolling out an international release as if it was a global corporation with balls?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    "Note that Google Play gift cards may not be used to purchase subscriptions or items from the Devices section, including accessories (chargers, covers, etc.)."

    Why can't I stock up on these an buy a Nexus or a subscription to my MMORPG?

    Not that I actually have any of those.

  • David Bell

    Why is this such a big deal?
    Google, make so I can throw money in anyone's' account, When I do you (Google) send a nice e-card mentioning that fact with choice of occasions to pick from.
    HAPPY BRIS (YOUR NAME HERE) hoping angry birds will speed your recovery

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      It's because it signals that Google are trying to reach a widespread audience. Having Google Play giftcards in shops should help to raise its profile and awareness.

  • kurt hinds

    Canada and other countries need content before there is any gift cards launched!

  • Himmat Singh

    So who's going to volunteer to get me some gift cards? I'd pay ya via PayPal...

  • amorphis

    Why is it so hard for Google to go apple way regarding the play store? This is what's been pissing off so many people for a long time now.

    On iOS, you can choose which region (US, Canada, UK... etc) without the need for a proxy or a VPN, use a credit card or an iTunes card for that region you chose, and be on your way, and you can purchase any type of content no matter where you are in the world. Including movies.

    Can anybody hint this to Google

  • Bruno Pedro

    1) safari really? :)

    2) google takes forever on their international releases... I hate it, Play Store lacks content, I can't even buy the Nexus 7, even on the hardware department they lag!!!

  • michael interbartolo

    is there anything preventing me from buying these in the US and selling the codes to someone overseas? if the physical cards are only rolling out in the US, fine. minor hiccup, but if the Play store prevents redemption for anyone outside the US then that is the big hurdle.

  • pikeing

    Just hope Google play gift cards come to UK soon can only get free apps at moment only thing that let's Google play down over iTunes