16
Oct
gplay_logo_g

Update: Google has updated its Play gift card support page to reflect this change, and this change hints that at some point this feature might allow you to gift Play Store credit:

Note: You may only purchase Google Play credit to add to your own Google Play balance - at this time, it is not possible, aside from purchasing a physical Google Play gift card from a retail store, to add to another user’s Google Play balance as a gift.

Google has just introduced a brand-new feature on the Play Store that's sure to be useful to many people - Play Store credit is now purchasable directly through the Play Store site. You can find the new option at the bottom of any Play Storage page, near the "Buy Gift Card" link.

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At this point, we're not sure how many countries have this option enabled, but this is undoubtedly a lot easier than heading down to your local Target and picking up a physical Play Store gift card, introduced back in August, if you don't actually need to. Buying straight from the web is probably especially cool for parents with children who own Android devices.

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The credit is available in various increments, from $5 to $50. Is Play Store credit available in your country? Let us know in the comments!

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Adam

    Not available in Australia. However, I do have the 'Redeem' link but all it does is sends me to Google Wallet with some text saying that its not available in my location.

    • Donovan Chan

      Same in Hong Kong.

    • Tomáš Maněna

      Same in Czech Republic.

    • TKL

      Same in Belgium, Luxembourg and Slovenia.

    • Alan

      Same in the UK, nice see the rest of the world getting screwed over again. Still it's no different to Windows Phone where half to Bing features are only available in the US.

  • http://www.dsaif.tk/ Saif

    What's the point of this when we can buy apps anyway?

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

      So you can buy it for your kids who don't have a card added to their account, for example. Just buy them $25 and tell them to have at it for a month.

      • http://abrah.am/ Abraham Williams

        You still have to add a credit card to Wallet to purchase these though which would have to then be removed.

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

          Hrm. You've got a point. Yeah, I see no use here then. Completely pointless to me.

          • http://jeremyperez.com Jeremy

            That would still be a good use. Would you rather add credit to your kids account this way (adding then removing the card from Wallet), or drive to nearest Target/Game Stop/Radio Shack and buy a Play card there? FYI when I did this Radio Shack only had 3 $10 cards left. My nearest Target doesn't even stock them.

      • http://www.dsaif.tk/ Saif

        Useful for some

      • TheWhiteLotus

        Wouldn't you still have to add a credit card for it, in which case it would just charge that after they ran out?

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

          Yeah, you're right. I don't get this option at all then.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523907787 Maxx Tan

            Probably for paranoid folks who removes their credit card info every time they buy something using wallet.

          • TheWhiteLotus

            Conspiracy theory: Right now you can only add funds from credit cards, because Google Wallet only accepts funds from credit cards. If there were some other way Wallet could accept funds, maybe this would be useful. This points to Google Wallet becoming a bank-like service like PayPal where you store money and send it to others. This was already featured in an APK tear down.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexslx Alexandre Leites

      "This is probably especially cool for parents with children who own Android devices." Or do you want to allow your children access a google account with a good unlimited credit card attached?

      • http://twitter.com/lenasverige Lena Sh

        Just set up a PIN for purchases..

    • Ryan Stuckmaier

      I suppose if your CC company doesn't like microcharges this would be helpful for $0.25 sales. Of course, for most people this doesn't make a difference and my bank actually charges me if I make less than 6 "credit" purchases with my debit card... so yeah.

  • Joel Santos

    Not here.. Portugal

  • Raging_Bull

    Only available in the US, as usual.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523907787 Maxx Tan

      Yep, as usual. Great for US, pretty crappy to the rest of the world. Google services is pretty crappy when it is outside of US

      • Matti

        But wait, is it possible for a ROW user to register a new gmail account, putting US as the country, and then proceed to use the gift cards (bought online) to buy content available for the US markey (magazines, books, music, movies, etc), without having to resort to a proxy or VPN anymore??

        I could do this with iOS. WOuld be awesome if I could do this with Android. Wouldn't mind registering a new account and re-purchasing some apps just for this advantage.

  • Glenn

    None in Australia either, even though there's a Redeem button that links to a page saying 'Gift Cards are not available in your country'. When will the Play Store become less US centric? Come on Google!

  • http://abrah.am/ Abraham Williams

    Pretty useless until you can gift to other people.

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

      Yeah, it feels limited. You can go to someone's house (unless you're buying for your kids) and have them log into their account, then use your own CC to buy them some credit, but nobody's going to do that. And why would you buy yourself Play Store credit?

      Maybe Google knows something we don't, but I guess if it works in one corner case and doesn't bother me otherwise, why not?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523907787 Maxx Tan

        Ain't nobody got time for that

      • JG

        "And why would you buy yourself Play Store credit?"

        I think you (or one of the other AP writers) answered it in a gift card article (or at least posed a likely hypothesis)... If you buy a gift card (or now credit) it'll just show up as 1 single charge on your bank statement, rather than a whole bunch of 99cent charges for all the individual apps/songs/etc you bought.

        Though I agree with Abraham.... I've been hoping Google might let us buy gift cards online. Just add in an extra field for the recipient's email. Once submitted, shoot them an email with the redemption code or automatically add it to their account & send them a "Hey, your mom just gave you Google Credit" email...

        • http://jeremyperez.com Jeremy

          I like the idea of a single charge on the bank statement. Would have rather seen a single $10 charge during the $0.25 app sale than a wall of 25 cent charges on my credit card statement and their matching entries in Quicken.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        Google would never want to suggest this as a use case, but some people use pre-paid credit cards with the Play Store. This might be slightly helpful in that scenario. Just to use the obvious case, parents give an account to their kids and tie it to a pre-paid (or expired) credit card, then they could fill up the account as predicted.

        It would also be good for those very few people that use cards with transaction fees. I've heard there are still some debit cards that do this, though I can't imagine why somebody would willingly use them.

        I'm sure this is just the first stage of the larger set of features. It will make more sense soon enough...

      • Kevin Clark

        As stated already, all those little 99 cent charges make a mess of the banking. Nice to have one big 10 dollar charge to make the check book balancing easy.

      • Simon Belmont

        I kind of like the idea of allocating a certain amount of Google Play Store credit to my account. It keeps my spending in check.

        I'm on a fairly tight budget, so it works in my case. I can see Google expanding it to gifting as previously mentioned, though.

        • JG

          Yeah, that would be another feature I thought of... Like during the recent 25-cent sell... There were a couple apps I thought "What the he'll its only 25-cents..." But then when I hit buy & the Play Store Balance from my free N7 money popped up & I saw how low it was... My thinking became "you know, I'll probably only use this neat under water live wallpaper for a day or two, get tired of it & never use it again, so..." and then hit cancle...

          Its only 25-cents, but if you don't watch it, those 25-cents add up... Especially if you bump it up to normal 99-cent apps, 1.99 songs, etc...

    • jamison

      Unless you buy allotted amounts for your kids

  • jab416171

    They should just have a dropdown, from $1 to $50. There's no reason why there should only be 4 denominations.

  • Thracks

    Only the US, as is ever the case.

  • Todd

    I see this as a way of slowly starting to use up the leftover bits from gift cards and promotions. I know that I've got something like $.80 left over from my Nexus 7 purchase gift, and the Play Store doesn't allow for multiple payment forms. ALso, this could be a way for them to increase their cash holdings in the google play balances (while they earn interest) and I can keep my purchases with one form. Not a great argument as el goog has a lot of cash.

    Also, by helping people transition to Credit instead of using a CC for each purchase, does this limit the transactions that could be charged back to your CC.

  • Kent Sampson

    no for trinidad and tobago but if ip is changed it can :D

  • http://twitter.com/Walkin_mn J waitforit C

    Not available in México but i now have the same Redeem option which doesn't works now, but if they put it there, i guess it will come soon.

  • NicholasMicallef

    Not available here... just like music, movies, books, navigation etc.

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

    What would make sense to me is if we could buy codes here instead of adding to our own balance - then we can give them to our kids, friends, etc. The way Google just did it now just doesn't make sense, especially since you need to add a credit card to the account that's getting the balance topped off to actually do so.

  • Jose Marie Maquinay

    Not available here in the Philippines OR France (tru proxy/VPN)...

    I wish they enable the gift option and worldwide support soon...

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

    OK, so based on the updates to this page http://support.google.com/googleplay/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2715125&topic=1187417&ctx=topic, the sole purpose of this it seems is topping off your own balance when you're running low while trying to purchase something that you don't have money for, but still have a good amount left in your balance.

    For example, you're buying an $8 game but have only $3 left in the balance. Now you can top off as part of the purchase flow.

    Additionally, based on the verbiage on that page, gifting balance to others may be coming.

    Here is what Google added on the page I linked to above:
    "Purchase additional Google Play credit
    You can purchase additional Google Play credit to add to your Google Play balance in two ways:

    On play.google.com: Scroll to the bottom of the page (just above Site Terms of Service and Privacy Policy), and click Buy Google Play credit.During the purchase flow: If your Google Play balance is insufficient to cover the cost of an item you are purchasing, on the payment method drop-down, select Add to balance to buy additional Google Play credit.

    Note: You may only purchase Google Play credit to add to your own Google Play balance - at this time, it is not possible, aside from purchasing a physical Google Play gift card from a retail store, to add to another user’s Google Play balance as a gift."

  • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

    It's probably for issues that people face with their kids "accidently" purchasing in game coins to limit the amount of money on the account.

  • Himmat Singh

    Would it work if you bought say, $50, and then removed your credit card from Wallet? If so, I can see many people doing this to protect their credit card for whatever reason, and to also keep a better account of where they spend money on Google Play. Having said that, this isn't available in Malaysia, sadly.

  • jamisom

    Also has a recommended section

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

      What had a recommended section? The Play Store? It's had it for ages.

  • Lox_knc

    "Buying straight from the web is probably especially cool for parents with children who own Android devices."

    How? I can't charge my son's Google Play credit but only my account. I am a father and it is not useful (yet)

    BTW, it not available to France as of gift cards.

  • selonmoi

    Nothing in Canada. Google's execution on international roll-outs continues to suck.

  • Deviantartjr Henz

    Still not available at my country, Indonesia,

  • Matti

    Question;
    Is it possible to create a new Gmail account and have your purchases run exclusively off these cards, without ever needing to let Google know any of your credit card details? ... Or do you still need a credit card to activate Wallet first?

  • http://twitter.com/TheGermian Roberto Giunta

    ... in America!

  • Zelig

    How about play gift cards for the rest of the world google.

  • Niels Delporte

    It's not in Belgium, which is a shame!

  • Bogdan Sladaru

    Yeah. US only again.
    I'm still waiting for an alternative to Android, when it will appear I will switch instantly.

  • aatifsumar

    Is the refund within 15 minutes option available for Gift Cards too? Can someone who has used one confirm?

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Yes, refunds work just fine. I had to do one a couple of weeks ago. The refund took a lot longer than I expected to post back to the account (about 90 minutes that time), but it definitely came back.

  • ygvuhb

    if you have a nexus 7 & use vpn got us25, you can still buy credit (of course in usd) when it is not enough

    this situation will not limit in the rest of world

  • http://twitter.com/LiiIiikEaBau5 LiiIiikEaBau5

    Useless if only American get this. Not available in Norway :-(
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2l8c284.png

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Second para, third line: "Play Storage page"

    Kthxbey.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1244276178 Steve Hopper Jr.

    This is good for those people that want to stay on a budget instead of buying endless apps, renting movies, getting albums and then seeing charges later and thinking, oh, I spent a heck of a lot of money without even thinking about it.

  • camlork

    Sounds great But not a lot of use if you live in the Isle of Man - no credit when I purchased my Nexus 7 and can't purchase Apps. Love my Nexus but will be very tempted to switch to the IPad mini. Never have any problems with using/downloading on my iPad and you can actually contact Apple to ask questions.

  • bender

    look at this services map, it compares google, apple, microsoft and amazon
    http://www.macstories.net/stories/mapping-the-entertainment-ecosystems-of-apple-microsoft-google-amazon/

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      I'm not trying to dig into a long fact-checking session, but I can confirm that the count of countries where Microsoft offers apps on their platform is significantly higher than what's listed in that map. A site that closely aligns itself with one company is rarely a good source for facts about that companies competitors...

  • disappointed with google!!!!

    thats why some people prefer hack apps because paid apps not available in other country. . which theyre willing to pay in any amount. . i love android but because of this, i want to shift to Apple no sweat in buying apps. . my S3 is useless!

  • Louis

    I likes it when you could buy things with the credit you had in your phone.... this is just crap...

  • Evan

    Why the hell doesn't this work with PayPal

  • martinbro

    If I buy a Google play store card in America will it work in australia

  • silly

    not a good choice for parents either... You have to "add your credit card" to the kid's wallet/profile... if you forget to delete your cc from their account they can spend every last dime... why not just hand them all your cash? I've just about had enough of google...and I used to be their #1 fan.

  • sam

    Basicaly they are selling you something that doesnt work then im in uk just got phone cannot buy prepaid cards here only works in America then why sell it here

  • joe frisch

    Can u transfer ur google play credits to other people