If you ever receive an iTunes gift card as a present, whether it's via email, a printed gift certificate someone hands you, or a plastic credit card sized gift card that can be purchased in stores, the best idea is to redeem the gift card right away, even if you don't intend on buying anything yet. iTunes Store gift cards can only be used on the iTunes Store, and gift cards just place a credit on your account that will sit there until you actually make a purchase. It's not like having a gift card for a store in the mall, where you actually have to remember to bring the card with you when you shop at that store. With an iTunes gift card, you just enter that gift card information into iTunes, and the credit will be there waiting for you when you're ready to make a purchase.
Now if you received a gift certificate by email, there will be a link you can click that would take you right to the redemption page on the iTunes Store. If you received a printed gift certificate or a plastic gift card, you want to go to the iTunes Store homepage, and here on the right under Quick Links click Redeem. And all you have do on this screen is type in the code on the gift certificate or card that you have received. Then click Redeem. If you typed in everything correctly, the amount of the gift card will be instantly credited to your account. Any purchases you make will then be deducted from your store credit and only when the credit has run out will your personal credit card then be charged for purchases. Or you can just hope people keep giving you gift cards so you never have to pay for iTunes Store purchases yourself.
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