Apple launches universal gift card for hardware, software, and services

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2020
Billing it as being for "everything Apple," Apple has added a new gift card that combines the old Apple Store hardware, and App Store and iTunes ones.

Detail from Apple's promotion of its new gift card
Detail from Apple's promotion of its new gift card


Alongside the start of its back to school promotions, Apple has launched a new single gift card and Apple Account Balance for users in the US. It covers all hardware, software, and services that the company sells. The new card is promoted as being "for everything and everyone."

"Products, accessories, apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, iCloud, and more. This gift card does it all," says Apple on its shop page. "And then some."

The previous App Store & iTunes gift card, and the Apple Store Gift Cards that are for hardware, will continue to be accepted and will fund the user's new and unified Apple Account Balance. However, the previous options to buy these online from Apple's site appear to have been removed.

A separate gift card for businesses -- to be used in promotional incentives, for example -- continues to be available to buy.

Apple does also caution buyers of any of its gift cards that they cannot be used for anything other than purchases of Apple products. And says that "if you receive a request for payment using Apple Gift Cards" in any other way, you should report it to the FTC.

This follows years of scams relating to Apple's various gift cards. Despite repeated warnings from Apple about these scams, the company has recently been sued for allegedly perpetuating them.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    That makes sense. I have suggested Apple Store gift cards when people asked me what they should get me and instead been given an iTunes gift card. Not that that is bad but it sure didn’t help me to buy an iPad Pro, for instance.

    On a separate note, Apple Store gift cards weren’t really “for hardware”, it was also possible to use one to purchase an iTunes gift card. Really, it was the more flexible of the two options.
    SpamSandwichBeatswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    About time, to be honest. 
    dewmewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 15
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,122member
    I agree. It’s all the same company so why separate cards?

    But even so, please don’t buy these and send the numbers to people you get a mass e-mail from who address you as “Hey” and whom you haven’t heard from in years. Or in order to pay the IRS,  a hospital, etc.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Apple does also caution buyers of any of its gift cards that they cannot be used for anything other than purchases of Apple products. And says that "if you receive a request for payment using Apple Gift Cards" in any other way, you should report it to the FTC.

    I think there needs to be some sort of written test you to pass before you’re allowed anywhere near an internet connection. 
    mike1pichaelfred1Beatswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 15
    pichaelpichael Posts: 50member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple does also caution buyers of any of its gift cards that they cannot be used for anything other than purchases of Apple products. And says that "if you receive a request for payment using Apple Gift Cards" in any other way, you should report it to the FTC.

    I think there needs to be some sort of written test you to pass before you’re allowed anywhere near an internet connection. 
    I love that. I totally agree with you.  
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 15
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,555member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple does also caution buyers of any of its gift cards that they cannot be used for anything other than purchases of Apple products. And says that "if you receive a request for payment using Apple Gift Cards" in any other way, you should report it to the FTC.

    I think there needs to be some sort of written test you to pass before you’re allowed anywhere near an internet connection. 
    Hey, maybe someone wanted to stock up on Hamburger Helper and all they had was a $50 iTunes card. Just sayin' ...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    payecopayeco Posts: 581member
    I think this is actually bad news. Previously many retailers frequently offered 10, 15, 20 percent discounts on iTunes gift cards. Costco always had discounts on Black Friday that when you stacked promotions added up to a 30%+ discount. I subscribe to a lot of services through iTunes so I can get a discount on them by stocking up on a few hundred dollars worth each year on Black Friday. I can not see this continuing if gift cards can now be used on Apple hardware as well.


    Hopefully Apple will continue to offer occasional discounts of 10% by reloading your iTunes account balance directly through them.
    edited July 2020 stompyJapheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,122member
    pichael said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple does also caution buyers of any of its gift cards that they cannot be used for anything other than purchases of Apple products. And says that "if you receive a request for payment using Apple Gift Cards" in any other way, you should report it to the FTC.

    I think there needs to be some sort of written test you to pass before you’re allowed anywhere near an internet connection. 
    I love that. I totally agree with you.  
    "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."  - Albert Einstein
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,899administrator
    payeco said:
    I think this is actually bad news. Previously many retailers frequently offered 10, 15, 20 percent discounts on iTunes gift cards. Costco always had discounts on Black Friday that when you stacked promotions added up to a 30%+ discount. I subscribe to a lot of services through iTunes so I can get a discount on them by stocking up on a few hundred dollars worth each year on Black Friday. I can not see this continuing if gift cards can now be used on Apple hardware as well.


    Hopefully Apple will continue to offer occasional discounts of 10% by reloading your iTunes account balance directly through them.
    We were discussing this in our Slack, and we think you're probably right. As you assert, discounted gift cards are probably done, but preload offers will likely stay.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    payecopayeco Posts: 581member
    payeco said:
    I think this is actually bad news. Previously many retailers frequently offered 10, 15, 20 percent discounts on iTunes gift cards. Costco always had discounts on Black Friday that when you stacked promotions added up to a 30%+ discount. I subscribe to a lot of services through iTunes so I can get a discount on them by stocking up on a few hundred dollars worth each year on Black Friday. I can not see this continuing if gift cards can now be used on Apple hardware as well.


    Hopefully Apple will continue to offer occasional discounts of 10% by reloading your iTunes account balance directly through them.
    We were discussing this in our Slack, and we think you're probably right. As you assert, discounted gift cards are probably done, but preload offers will likely stay.
    I’m hopeful that some places like Costco will at least offer some discount by not charging any markup on them to get people in the doors. After all, retailers are not selling them out of the goodness of their heart. Apple has to be offering some margin on them to make carrying them worthwhile. Even if it’s just a few percent, it would still be beneficial for getting a discount on Apple hardware. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,555member
    payeco said:
    payeco said:
    I think this is actually bad news. Previously many retailers frequently offered 10, 15, 20 percent discounts on iTunes gift cards. Costco always had discounts on Black Friday that when you stacked promotions added up to a 30%+ discount. I subscribe to a lot of services through iTunes so I can get a discount on them by stocking up on a few hundred dollars worth each year on Black Friday. I can not see this continuing if gift cards can now be used on Apple hardware as well.


    Hopefully Apple will continue to offer occasional discounts of 10% by reloading your iTunes account balance directly through them.
    We were discussing this in our Slack, and we think you're probably right. As you assert, discounted gift cards are probably done, but preload offers will likely stay.
    I’m hopeful that some places like Costco will at least offer some discount by not charging any markup on them to get people in the doors. After all, retailers are not selling them out of the goodness of their heart. Apple has to be offering some margin on them to make carrying them worthwhile. Even if it’s just a few percent, it would still be beneficial for getting a discount on Apple hardware. 
    Yeah, I expect that retailers will be able to offer some promotions based on their margins. Apple is always free to run promotions on anything it sells, including hardware, software, and services. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,129member
    payeco said:
    I’m hopeful that some places like Costco will at least offer some discount by not charging any markup on them to get people in the doors. After all, retailers are not selling them out of the goodness of their heart. Apple has to be offering some margin on them to make carrying them worthwhile. Even if it’s just a few percent, it would still be beneficial for getting a discount on Apple hardware. 
    That's conceivable for Costco as their main profit centre is the membership fees, not the goods.

    Not charging any markup for other retailers? How do you think they stay in business?

    Quite frankly, this is another tool from Apple to drive customers to their own retail experiences at the expense of their partners.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    payecopayeco Posts: 581member
    mknelson said:
    payeco said:
    I’m hopeful that some places like Costco will at least offer some discount by not charging any markup on them to get people in the doors. After all, retailers are not selling them out of the goodness of their heart. Apple has to be offering some margin on them to make carrying them worthwhile. Even if it’s just a few percent, it would still be beneficial for getting a discount on Apple hardware. 
    That's conceivable for Costco as their main profit centre is the membership fees, not the goods.

    Not charging any markup for other retailers? How do you think they stay in business?

    Quite frankly, this is another tool from Apple to drive customers to their own retail experiences at the expense of their partners.
    I obviously don’t expect them to be discounted at other retailers all the time. But it’s perfectly conceivable for them to sell them as loss leaders to, as I said, get people in the doors during holiday sales and things like that.
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    I feel this announcement is big enough to have been shown at WWDC. Just a little show closer.

    I thought the gift cards were square like the picture. Was thinking Apple's spirit of innovation had to change the typical card shape. Though I'm hoping they innovate a way to redeem cards so grannies don't get scammed.

    mknelson said:
    payeco said:
    I’m hopeful that some places like Costco will at least offer some discount by not charging any markup on them to get people in the doors. After all, retailers are not selling them out of the goodness of their heart. Apple has to be offering some margin on them to make carrying them worthwhile. Even if it’s just a few percent, it would still be beneficial for getting a discount on Apple hardware. 
    That's conceivable for Costco as their main profit centre is the membership fees, not the goods.

    Not charging any markup for other retailers? How do you think they stay in business?

    Quite frankly, this is another tool from Apple to drive customers to their own retail experiences at the expense of their partners.

    Or Apple is simplifying things for us? Not everything Apple does is evil.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,389member
    Rayz2016 said:
    About time, to be honest. 
    Normally I consider "about time" posts insignificant and sort of silly as all that matters to me is that Apple is now doing something I want.

    But having two separate cards never made any sense to me and I never saw any explanation, let alone a satisfactory one, as to why their are two separate cards. So - about time!

    payeco said:
    I think this is actually bad news.
    Disappointing, to say the least. I used to stock up on the 20% discounted cards but those discounts are now very far and few between. It's just me but a 15% discount just doesn't move me to buy. 

    payeco said:
    I’m hopeful that some places like Costco will at least offer some discount by not charging any markup on them to get people in the doors.
    Ok truth be told, I've never purchased an iTunes card at Costco, nor any gift card from any vendor, at the supermarket. I assumed the supermarket got them at a slight discount and they were sold at face value + tax. So there is a markup on the face value of the card? I figured there was no "goodness of their heart" involved. Apparently I assumed the profit taking methodology incorrectly. I am also unfamiliar with the vehicle people call a "hatchback".


    mknelson said:
    Quite frankly, this is another tool from Apple to drive customers to their own retail experiences at the expense of their partners.
    A bullshit comment, quite frankly. It's not as though Apple is unique in that practice and every other retailer isn't doing something for the same purpose. Yeah, Evil Apple.


    watto_cobra
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