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16/02/2024 - 

Google Play gift card redemption errors? Learn how to fix them

Google Play is a digital distribution service operated by Google. You can browse and download Android apps, games, music, books, and films with Google Play.
Google Play gift cards are a popular way to buy content on this platform. They offer a convenient way to pay for digital content without needing a credit card. This is particularly useful if you don’t have access to a bank account or prefer not to share personal financial information online. They’re also popular as gifts for friends and family. Occasionally, users run into errors when redeeming these gift cards. If you’ve encountered a redemption error, this article will help you find the fix.

Please note: Your Google Account’s country must match the country where the gift card or promotional code is offered. If you’re currently traveling, try redeeming your gift card once you've returned to your home country.

How to use a Google Play gift card

To redeem a Google Play card, follow these steps: Google Play Gift Card
  • Open the Google Play app.
  • At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  • Tap ‘Payments and subscriptions’ and then ‘Redeem gift code’.
  • Enter the code.

When you get a confirmation message that you redeemed the gift card and earned a reward:
  • To claim your reward, tap ‘Get’.
  • To use the reward later, tap ‘Not now’.

Common Google Play gift card errors, with fixes

If you’re sitting there thinking “why won’t my Google Play gift card work?”, we get it. It’s annoying. So let’s get straight to the redemption errors and how to fix them.

1. An unexpected error has occurred
This error is often a temporary issue related to Google Play's servers. If you encounter this, try the following:
  • Ensure a stable internet connection.
  • Clear the cache of the Google Play Store app:
    - On your Android phone or tablet, open the Settings app.
    - Tap ‘Apps and notifications’.
    - Scroll down and tap ‘Google Play Store’.
    - Tap ‘Storage’ then ‘Clear cache’.
    - Tap ‘Clear data’.
  • Try redeeming your gift card again.
If this doesn’t work, wait 30 minutes then try redeeming again.

2. Not activated – Code could not be redeemed
To fix the "not activated – code could not be redeemed" error for a Google Play digital gift card, try these steps:
  • Reboot your mobile device to clear any temporary issues.
  • Ensure you have a stable internet connection.
  • Clear the cache of the Google Play Store app.
  • Re-login to your Google account on the device.
  • Check the promotional code carefully for accuracy and expiration.
  • Check your Google Play account for any credit limits.
  • Update your Google Play Store to the latest version.
  • Attempt to redeem the code on a different device using the same Google account.
  • Contact Google Play Help for further assistance if needed.
If the gift card was purchased from a physical store (such as Tesco, Asda, or WHSmith), return to the store and ask them to activate it. Provide the receipt as proof of purchase.

3. You have already used this gift card
If you see this message, your card's value may have already been used. To confirm, check your Google Play balance:
  • Open the Google Play app.
  • At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  • Tap ‘Payments & subscriptions’ and then ‘Payment methods’ and then ‘Google Play balance’.

If you want to add more money to your account, you can buy another gift card in minutes.
Buy Google Play gift card

If you still think something’s wrong, contact Google Play Help.

4. We need more info to redeem this gift card
When prompted, provide the necessary details to verify your purchase. If it was a digital purchase, you’ll need to upload a screenshot of the gift card showing the retailer name or logo, the code, the date of purchase, and the amount.
For a physical gift card, you’ll need to take photos of the card, and provide the name of the store where it was purchased, along with the city.

Dealing with gift card delays and non-delivery

Sometimes, the gift card code may not arrive in your email as expected. To avoid any problems, you should only buy a Google Play gift card from a reputable source like mobiletopup.co.uk. You should also take care to type your email address - or the email address of the person you want to gift - correctly when purchasing. If you follow these tips but still can’t find your gift card in your inbox, check your junk folder. If you’re still having issues, contact Google Play Help.

Expiry dates and terms

Some Google Play gift cards have an expiry date, after which the card cannot be used. Any remaining balance may be lost.
Here are some other things to be aware of about your Google Play gift card:

Google Play gift cards are non-refundable once purchased.

The balance of the gift card is non-transferable. You cannot transfer it to another Google Play account once redeemed.

Limited to Google Play Store
The funds on the gift card can only be used for purchases on the Google Play Store, such as apps, games, movies, books, and other digital content. They cannot be used for goods or services outside the Google Play ecosystem.

No resale
The resale of Google Play gift cards is prohibited. Purchasing cards from unauthorised sellers may lead to the card being invalidated.

Single use
Once a gift card is redeemed, you can’t add additional funds.

Protecting yourself from Google Play card scams

Google advises that “someone might be trying to scam you if they ask you to buy a Google Play gift card and share the code so that you can pay for something outside Google Play.” To avoid scams, Google recommends that you never use Google Play gift cards to pay for anything outside Google Play. You should also never share the code on the back of the gift card. You can report a suspected gift card scam to Google here.

No more Google Play gift card redeem code headaches

Dealing with Google Play gift card redemption errors can be frustrating. You can bookmark this article so you’ve always got a list of fixes handy if you need them.
Remember to purchase from reputable sources, keep track of your gift cards, and be aware of the terms and conditions. With these tips, you're now equipped to tackle any issues and enjoy all the amazing entertainment in Google Play.

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