Yesterday we learned that Google was ready to follow Apple’s iTunes lead and start selling gift cards of its own, all ready for buyers to redeem on apps, books, and all the digital good sold through the Play Store. The code to support such cards appeared to already be in place in the Play Store app, and some leaked images showed off the cards’ packaging in the flesh. What we didn’t know was just when these cards would actually go up for sale. Well, it’s still not official, but these cards have now been spotted in retail stores in the wild, and they appear to be fully functional.
By fully functional, we mean that not only can you buy these cards right now (at least if you find a retailer that’s willing to sell them), but the cards can be successfully activated and their codes used to redeem for credit on your Google Play account.
There definitely appears to be some geographical restrictions in place, with users in the UK getting a message that the cards aren’t supported in their country when attempting to redeem them.
What would have been cool would be to let users scan gift cards with the NFC readers on their Androids, but sadly the cards don’t seem to have any built-in NFC tag. That’s probably for the best, though, as no doubt someone would have come up with a way to exploit wireless communications during either the activation process or by scanning the cards before then to steal their details.
This particular card was bought a Target in South Jersey. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one, it might be worth a shot checking out Target stores near you to see if they also have any Google Play gift cards already up for sale.
Source: Android Police