iTunes Store country restrictions


Q: I will be traveling to the U.S. soon for a holiday and the U.S. iTunes Store has so many TV shows that would be useful to own. I was looking at one that I just picked up a day or two ago and in the fine print it said that the gift card can only be used on the country it was purchased in. So I was wondering, can you buy U.S. iTunes Store gift cards and use them on the U.S. Store and be in another country?

– Alex

A: iTunes Store Gift Cards can only be used for the iTunes Store of the country in which they were purchased, so an iTunes Store Gift Card purchased in a retail store in the United States can only be used on the U.S. iTunes Store. The iTunes Store normally uses your billing address from your credit card to verify your country of residence and there are no technical restrictions on where you can access any given country’s iTunes Store from, so as long as you have a legitimate address in the United States you can technically use the U.S. iTunes Store from anywhere in the world that you happen to be.

That said, the terms of service for the U.S. iTunes Store state that “The Service is available to you only in the United States, its territories, and possessions. You agree not to use or attempt to use the Service from outside of the available territory, and that Apple may use technologies to verify your compliance.” Therefore, while there are no technical restrictions in place right now to restrict the use of the U.S. iTunes Store from outside of the U.S., doing so is definitely in violation of the Terms of Service for the iTunes Store.

For more information, please see our Complete Guide to Using the iTunes Store.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.