Set Up an iTunes Account for Your Child Using a Gift Card

1
Get an iTunes gift card or certificate.

Middle aged couple shopping online
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iTunes can be a great tool for motivating your child. Money to spend on songs is a reward your child can earn and enjoy quickly, but adding those gains to your own account makes it difficult sometimes to know who's got what to spend. Setting up an account in your child's name makes those rewards more concrete, and gives your child a lesson in managing money, too.

You can start an iTunes account with a credit card, a gift card or certificate, or an allowance. Let's assume you want your child to have a personal iTunes account, but not unlimited access to your credit card. For the step-by-step in this article, you'll need to have an iTunes gift card or certificate.

If your child just received one as a gift, you're ready to go. If not, you can buy a gift certificate from your own iTunes account to print or e-mail; or you can buy an iTunes gift card at many stores, including Apple stores and department stores like Target. (If you're buying one at an Apple store, make sure you get an iTunes gift card and not an Apple store gift card -- the latter won't work on iTunes.) Gift cards sell for as little as $10, so if your kids have that much in savings, you can have them buy their own, or earn the money from you.

Once you have a gift card or certificate, you're ready to proceed. If you'd prefer to set up your child's account using an allowance, go to my allowance step-by-step. ‚ÄčAnd if you just want to use the account to help your child get free applications, songs, podcasts, and other downloads, go to the free account step-by-step for an account with no credit card, no gift card, no allowance, and no money to spend.

2
Go the iTunes page for redeeming gifts.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 2
The iTunes Store. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Be sure that you are logged out of your own iTunes account, and that the account name box on the iTunes Store says "Sign In." (If you don't have iTunes on the computer you're using, download it from the Apple site.) Go to the homepage of the iTunes store, and click on the link in the right-hand bar that says "Redeem."

3
Redeem your gift certificate or card.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 3
Redeem your gift card or certificate. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Type the number on the gift certificate or gift card into the box provided, and click on "Redeem."

4
Click on "Create Account."

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 4
Create a new account. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Because you are not logged into an iTunes account, you will get a screen that asks you to log in. Instead, click on the button that says "Create Account."

5
Continue to create your account.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 5
The "Welcome to the iTunes Store" window. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

When you arrive at the "Welcome to the iTunes Store" window, click on "Continue."

6
Read and agree to the Terms of Service.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 6
The iTunes Terms of Service. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Next, you'll be asked to review the Terms of Service for the iTunes account. Review these terms and, if appropriate, have your child review them as well. Then click in the box that says "I have read and agree to iTunes Terms and Conditions" and click on the button that says "Continue."

7
Create your child's account.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 7
Choose a user name and password. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

You'll need an e-mail address for your child's Apple ID, and it can't be one you've already used for your own iTunes account. If your child doesn't have an account already, follow my step-by-step for creating an e-mail account you can monitor, allowing you to keep track of your child's purchases and account correspondence. Select a password and security question that both you and your child will be able to remember easily. Enter your child's birthday, and choose whether or not you want your child's e-mail account to receive iTunes mailings. Then click "Continue."

8
Provide a billing address.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 8
Enter your billing address. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Your gift card or gift certificate number should appear on the billing screen. Do not click on any of the credit-card types or enter any credit card information. Enter your child's name and address in the billing address spaces, and click on "Continue."

9
Receive confirmation that you have successfully created the account.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 9
Your gift has been redeemed. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

If all has been entered correctly, you should reach this screen confirming that your gift card or gift certificate has been redeemed. Click on the "Shop" button to go into the iTunes store.

10
Check account information and set preferences.

Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 10
Starting an iTunes Account With a Gift Card - Step 10. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

When you go back to the iTunes Store, it should have your child's account name and the amount of the gift certificate showing in the top right-hand corner. If you like, you can go into the iTunes "Preferences" menu and make adjustments, including setting parental controls that limit what material can show up in the store. Now you're ready to let your child go shopping. Add to the account as you like, through allowances or e-mailed gift certificates used as rewards.

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