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Using Google Play Gift Cards in Zimbabwe.

Popular Gift Cards in a UK store.
Popular Gift Cards in a UK store.

In our previous instalment we looked at the usefulness of Gift Cards and how they can result in savings for you. The Google Play store is one particular store that is becoming increasingly important this side as a result of the proliferation of Android phones. While we can understand the difficulties of providing similar access to content because of the complexities of copyright laws; it does seem a bit retarded that Google Play store gift cards are only available in the UK and US. Today we will look at how you can buy Google Play cards and redeem them.

Getting the Card.

The first step in Google’s evil plan to deny us access to the forbidden pleasures was to make sure that Play Gift cards can only be bought in store as seen in the picture above and while I am going to go bald scratching my and trying out to figure out why they would not sell them online that is just how it is.

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The good news is that there are several online stores that sell these cards via online delivery. They access an actual physical card for the desired denomination, scratch it for you, scan the redeem code and send it to your email address; all of this is done usually within minutes. Of course they charge a premium for scratching the card. You can try making your purchase in the following stores:

  1. Game Card Delivery.
  2. PC Game Supply. ( This store uses PayPal checkout and if you are still afraid of this Ebay hegemony then I suggest you visit BANC ABC. They will tell you there is no such thing as the PayPal monster.)
  3. Off Gamers
  4. Folks in diaspora.

I would strongly suggest you buying the $10 gift card first to test this service before plunging into the pool-you might find it empty.

Going to America to buy the App.

Now that you have the card you will need to go to America to redeem the card and complete the purchase.

  1. You will need a US address for this to work just visit USABox.com and sign up for their service if you do not have already one.
  2. Visit wallet.google.com and click on the Gear icon. Change your home address to the US address you received from USABox.com. You can always leave your phone number as it is. Also just to be safe delete all your current payment methods-this step was not necessary for me so you can bypass it first and implement it if you run into problems later.
  3. You will have to agree to the new US terms of service.
  4. Visit the Play store and click on redeem and enter your gift card code and click on redeem. Your account will be credited with the face value of the gift card. If you run into the country not supported error, you should try using a VPN. You can try Tunnel Bear.
  5. Install Tunnel Bear on your device.
  6. Start Tunnel Bear and click on either US or UK depending on your Gift Card currency.
  7. Click Turn On and exit the screen by pressing the home button on your device.
  8. Go to Settings>Applications>Google Play Store and tap on clear data. Please make sure you have carried out this step as you might run into problems if you don’t. 
  9. Exit and open the Google Play Store app. If you are asked to accept the new terms and conditions just agree to them like you always do.
  10. Welcome to America.

As an added bonus, you will unlock access to more content including Google Music, Google Books and a lot more. I would seriously urge you to use a WiFi connection for all this and please bear in mind that Tunnel Bear has a free capped 500MB data monthly limit.  This will be more than enough for us Zimbabweans who are used to the crazy rates offered by our operators.You can also purchase unlimited usage from Tunnel Bear for $5 a month. Also whatever the legal implications of doing this are your sole responsibility.

Unlike the hen in the ugly duckling I would wish for Google to widen its view of the world where there are hundreds of countries instead of the US and the rest of the world mantra that US companies seem to be so hung on.

Image by Cult of Android.

Credit on How to Access the UK and US stores: merquise@XDAdevelopers.


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4 thoughts on “Using Google Play Gift Cards in Zimbabwe.

  1. Very Nice Reading – Garikai – the Gift Card model could work for so many things including eg Restaurant Meals and yet it does not seem to have taken off in Zimbabwe. In South Africa stores such as Edgars offer you gift cards at the POS. I even found a MasterCard Giftcard at Sandton shopping centre which could work at any store in the mall.

    I think I will give my son a google gift card rather than load my card on his profile and later find more “in game” purchases than I bargained for.

  2. Very, very informative. I enjoyed reading it very much but does Google Play allows you to purchase a subscription, where you pay a recurring fee rather than a one time price for the content?

    1. I dont know but I don’t think they do. If you are a book reader you should try Scribd. They have an extensive collection of books available for monthly subscription.

  3. Did you know you can apply for a visa debit card from FBC and you can use that to buy on the playstore. What good about this card is that it is a prepaid card and you don’t need to open an account with FBC to get the card. I personally have been using for year and a bit.

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