updated 11:30 am EST, Fri December 23, 2011
Foreign buyers report US-only credit accepted
Shoppers who are stuck for a very last-minute Christmas gift at a discount price can opt for Wal-Mart's ongoing offer of $50 in iTunes credit via a "virtual card" that is delivered via e-mail for just $40. Shoppers report the credit can be obtained after purchase in as little as 15 minutes, once users verify their e-mail address and use a special PIN number in the confirmation e-mail to redeem their purchase. The "eCard" can be sent as a gift to another e-mail address.
Foreign buyers who have tried to use the online option as a way to obtain US iTunes credit report that non-US credit card purchases are cancelled in the e-mail verification stage. The eCard only works with US-based iTunes accounts.
A credit balance in the iTunes store is good for nearly anything available for sale within the store, including iOS apps from the App Store and books via the iBookStore, movie rentals and video purchases as well as music and audiobooks. Credit in iTunes does not, however, work to pay for postage on greeting cards sent using Apple's recent Cards application.
The 20 percent discount on the $50 "eCard" version of the iTunes card is not extended to lower denominations on the Wal-Mart site, which offers physical cards in $15 and $25 values without a discount. Amazon also offers iTunes gift cards, but uses a third-party seller and deals only with physical cards. Apple itself offers electronic delivery of iTunes credits with virtual cards in various denominations that feature the option for a personal message but no discount.