Bypassing nonsense – How to redeem a Google Play Gift Card from outside the US!
I recently got my hands on a Google Play gift card courtesy of PowerAmp and while I was truly stoked on getting some free credit, it was irritating to find out that only people within the states can really redeem these cards as of now. Dunno why el-goog doesn’t allow people outside to use these as one would think ‘gift’ cards would make their way out of the US anyways!
Anyways, I have figured out and successfully redeemed the gift card (free paid apps; yayyy!) while being in India the whole time. Here’s how you go about doing it. You will need:
- Access to a US Proxy (Google it).
- Access to a computer.
- A gift card code to redeem (duh!).
- A rooted Android device (may work with a non-rooted one although I haven’t tried it!)
- A relatively fast Internet connection and patience!
- Once you are running via the US Proxy, set up a new GMail account and make sure you set up your account as if you were in the US. One tip would be set the ZIP code as the same location which your Proxy’s IP is from. You can get this by doing a reverse IP to location online).
- Install Market Enabler on your Android Device. A detailed article on how to use the Market Enabler can be read here.
- Install Hideman VPN free edition from the Play Store. Don’t worry, it gives four hours of free usage per week, more than enough for downloading apps!!
Getting down and dirty:
- Launch your Google Play store app and look at the currency in which you are shown the price for apps. It should be the default currency for the region you are in. For me it was Indian Rupees.
- Exit the play store app and launch the Hideman VPN application. Manually set the Country of connection as United States and then hit Connect. Once connected, you will see your new IP and a confirmation sign.
Launch the Market Enabler app. Once in the app, you will be able to see your default region specific SIM code. Preferably note it down just for safety sake. Next head to the Settings List tab. Once there, you can select the region and carrier that you want to spoof. I chose [us] Verizon. Once done, Market Enabler will tell you that its ready.
- Launch the Play Store app once again and you will see that the default currency is now in US Dollars. Now press the Menu button, head to Accounts and tap on Add Account. At this stage, you will need to add your newly created US based GMail account. It’s the same process as when you added your primary account. Once your done, the newly added account is selected and you will be able to see ALL the options in the Play Store landing page (outside the US, you cannot see Music/Movies/Books etc).
- Now press the Menu key and select the Redeem option. Enter the Gift card key here and tap redeem. It will confirm the value of the gift card and show you your new account balance.
- Head back to the main screen and go on a shopping spree! Enjoy!
- Once done simply head back to the accounts menu and select your primary account. Then disable the VPN and select the restore your original settings in Market Enabler. That’s it! Simple innit?!