Ask LH: Can I Get Windows Phone Gift Cards On Sale?

Hey Lifehacker, I'm looking at buying a Windows Phone device and I'm wondering: do they have any gift card sales the way iTunes and Google Play frequently do? Thanks, Discount Dude

Dear DD,

So far, the answer to that question is "no". We've only been able to buy gift cards for Windows Phone in Australia since last October, and I haven't spotted any discounts in that time.

That doesn't mean they won't come eventually: there was a waiting period between when Google Play cards went on sale last August and when we started seeing discounts. And Microsoft isn't averse to its cards being discounted: we regularly see deals for Skype and Xbox Live membership.

However, there are two factors which go against any immediate change. Firstly, those cards are only sold at a handful of chains (JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and the Good Guys). They aren't offered at supermarkets or discount stores, and that makes a discounting deal less likely.

Secondly, the current low market share for Windows Phone makes it unlikely anyone is going to be busting to do a deal anyway. Credit for your Microsoft account actually works for Windows 8 and Xbox apps as well, and I'd rather suspect that this is where we might see discounts. But until those cards are also in EB Games, it seems unlikely.

Two other points: one, I wouldn't base my choice of phones solely on the availability of discounted gift cards. You still need to like the phone. Two, even if they're not on special, gift cards remain the safest way to add credit to your account. The most you can ever lose is the value of the card. If instead you register your credit card, there's a lot more at risk.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    If you want to buy discounted apps and games then Telstra prepaid credit is accepted as payment for the Windows Phone Store. When these go on sale, usually at $10 for $30 credit, just buy a few of them for, effectively, a 67% discount.

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