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Troubleshoot Xbox Live code redemption issues


If your prepaid code is not working, or you see an error message, look for the solution on this page. If you receive an error code when you try to redeem your prepaid code, use the Error Code Lookup Tool.


Important You can't use prepaid codes if your account is suspended or has an outstanding balance. Contact Xbox Support to resolve any issues with your account.

Note If you have the Xbox 360 Entertainment For All Plan (formerly the "2 Year Xbox Live Gold Contract"), you can't “stack” or combine prepaid subscriptions during the life of your contract.


An error has occurred during the transaction. Please try again later.

There may be a problem with the Xbox Live service. Try to redeem the prepaid code later.

Please enter a valid code.

Try reentering the code shown on your prepaid card. If you have correctly entered the code, contact Xbox Support.

This code cannot be redeemed under your current membership type.

Use one of these methods to check your membership type:

  • On your Xbox 360 console, go to Settings, select Account, and then scroll to Your Memberships.
  • On your Xbox One console, go to Settings and then Account.
  • On a computer, go to Billing and Account Management.

Certain offers are valid only for an Xbox Live Gold subscription (for example, promotional premium content). Other offers, such as a trial Xbox Live Gold subscription, are valid only if you have a free Xbox Live membership.

This code has already been used. Please enter a code that has not been used.

You may receive this message when redeeming either a subscription code or a gift card.

Subscription code
If you receive this message when redeeming a subscription code, check My account on your computer to see if the subscription has already been redeemed to your account. Or, you can check Download History on your Xbox One or Xbox 360 console. If the content that you purchased is already in your download list, you cannot use the prepaid code again.


Gift card
If you receive this message when redeeming a code for a Microsoft gift card, check your account to see if it has already been applied to your account.

  1. Sign into your account at
  2. On the Overview page, your Microsoft account balance appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.

You might also check to see if the code was redeemed on a different Xbox account. If you have multiple profiles on your console, it is possible you may have already redeemed the code on one of those accounts.

Still having problems?

If you still receive this message and you have not redeemed your code or gift card, you may need to take the code back to the retailer for replacement.

This code wasn't activated by the retailer. Contact the store and have them activate the card.

All codes must be activated at the point of sale in order to be used on Xbox Live. Sometimes there can be a delay at the retailer when activating. If you receive this error message, wait 24 hours and try again. If the card does not work 24 hours after purchase, please take the card back to the retailer along with your proof of purchase and ask them to activate it.

Can’t redeem your code…

You can’t redeem a trial offer or a prepaid code, or you get one of the following error messages when you try to redeem a code:

  • Can't redeem your code, the code is either mistyped or is valid for a different site
  • Can’t redeem your code. Please try again
  • An unknown error occurred
Try the following steps in the order presented:
  1. Make sure that the code you entered matches the code on the card.


    • Codes are 25-digit alphanumeric strings.
    • Some numbers and letters may look similar, so you may want to double-check your code. For example:
      • The number "8" may resemble the uppercase letter "B."
      • Two instances of the uppercase letter "V" may resemble the uppercase letter "W."
      • The number "0" may resemble the uppercase letter "O."
  2. Make sure that you haven’t already redeemed the code that you are trying to use. 
  3. If you have an outstanding balance for a service associated with your Microsoft account, you might be unable to redeem a prepaid code. Make sure that all the services associated with your Microsoft account are current and they don’t have an outstanding balance. To do this, check the status of your account at your Microsoft account page. 
  4. Make sure that all billing information and contact information that is associated with your Xbox account is current. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Go to your Microsoft account page and sign in using the email address and password that are associated with the account.
    2. After signing in, you'll be prompted to retrieve a code by email, which is proof of identity. (For more information about setting up proof of identity, see Add security information to your Microsoft account.)
    3. From your Microsoft account home page:
      • To check your contact information, click Profile, and then click Edit profile to make any changes or updates.
      • To check your billing information, click Payment options, click the credit card on that page, and then click Edit to update the information associated with your payment option.

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