Buy and redeem prepaid codes and Microsoft Points through the Zune software

Overview

This article explains how to buy and redeem prepaid codes and Microsoft Points so you can make Zune purchases through the Zune Music + Video software or through Xbox Live.

What’s the difference between prepaid codes and Microsoft Points?

A prepaid code is purchased at a retailer and doesn’t require a credit card. Once you have a prepaid code, you can redeem it for Microsoft Points and use those points to buy items and services from Xbox Live or Zune Marketplace.

Microsoft Points is a currency system used by Zune and Xbox Live. You can buy Microsoft Points directly in the Zune software or on Xbox.com by using a credit card.

About prepaid codes

You can redeem prepaid codes through the Zune software or at Xbox.com to purchase the following:

  • Content (music, video, podcasts) from Zune Marketplace
  • Microsoft Points

Prepaid codes offer a “pay-as-you-go” option, along with the following benefits:

  • If you purchase points from a participating retailer, you don’t have to keep credit card information stored online. You own the content that you purchase by using points.
  • You can burn music and music videos to a CD or DVD if you made the purchase using Microsoft Points.

Exception You can't burn "download to own" TV videos to a CD or DVD.

How to get a prepaid code

You can buy a prepaid code at a retailer, or you might receive a prepaid code as a gift, like a gift card.

Redeem a prepaid code on a computer

You can redeem the different types of prepaid codes and have them applied to your account immediately. Here’s how:

  • In the Zune software
    1. Start the Zune Music + Video software and click Settings at the top of the page.
    2. Click Account in the upper-left corner.
    3. Click redeem code under Microsoft Points, and then enter your code.
  • On Xbox.com
    1. In a browser, go to Redeem code and sign in with your Microsoft account.
    2. Enter the 25-character prepaid code and click Redeem Code.

How to buy Microsoft Points

You can buy points by using a credit card in the Zune software or on Xbox.com. Here’s how:

  • In the Zune software
    1. Start the Zune software and click Settings at the top of the page.
    2. Click Account in the upper-left corner, select Buy Microsoft Points from the list in the center of the screen, and then follow the steps.
  • On Xbox.com
    1. In a browser, go to the Xbox My Account page. If you are prompted, sign in using your Microsoft account (formerly called Windows Live ID).
    2. In the Microsoft Points section of the screen, click Add Points, and then complete the steps. You might be asked to enter your Microsoft account password again.

Your Microsoft Points balance

To see your Microsoft Points balance and your payment history:

  • In the Zune software
    1. Start the Zune software and click Settings at the top of the page.
    2. Click Account. Your Microsoft Points balance is listed below Personal Info.
  • On Xbox.com
    1. In a browser, go to your Microsoft account page and sign in using the Microsoft account email address and password associated with the account.
    2. After signing in, you are prompted to enter a code that you’ll receive by email. This is proof of identity. (For more information about setting up proof of identity, see Get help with your Microsoft account security proofs .)
    3. On your Microsoft account home page, click Payment options to see how many points you have.

You can also check your Microsoft Points balance at the top of any Xbox.com page after you sign in, as well as on your Xbox My Account page.

The following limits apply to Microsoft Points:

  • You can use up to 20,000 points (or $400.00 U.S.) per day.
  • You can purchase up to 10,000 points (or $125.00 U.S.) per 24-hour period.
  • You can have up to 76,000 points (or $950.00 U.S.) in your account at one time.

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