Xbox One XSource: Windows Central

One of the most popular gift options is gift cards, as it still gives the recipient the freedom to choose whatever gift they want. In particular, one gift card can be used on a staggeringly wide variety of goods and products. Xbox and Microsoft Gift Cards look different, but they both give you funds to spend in the same place: the Microsoft Store. This means video games, movies, apps, hardware, accessories, and more. They can even be used as credit towards larger purchases, giving you a nice discount on a new headset or whatever else your heart desires.

Here's a look at some of the best ways you can spend that Xbox Gift Card right now.

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Instant cash

Xbox Gift Card

Xbox Gift Card

Games, movies, accessories, and more.

Often times, the perfect gift is the freedom to choose their own gifts, and Xbox or Microsoft Gift Cards make it extremely easy. Choose how much you want your gift card to be worth, and gift it to the gamer in your life who could use a new video game, game add-on, movie or TV episode, gaming hardware, or accessory.

How do I redeem my Xbox or Microsoft Gift Card?

Microsoft and Xbox Gift CardsSource: Microsoft

The easiest way to redeem and view your Microsoft Account balance is directly on Microsoft's website. Head to https://redeem.microsoft.com/ and sign in.

You will be prompted to enter a code, which will be on the reverse of your Microsoft gift card. If you received the card digitally, there should be a link in the email for instant redemption.

Once you have entered your gift card code, the credit will be added to your account. You can then use it as a payment soption when buying things from either the physical retail store or the online digital stores across Windows and Xbox.

For a little bit more help, you can also check out our guide on how to redeem Xbox Gift Cards and codes.

How can I spend my Xbox or Microsoft Gift Card?

Microsoft Store Xbox ImageSource: Xbox

Whether you received an Xbox or Microsoft Gift Card, they both do the same thing: add funds to your Microsoft Account for use in the Microsoft Store on PCs or Xbox. Once you've redeemed it, that money will be added to your account and can then be used towards anything Microsoft sells in their Store.

This includes thousands of video games, video game add-ons and DLC, movies and TV shows, hardware like laptops, PCs, and consoles, accessories like headsets, keyboards, controllers, and more, and even subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

Here are some of our top picks for how to wisely spend your heaps of Xbox Gift Cards:

The best Xbox games

Naturally, the best way to spend that Xbox Gift Card is on some fantastic Xbox games. There are thousands of incredible games in the Microsoft Store across the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One family of devices. There is even a wide selection of Xbox 360 and OG Xbox titles that work through backward compatibility!

You could also spend your Xbox Gift Card on Xbox Game Pass, which grants instantaneous access to hundreds of high-quality games for $10 per month. You may need to enter a backup payment method on top of the gift code, however, but this is a great way to get started.

To take it a step further, you can also invest in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which grants you access to Xbox Game Pass on PCs and consoles, Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud) for on-the-go gaming. You can get it for just $15 per month, although Microsoft is holding a deal right now where you can get the first month for just $1.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Reco Image

Old West Fun: Red Dead Redemption 2 for Xbox

Staff Pick

Red Dead Redemption 2 remains one of the best video games to release in years with absurd visuals, Wild West-inspired gameplay, and a colossal story that can entrance and immerse for hours on end.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt box art

Timeless RPG: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for Xbox

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt set the bar for an entire generation of gaming, and it still remains one of the best possible options for fans of RPGs. It's also getting optimized for next-gen consoles, making it an even more enticing option.

Forza Horizon 4 Reco Image

Race to the finish: Forza Horizon 4 for Xbox

The Forza series has quickly grown into one of the best racing franchises around, and Forza Horizon 4 turns everything up a notch by taking the series to a gorgeous rendition of Britain. Filled with cars of all varieties and tons to do, Forza Horizon 4 is the racer on Xbox.

Rainbow Six Siege

Competitive shooter: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege for Xbox

Rainbow Six Siege isn't a new game anymore, but constant updates and improvements continue to make this one of the best competitive team-based shooters on the market. It's also getting optimized for the Xbox Series X|S, giving next-gen gamers an extra edge in performance and visuals.

More Xbox game options

Of course, there are thousands of great games available on Xbox, and dozens that stand out above the rest. We spend a lot of our time compiling the best of the best in every genre so that players can find the exact game they're looking for. Check out any of the options below for some great ways to use your Xbox Gift Card.

  • The best of the best. To start out, we've compiled the best Xbox One games in every category to make it as easy as possible for you. Are you looking for the best survival, shooter, racer, or stealth game? Or you just want the best overall? It's all there, and they're all compatible with the Xbox Series X|S through backward compatibility as well.
  • Next-gen gaming. If you have an Xbox Series X|S or are looking to get one, then you'll want games that can take advantage of powerful next-gen hardware. That's where our list of Best Xbox Series X|S Games comes in to show you the greatest graphics, biggest worlds, and smoothest performances in video games.
  • For the kids. Xbox Gift Cards that are given to children can then be turned around and spent on some of the best Xbox games for kids, which feature accessible worlds, age-appropriate content, and often have a focus on co-op and multiplayer to encourage play between friends.
  • Dive into the world. RPGs represent one of the most popular genres of video games and is home to some true greats. Xbox consoles are a fantastic place to find awesome RPGs, and we've collected the Best RPG Games for Xbox in one place.
  • One more game. Rivaling RPGs in video game mindshare are shooters, home to storied franchises like Call of Duty and massive successes like Fortnite. We have a list of the best shooter games for Xbox to show you the best ways to engage in modern multiplayer combat.
  • Gotta go fast. There's a very dedicated group of gamers who can spend hours inside beautiful worlds and even more beautiful cars. Fortunately, Xbox is truly an incredible place for racing games, as is evident by our list of best racing games for Xbox, topped by the excellent Forza Horizon 4.
  • Going back in time. Xbox doesn't restrict you just to modern games. Those who are feeling nostalgic or want to go back and try classics can take advantage of backward compatibility on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. We searched for the best backward compatible games on Xbox to help you sort the great from the not-so-great.

Inside Microsoft Movies & TV

Xbox isn't all about video games thanks to the huge selection of high-quality movies and TV shows available through Microsoft's appropriately named Movies & TV service. Xbox Gift Cards can also be used towards anything available through Movies & TV, but we picked out some of the biggest movies and TV shows people are buying right now.

Tenet Movies Tv Reco Image

Make you think: Tenet

Christopher Nolan returns with his most epic movie yet, which follows the Protagonist during his journey through a terrifying world where time isn't quite how you know it. This is one to make you think.

See at Microsoft
Croods Movies Tv Reco Image

Family fun returns: The Croods: A New Age

The Croods star in a new family movie that sees them go up against a rival family and conquer new obstacles. This is a great one for the kids.

See at Microsoft
Game Of Thrones Movies Tv Reco Image

Epic TV: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is one of the most epic series in TV history (despite its mediocre ending), taking years to tackle its intricate stories and characters. Now the show is finished, but you can still enjoy it in all its glory.

See at Microsoft
Rick And Morty Movies Tv Reco Image

Cartoon for adults: Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty is one of the best adult animated series, merging sci-fi and ridiculous cartoon humor to create something truly special. Season 4 is out now, and you can find the entire series from Microsoft.

See at Microsoft

Credit on accessories and hardware

LucidSound LS35XSource: Windows Central

Accessories can complement and upgrade your gaming experience by keeping you in control, letting you hear more and communicate better, and even help you store more of the many great games you probably just bought with your Xbox Gift Cards. You can also turn your Xbox Gift Cards into credit to get discounts or buy accessories from the Microsoft Store.

We've picked out a handful of the best accessories you should consider below, but we've also compiled more comprehensive lists to give you the full set of options. While these lists are for the brand-new Xbox Series X|S, most of them will also work on the older Xbox One family of consoles.

  • Upgraded audio. A good headset can make all the difference in video games, letting you catch every audio detail or communicate with friends or team members more effectively. Our list of best Xbox Series X|S headsets gives you top tier choices in every category.
  • Audio, but wireless. Those who still want an amazing audio experience on Xbox but without the cables should take a look at the best Xbox Series X|S wireless headsets.
  • Stay in control. Staying in the game means having a reliable controller that can keep up with you, and playing with friends means having extra controllers lying around. The best Xbox Series X|S controllers will give you several options from the premium and competitive to the budget and reliable.
  • More space, more games. Your Xbox has a limited amount of storage available to it, and especially on the Xbox Series X|S, that space can quickly disappear to modern games. Invest in one of the best SSDs for Xbox Series X|S to give you extra storage and possibly even cut loading times down.
LucidSound LS35X

The best wireless: LucidSound LS35X

Staff Pick

The LucidSound LS35X is the best value wireless Xbox headset available right now, with stunning sound, comfort, and wireless convenience.

Elite Pro 2

Wired performance: Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2

While a wired headset can offer a lot of added convenience, those looking for the best ease-of-use, a lower price tag, and guaranteed performance should strongly consider the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2.

Xbox Wireless Controller Carbon Black

The standard for control: Xbox Wireless Controller

The best controller around was tweaked and improved for the Xbox Series X|S and is better than ever before. Grab one of the best wireless controllers with a new Share button, improved textures and grips, and better triggers and D-Pads.

Seagate 1TB Game Drive for Xbox Series X, S

Expanded storage: Seagate Storage Expansion Card

For hardcore gamers that need as much storage as possible, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S is the best there is. It matches the speed of the internal SSD to play optimized Xbox Series X|S titles as well.

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