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I want to make a purchase from the Apple Store as a gift to my friend. The purchase is a physical item (e.g., iPhone), rather than an app to download.

Because I live far away from her, I want to use my Visa credit card and send it directly to her address with the option of "Gift" selected. Would that be possible? I will be using her address instead of mine. So, what would the transaction look like when I check my Visa transactions at my bank? Would her name appear on the transaction? Would I still be able to send it to her directly with her information, or do I have to send the package to myself, and send it to her after that?

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You have multiple questions here.

First see Apples instructions here http://store.apple.com/us/help/gifting

Will your Bank show and what, you can answer that based on prior experience. My Visa shows the Store name and the amount, not to whom is it shipped or what it was.

In your case better option might be a Gift Card, that you can mail your self, thus no trace.

  • I haven't used a gift card before. I am worried if my friend's information will appear and have to get charged for it. – user2837438 Mar 17 '15 at 17:22
  • Nope, all it takes is your friend to be able to log in to App Store and use the code on the gift card. You will be billed for it, but it wont say for whom it is. – Ruskes Mar 17 '15 at 17:24
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Presuming that you are in the US, have a US credit card with a US billing address, and your friend's country is one of the ones listed on Apple's US gift rules, you can send the gift by purchasing it through the appropriate country's online Apple store. You get to that store by visiting the online Apple store, then clicking the flag at the bottom-right of the page next to "Select a Country". Note that country's store will be in that country's language, so you may need to visit the website through a translation tool (such as Google Translate), or if you use the Chrome web browser, it will offer to translate the page for you.

You then proceed with your purchase as normal, just selecting the gift option so you can enter her address as the shipping address. The gift will be sent directly to her.

The transaction on your credit card will reference Apple, and it will be presented in the currency of the country that your friend lives in. For example, if the gift is going to Germany, the transaction will be presented to your bank in Euros. Your bank will convert that into US dollars. Depending on the currency, this means you may pay more or less than the amount shown when you check out. If you are sending the gift to Thailand, for example, US$1 equals approximately 33 Thai Baht (their form of currency) as of this writing. So at checkout, if you buy something worth US$1,000, it will say the total is about 33,000 Thai Baht.

Additionally, your bank will almost certainly charge you a foreign transaction fee. You would need to contact your bank to find out if that is the case, and if so, how much it is. Generally it is 1% to 3% of the transaction amount.

Alternatively, you could place an order through the US Apple Store, have it sent to you, and then send it on to your friend. The issue with this is the product will be a US model. Depending on the destination country, a power adapter may be necessary, and it may have to come back to the US for warranty service, if needed. If it's a computer, the keyboard that comes with it will be the US model, which again probably won't match the destination country. Additionally, you will have to pay shipping charges, and your friend may have to pay customs charges or taxes when it arrives. Having it sent to them from within their own country avoids all of these things.

  • Thanks so much for your answer :) My friend also lives in the United States, but she lives multiple states away. I am just worried if Visa will record the shipping and billing address on the transaction and charge my friend by mistake. – user2837438 Mar 17 '15 at 17:26
  • The only possible way for your friend to get charged is to use their credit card. – tubedogg Mar 17 '15 at 18:38

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