The release of OS X Mountain Lion is still months away, but it’s never too early to save some money.
OS X Mountain Lion is going to be the first major OS X update sold and distributed exclusively through the App Store. This means that if you want to upgrade you must purchase and download it from the App Store. For savvy buyers out there, this might be a good opportunity to get a discount on your upgrade by taking advantage of special deals on iTunes Gift Cards.
There are two different types of Apple gift cards out there: the Apple Gift Card and iTunes Gift Card. You can use Apple Gift Cards for any merchandise purchase made at Apple Stores or the online Apple Store, but you cannot use it to purchase digital items sold in the iTunes Store (this includes the App Store and iBookstore) and, therefore, you will likely not be able to use it towards your Mountain Lion upgrade. If you’re shopping to save money on your Mountain Lion upgrade, skip the Apple Gift Card and go for the iTunes Gift Card.
iTunes Gift Cards may be used to purchase anything sold through the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. You may have seen the App Store and iBookstore variations of the iTunes Gift Card, but, practically speaking, there is no difference between the three – Apple treats them all the same and they all may be used to purchase the same things. When asked why Apple sells three different iTunes Gift Cards an Apple representative gave one reason: marketing. So next time you find yourself standing at a Best Buy kiosk, don’t be confused by the different iTunes Gift Card nomenclature. The takeaway here is that you will be able to use any iTunes Store gift card towards your Mountain Lion upgrade.
We still have a few months before the Mountain Lion upgrade goes live. If you expect that you’re going to want to buy the upgrade, then start shopping now and keep an eye out for deals on iTunes Gift Cards. Barring any changes to Apple’s iTunes Gift Card Terms and Conditions, using a discounted iTunes Gift Card may save you 15% — 20%+ on your Mountain Lion upgrade. These types of deals are frequent and recurring, but there may not be one available when the Mountain Lion upgrade is released so find a good deal and buy it in advance. Don’t worry about buying iTunes Gift Cards in advance because they do not expire.
We took advantage of a recent Best Buy sale, which offered iTunes Gift Cards at a 20% markdown. In addition to Cult of Mac, there are many other reputable sites out there such as Woot, which post notices about iTunes Gift Card deals from time-to-time. Keep an eye out for good deals and stay tuned.