US PSN Cards: How to purchase when you don’t live in the US (at face value)
There are many reasons you might want to use a US PSN account outside of the US. One of these reasons is that games in the US are up to 50% less expensive than in other countries. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to purchase US games online or US PSN Cards outside of the US, unless you own a US credit card. Last time I checked, Sony runs several checks in the background and makes it difficult for non US residents to use their credit card on the US Store. The same is true for Paypal: Paypal will reject a PSN transaction on the US store if they have any reason to believe you don’t live in the US. Typically, if you created your paypal account with a non-us bank account or credit card, you’re sc***.
There might be a few games out on the PS4, PS3 or the Vita that you’d like to get in the US, either because they are cheaper there, or simply not available at all in your country. And maybe, like many of us, you’d rather not have Sony know your credit card number anyway. The best way I’ve found to add US credit to my PSN wallet, despite me living outside of the US, is to get US PSN Codes instead of trying to go through Paypal or the credit card route directly on the PSN.
There are many places that sell US PSN Codes for people outside of the US, and we’ve mentioned a few here. Several of you were quick to note that we didn’t mention the best way of all: Amazon. Well that’s my bad because I could have sworn that Amazon was doing pretty drastic checks about your IP and your credit card when you purchase from them, but apparently I was wrong.
Buying US PSN Cards: the right way
Amazon have been selling digital US PSN Cards for a while now. They have both $20 cards and $50 cards (they even added $100 PSN cards recently for hardcore gamers out there). What’s really interesting about them is that they cost much less than the price you would have to pay to get those from other less respectable places, including eBay or others. As a matter of fact, PSN Cards on Amazon are even cheaper than face value! (well, 1 cent less, but still…)
Of course, ebay sellers, or sites like PCGamesupply don’t want you to know about the trick below 😉
Basically the only thing to do to buy US PSN codes on Amazon even when you don’t live in the US, is to pretend your billing address is in the US. Now, your bank might not like that and reject the payment, but that hasn’t happened to me yet (and there is a solution for that too, see below). Here is a detailed way to do this:
Step 2) If you don’t have an Amazon account, you should be able to create one quickly at the login step. Note that Amazon accounts are shared worldwide. If you already have an amazon account in France, UK, etc… it will work in the US (this is not true for China and Japan, where you will have to create another account)
Step 3) Enter your payment information. That’s where the trick is:
This is what happens if you put your real billing address on the card, Amazon tells you “Online Game codes are Only available to US Customers”
But if instead you use an American address (google for any famous hotel name in the US, or whatever. Please note that depending on the state, Amazon might collect additional taxes. I’ve been so far using an address in Indiana and do not get charged additional fees for my PSN purchases), you’ll get the following, and you can complete the purchase:
This works because Amazon does not check your IP, and, more importantly, does not seem to contact your bank automatically to confirm the billing address (which lots of online sites do today. I am pretty sure the PSN does it, and I know iTunes and Paypal do it). Not sure how long this will last, so enjoy while it does.
Once you are done with the payment, the us psn card and its code will show on your Amazon account, but you will also get the psn card through instant email delivery.
Note that this PSN code method works with both credit cards and debit cards.
If you use an existing account and already have a credit card, you can temporarily change your credit card’s billing address by editing it in your payment settings, that will work too.
If you are worried about your bank rejecting your fake billing address, you can:
- Buy yourself an amazon email gift card
- After that, change your billing address on your credit card in Amazon
- Proceed to buy the $20, $50, or $100 PSN card
- Amazon will ask you again for the credit card number, but in the end will use the gift card to pay for the PSN Card, which means your bank will not need to be involved in that one transaction.
use any seemingly valid US phone number (e.g. 206 555 5555… but be creative, google for a valid one maybe). Amazon don’t actually use that value at any time for digital products
If your Amazon payment gets rejected
First of all, check the email gift card trick above. This works in most cases to proceed and buy us psn cards on Amazon.
People have reported that brand new accounts on Amazon do not get the purchase to go through “instantly”. In that situation, the following can help:
- Wait for a few hours, sometimes it takes that long for Amazon to verify your payment method is valid. The next purchase will go much faster in my experience.
- If the purchase doesn’t go through, try and get in touch with their customer service. Sometimes it’s an actual mistake on their end and either way in some cases the Customer Service representative can fix it for you.
Once you have a few valid purchases on that Amazon account, things in general go very smoothly (all my purchases get approved within less than a minute)
If nothing else works
If you badly need US PSN cards and the technique above did not work, PM me on /talk. I can sell you codes if you have a paypal account to send me the money.
Disclaimer: the Amazon links above are affiliate links. If you buy through me, you don’t pay anything more but I get a percentage of the sale.