Got a Nexus 7? Get your free $10 from Google before it's too late

Nexus 7 Google Wallet Prepaid Card

Do you own one of Google's Nexus 7 tablets? If so, Google's got 10 bucks with your name on it -- but only if you claim it within the next five days.

Sound too good to be true? Don't worry: It isn't.

The whole thing revolves around Google's Google Wallet mobile payment service. With Wallet's first incarnation, Google supported only a limited range of credit cards and consequently offered a prepaid card option to fill the gap.

Here's the important part: Google offers a free $10 credit when you set up one of those prepaid Wallet cards on any Android device. Any Android device. The Nexus 7 is included in that list -- and the $10 credit is available there even if you've set up Wallet on your phone and gotten a $10 credit before.

The prepaid card program is now being phased out, though: Since Wallet started supporting all major credit cards earlier this summer, Google decided the prepaid option was no longer necessary. Starting September 17, you'll no longer be able to add a prepaid Wallet card to any Android device.

That means you have five days to do the following:

• Open up the Wallet app on your Nexus 7 (it's preloaded on the tablet; just look for the Wallet icon in your app drawer).

• Follow the instructions to link the app to your Google account and set up a PIN. It may take a minute or two for the service to initialize.

• Once you're at the main Wallet screen, tap "Payment Cards" and select the option to add a Google prepaid card.

Google Wallet Prepaid Card

That's it! The app should now show $10 on your Nexus 7's Google Wallet prepaid card; you can use the money by tapping your tablet on the checkout terminal at any business that supports NFC payments. (You can find a list or search for businesses in your area on Google's official Wallet site.)

The only catch is that you have to spend the money within a month, by October 17; as part of the prepaid card program phase-out, Google will remove all prepaid cards from the Wallet app on that date. (Google says you'll be able to request a refund of any remaining funds, but it isn't clear if those refunds will work with free credits.) And you have to be in the U.S. in order to do this, since Wallet isn't supported internationally as of yet.

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This same thing will work on any Android device that supports Google Wallet, so if you haven't already performed this process and gotten the credit on your phone, you can do that between now and Sunday, too. Just remember that each prepaid card is device-specific, and you can only use the credit on the device where it was granted.

Got all that? Good. Happy spending!

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