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Want to change your iCloud payment method? Here’s how to do It

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There are lots of reasons you might need to change the payment method for your iCloud storage plan. Maybe you want to simplify your finances, avoid interest and overdraft fees, or update expired card details.

Whatever your reason, it’s easy to change your iCloud payment method from any device. The only catch is that doing so changes the payment method for all your other Apple purchases as well.

Related:

You use the same Payment Method for everything

Many of us pay for several services and products from Apple: iCloud storage, Apple Music, and individual apps or iTunes media. Unfortunately, you can’t save different payment methods for each of these services.

iPhone X showing Apple ID payment methods
Apple always uses the top payment method on your account. Image Credit: Apple

The credit or debit card you use to pay for one Apple service is automatically used to pay for all the others as well. That’s just the way it is, sadly.

Everything you buy from Apple comes through your Apple ID account (unless you’re buying physical goods from the Apple Store). You can attach multiple payment methods to this account, but Apple always tries to use the same one.

If you came to this article hoping to change the payment method for your iCloud storage plan without changing the method for App Store or iTunes purchases, I’m afraid it just isn’t possible.

What Payment Methods Can I Use for iCloud?

Apple offers a range of payment options for iCloud, which you can add to your Apple ID account. The exact payment methods available to you vary based on your region, but most countries can choose from the following:

  • Apple ID Account Balance
  • Major credit or debit cards
  • Apple Cash
  • PayPal

Apple ID payment methods2
Your device shows all the payment methods available in your region.

You can use iTunes Gift Cards to pay for your iCloud purchases, but you need to add that gift card as a balance to your Apple ID account first. To do this, open the App Store and go to your account, then select Redeem Gift Card or Code.

Unfortunately, you can’t use Apple Store Gift Cards in the same way. You can only use these gift cards to buy physical goods from the Apple Store or Apple Online Store. Although you might be able to use them to buy an iTunes Gift Card instead.

How to change your iCloud Storage payment method

To change your iCloud storage payment method, you need to update the details on your Apple ID account. If there are multiple payment methods on your account, make sure the one you want to use is at the top of the list.

As we already mentioned, this changes the payment method for all your other Apple purchases as well. That includes anything you buy from these services:

  • App Store
  • Apple Music
  • iTunes
  • and more
Apple Services logos
The same payment method is used for all Apple services.

Follow the instructions below to change the iCloud payment method on your Apple ID account from any device.

On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Payment & Shipping.
    1. On iOS 12 or earlier: Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iTunes & App Store. Then tap your account and select View Apple ID > Manage Payment.
  2. If prompted, enter your Apple ID details to sign in.
  3. Tap Add Payment Method and fill in the necessary details to add a new payment method to your account.
  4. Tap an existing payment method to update the details for it. You may need to re-enter the full details when you do this.
  5. Finally, tap Edit to remove or reorder your payment methods. Remember to move your preferred iCloud payment method to the top of the list. (It’s not possible to move payment methods above your Apple ID Balance.)

On a Mac:

  1. Open the App Store and go to Store > View My Account from the menu bar.
  2. Click View Information and enter your Apple ID details to sign in.
  3. Then click Manage Payments.
  4. Click Add Payment and fill in the necessary details to add a new payment method to your account.
  5. Click Edit next to an existing payment method to update the details for it or Remove it. You may need to re-enter the full details when you do this.
  6. Finally, use the arrows next to your payment methods to change their order. Remember to move your preferred iCloud payment method to the top of the list. (It’s not possible to move payment methods above your Apple ID Balance.)
Mac App Store payment methods page
View your Account Information in the App Store to change payment methods.

On a Windows Computer:

  1. Open iTunes and select Account > View My Account. Download iTunes from the Apple website if you don’t already have it on your computer.
  2. Then click Manage Payments.
  3. Click Add Payment and fill in the necessary details to add a new payment method to your account.
  4. Click Edit next to an existing payment method to update the details for it or Remove it. You may need to re-enter the full details when you do this.
  5. Finally, use the arrows next to your payment methods to reorder them. Remember to move your preferred iCloud payment method to the top of the list. (It’s not possible to move payment methods above your Apple ID Balance.)
iTunes manage payments page
Use iTunes to edit your iCloud payment method on Windows.

Can I Use Different Payment Methods for Different Apple Services?

There’s no way to save different payment methods to use with different Apple services. For instance, you can’t use one payment method for your iCloud storage and another for your iTunes purchases. It’s all or nothing instead.

How to change the Payment Method for family sharing

Lots of us take advantage of Apple’s Family Sharing service to share our Apple purchases, subscriptions, and iCloud storage. With Purchase Sharing turned on, the entire family also shares a single payment method.

Family Sharing logo
Family Sharing lets you connect Apple ID accounts in a variety of ways.

This is the first payment method on the family organizer’s Apple ID account.

To change your Family Sharing payment method, the family organizer needs to change their own payment methods. Follow the instructions above to change your Apple ID payment details.

Family Sharing Payment Method Exceptions

Usually, if Apple can’t take a payment from the first method on your account, it moves to the next method and tries again. This doesn’t happen when family members with Purchase Sharing try to buy something.

In this scenario, Apple doesn’t try any other methods if the first one doesn’t work. That way, the family organizer can rest easy knowing that only their first payment method can be used for family purchases.

Family Organizer in Family Sharing group
The family organizer can use all their payment methods as normal.

The only exception is if a family member has an Apple ID Balance. Apple uses this balance for App Store and iTunes purchases before any other payment methods. When the balance is gone, Apple reverts to the family organizer’s payment method.

When paying for iCloud storage subscriptions in a family group, Apple always uses the family organizer’s payment method even if individual family members have an Apple ID balance.


What Is Purchase Sharing in Family Sharing?

If you don’t want to share a payment method with your Family Sharing group, you need to turn off Purchase Sharing. With Purchase Sharing turned off, Apple uses the individual payment methods on each family member’s Apple ID account.

Share Purchases information from iPhone settings
Purchase Sharing lets you enjoy more content for free.

It’s not possible to turn Purchase Sharing on or off for individual members of your Family Sharing group. The feature is either turned on for everyone or not available at all.

The downside to turning off Purchase Sharing is that you can no longer share App Store or iTunes purchases across your Family Sharing group. That said, family members keep individual purchases after leaving the group, even if the family organizer originally paid for them.

Sometimes Apple declines your iCloud Payment Method

It’s all well and good knowing how to change the payment method for your iCloud subscription or Apple ID purchases, but sometimes the new payment method doesn’t work anyway.

iTunes error message, billing problem
You might receive an error message like this when your payment method is declined.

There are lots of reasons Apple might decline your credit card, debit card, or other payment methods. Find out what to do if your Apple ID payment method is declined so you don’t get caught without the iCloud storage you need.

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