How apps, content, and subscriptions from Apple are billed

Learn which payment method is charged when you buy subscriptions like iCloud+ or items from the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple Books, or Apple TV app. Several purchases might be grouped into one charge.

iPhone showing purchases grouped together on one bill.

Multiple items might be grouped onto one bill

When you buy items or pay for subscriptions, your payment method is charged at the time of purchase or within a few days.

If you don’t recognize a charge, look at your purchase history and see if multiple items were grouped onto one charge. Or look at the receipt that was emailed to you and see if multiple purchases were included. 

In Europe, purchases might not be grouped.

If you see a pending charge for a small amount

If you update your billing information or add someone to your Family Sharing group, a temporary authorization hold for a small amount might appear on your statement. Authorization holds are removed by your card issuer or financial institution after a short time.

Which payment method is charged?

When you buy items or pay for subscriptions, Apple attempts to charge your payment methods in this order:

  1. Apple attempts to use your Apple ID balance to cover the full amount.
  2. If you don't have Apple ID balance or you don't have enough to cover the full amount, Apple attempts to charge your primary payment method. The primary payment method is at the top of the list in Settings on your iPhone. You can control which payment method is at the top of the list.
  3. If there's a problem with the primary payment method, or if the primary payment method can't be charged for the full remaining amount, Apple attempts to charge your other payment methods in order from top to bottom. If none of them can be charged, Apple might try again.

Some purchases aren’t charged to your Apple ID balance

  • If you're in a Family Sharing group, purchases that you make are charged to your personal Apple ID balance. If you don't have enough Apple ID balance to pay for the purchase, the remainder is charged to the family organizer.
  • You can’t use your Apple ID balance to buy gifts or gift cards.
  • Some subscriptions might not be charged to your Apple ID balance.

If none of your payment methods can be charged

If none your payment methods can be charged, your account shows a negative balance. You can't buy more items or update your apps until you update your payment method.

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