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I've noticed that I'll often get an email about 24 hours after my purchase took place on iTunes. Does Apple have some sort of billing cycle, or does the withdrawal frm my account actually happen immediately?

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They withdraw funds immediately. The invoice they provide can sometimes take days and doesn't appear to be on any kind of special cycle. I imagine it's issued depending on the load (number of purchases they need to process). –  cksum Mar 19 '12 at 23:20
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Per the iTunes Store — Terms and Conditions

If a credit card or your PayPal account is being used for a transaction, Apple may obtain preapproval for an amount up to the amount of the order. Billing occurs at the time of or shortly after your transaction. If you are using 1-Click purchasing or your PayPal account, your order may be authorized and billed in increments during one purchasing session, so it may appear as multiple orders on your statement. If an iTunes Card, iTunes Store Gift Certificate, or Allowance Account is used for a transaction, the amount is deducted at the time of your transaction. When making purchases, content credits are used first, followed by Gift Certificate, iTunes Card, or Allowance Account credits; your credit card or PayPal account is then charged for any remaining balance.

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From my experience and from checking the last couple of months of receipts my average is 24-72 hours with the longest being just under 2 weeks.

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