While I'm waiting for my credit card to arrive, I still want to be able to buy some apps for my iPad!

Are there alternative ways to pay for apps, without resorting to someone else's credit card?

  • 1
    Using prepaid iTunes store gift cards is my preferred method. I have had unauthorized payments go through before on the iTunes store, and it was a pain to get the credit back. If you use the gift cards, Apple can much more easily credit you for fraudulent charges.
    – dpollitt
    Mar 12, 2012 at 20:23

5 Answers 5


I don't know if this is applicable to your country, but in Germany, Apple sells iTunes apps cards especially for buying apps in the app store.

  • 1
    The UK and US have them too
    – Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2010 at 10:08
  • Just what I needed!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 13, 2010 at 12:11
  • Does it have to be an App card or will any iTunes card work? And where do you enter the card number?
    – TGnat
    Aug 13, 2010 at 12:54
  • 1
    Any iTunes card will do
    – Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2010 at 13:15
  • 1
    Wow, that's interesting. Before I posted my answer I found hints that the normal iTunes cards could not be used to buy apps. But the description of the cards indeed tell it clearly: both card types can be used for music, videos and apps.
    – Martin
    Aug 13, 2010 at 15:03

The iTunes store accepts Paypal, so if you can get money to Paypal you're all set. I'm pretty sure Paypal has many ways to get money to them (mail them a check, give them your account number, etc.).

The trick seems to be that you have to sign up in iTunes on your Mac/PC -- the App Store on my iPod doesn't have Paypal as an option.

  • 3
    No, you'd still need to have a credit card in your PayPal account to be able to use it for iTunes. It doesn't matter if you have another source of funds (bank account, PayPal balance, etc.), if the PayPal account doesn't have a credit card, iTunes will not let you use it. Sep 19, 2010 at 18:53
  • 1
    Wow, that's crazy. I had no idea. (I'd forgotten I have a check card on my Paypal.) Apple refused to accept my credit card for iTunes, so I had to use Paypal. I guess Paypal is my money laundering service!
    – Ken
    Sep 22, 2010 at 5:21
  • 1
    PayPal is not presented as a payment option in iTunes for many countries. Oct 27, 2014 at 16:38

Many supermarkets and grocery stores sell pre-paid gift cards. You can purchase a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc, gift card with cash, check, etc, at these supermarkets and then use the number on the front wherever they ask for a credit card number.

(This method is actually a preferred method for the security-conscience as well. Reason: if someone gets ahold of your card number they can only take the small amount of money that you have loaded onto the card. This provides confidence for those worried about entering their card number online.)


Get a 3V number, this is a virtual Credit Card that can be prepaid, so you dont need to worry about running up bills, but lets you do what a credit card does.

  • Don't think it works. At least not in the US. Apple is paranoid about validating the billing address. These cards I believe don't have a billing address. Are these the virtual versions of the prepaid Visa cards sold at Target and elsewhere?
    – GeneQ
    Oct 7, 2010 at 14:20

Just to let you or some folks around to know. Again similar to the first answer in German AppleStore you can actually link your Apple Account with ClickandBuy where you can actually have transferred funds from your bank directly and if you also happened to have online banking with your bank (who doesn't?) you could top-up your ClickandBuy account almost instantaneously using a thing called SofortÜbervisung. Just to clarify I do not have a credit card and I'm not planning to get one.

You must log in to answer this question.