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My son has a child account under my iTunes and when I approve a purchase for him it gets charged to my credit card, even though I have an iTunes balance credit from gift cards. Is there a way to circumvent this, because he added his Christmas iTunes gift card under my iTunes, but we can't seem to use it for his purchases.

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If you add any iTunes gift cards to his Apple ID (not yours) any purchases he makes (even via your approval) will first come off his balance, not yours.

If/when his balance runs out, then any purchases would be charged to your account balance. If you have no credit on your account, then it would get charged to your credit card (assuming you have entered one).

Perhaps you buy him a new gift card (as payment for the one he added to your account) and add the new one to his account. That should solve the problem.

  • Family Sharing is not possible without credit card. And I think all Family payment requests are deducted from CC only, not iTunes credit. – EDP Feb 25 '16 at 5:35
  • Hmmm, yes, I think you're right about needing to use a credit card to set up family sharing. But I've got three kids set up and as long as they have credit in their individual Apple IDs all their purchases come off their credit first, so that would still be the solution to the OP's general problem. – Monomeeth Feb 25 '16 at 5:47
  • But what about your own iTunes credit? I don't think this credit would be used when some family member pays through Family Head's account. It will use the CC no matter what. – EDP Feb 25 '16 at 6:26
  • Well, this is how it's working for us: I am the Organizer, my wife is a "Parent/Guardian". We have 3 kids, all set up so they each have to "Ask To Buy". I have a credit card set up as the "Shared Payment Method". Each of us (incl. kids) has credit in our accounts. Whenever the kids make a purchase, the request comes through to both me and my wife. If approved, they download the item and any actual cost comes off the kid's balance. I don't recall going into my account settings to make it work this way, but if this doesn't work for the OP, I'll check my account settings and report back. – Monomeeth Feb 25 '16 at 6:42
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That is not true. My son has balance on his Apple ID from a gift card he received and any time I approve a purchase it's paid using my credit card, not his balance.

There is no setting available to do something about it. This is something Apple should correct.

  • I will have to look into this at our end, to try and determine why things work differently for us. As I've mentioned in my answer, whenever one of our three kids makes a purchase it definitely comes off their Apple ID balance, not off my credit card. – Monomeeth Jun 26 '17 at 1:21
  • We’ve been using family sharing since a month or two after it came out and gift cards have never not been charged when the balance was not zero. I’m not saying it can’t happen, just we’ve had hundreds of purchases and none so far charged wrongly. I bet a case (email or chat) with Apple store support would remedy your situation or explain what happened. – bmike Jun 26 '17 at 2:44
  • I agree with @bmike in that you should check with Apple directly re your account setup. Since posting my last comment I've had one child purchase an app and another hire a movie. In both cases the purchases came off their balance (i.e. balances they accrued via gift cards). My credit card was not charged. – Monomeeth Jul 7 '17 at 3:32

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