iPhone 6

The credit card in iPhone's iCloud Settings/Apple ID/Payment & Shipping/Payment Method (Payment Details) has just expired. I received a new card ( new expiration date and verification code) and entered it into Apple Pay a few weeks ago.

Now I've misplaced the new credit card, so I can't update the iCloud payment method for that card. I can enter a different credit card number, of course. But why can't I pay for iCloud with Apple Pay?

  • 1
    I don't know, have you asked Apple?
    – fsb
    Apr 20, 2017 at 1:25
  • 1
    Em no, I'm asking here. Am I not supposed to ask apple related questions here? Apr 20, 2017 at 1:31
  • 1
    Yes, but as with all Stack Exchange sites some questions are on topic and some aren't. If you check what's on topic here you'll notice that asking why Apple does something is off topic.
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 20, 2017 at 6:38

2 Answers 2


The real answer is because Apple Pay stores the card info locally on your phone/watch. That's why when you get a new device, you need to re-sync and re-setup all your cards.

In contrast, iCloud subscription is billed directly from Apple's servers with whatever payment method they have on file. They don't have access to the card in your Apple Pay which is stored securely on your individual devices.

In the article about Comcast posted by oa- in the other answer, the actual thing Comcast is allowing users to do is to open their app and make a bill payment from the phone using the Apple Pay card stored on that phone. It still doesn't allow reoccurring automatic payments, because it can't.

  • This answer feels truthier than the other. It also finally explains why I had to reload all those cards with my new phone. I had previously assumed that iCloud was not working properly. But I'm confused as to how non-Apple cos can store tokens for recurring Apple Pay while Apple itself cannot/does not. I thought they were single use tokens. Apr 22, 2017 at 1:35
  • My understanding of how card tokens are processed is rudimentary at best, but I looked into it and found this article which seems to make sense: 3dsi.com/blog/… -- if I had to guess, I'd say Apple Pay uses durable tokens rather than per-transaction tokens, but I don't know beyond that.
    – Vitalydotn
    Apr 22, 2017 at 13:30

While it may seem natural to select Apple Pay as your payment method for iCloud, it is not possible to do so.

Apple Pay is meant to be a payment solution for single transactions.

iCloud storage upgrades are reoccurring payments and thus can not be used with Apple Pay.

There are some instances where Apple Pay can be used for reoccurring payments, but it has to be enabled explicitly by the seller. See https://9to5mac.com/2017/04/20/comcast-xfinity-apple-pay-bill-payments

  • 1
    That makes sense. But how do you know this? Apr 20, 2017 at 2:35
  • @ButtleButkus By watching every Apple keynote and by reading every single word of Apple's marketing material. :)
    – oa-
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:42
  • Haha. I feel like they should inform us in the nooks and crannies of their OSes about things like this Apr 20, 2017 at 2:45
  • Why does Stripe indicate that Apple Pay can be used for recurring payments? I also noticed that Vantiv allows the use of Apple Pay for their recurring payments. If they can get it to work, I wonder why Apple doesn't do it?
    – fsb
    Apr 20, 2017 at 19:26
  • Because Stripe will keep the card token that Apple Pay will generated stored for you. Apple does not store anything from your Apple Pay on their servers. See my full answer below.
    – Vitalydotn
    Apr 20, 2017 at 19:53

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