My kids have ~$30 on their iTunes accounts from gift cards. We then put everyone into a family group.

When they purchase items from the App store, it is paid for under the family account. How do they access their original balances? I'd like to transfer it to the family, or any other method to use their gifts. It's been "stuck" for years like this.

  • 1
    In the past, I’ve carried a gift balance as the non primary account. Any reason why those sub accounts aren’t just spending down their balances?
    – bmike
    Apr 25, 2020 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


There is not a transfer function since the value was spent when it was associated with an AppleID.

If you queue up your purchases, remove the accounts with a credit from the family and then spend down the balance to zero, then join back in the family. As long as the purchases share with the family, it won’t matter that a non-primary purchaser purchased it. The main thing, is each account can spend down their balance if you let them purchase.

Going forward, only redeem credits from the master account that carries the payment terms of you want to prevent or restrict purchases from other accounts in general.

  • I realized I should have asked @Aaron - why aren’t purchases from those sub accounts draining the balance, that works for me in all cases except gifts and some subscriptions hit cash and not credit, but most drained my credit first.
    – bmike
    Apr 25, 2020 at 15:21
  • From what I've read on Apple's support pages, all purchases regardless if they're from the sub accounts or not pull from the primary family members payment method. The sub-account balances have been "stuck" for years. Do I have something incorrect?
    – Aaron
    Apr 25, 2020 at 15:24
  • Contact support. They can review purchase history. I was able to spend down my gift balance when I was. It the primary for two years straight. My partner paid for the family but I expensed my work purchases on my AppleID and spent down $500 in balance. @Aaron your child accounts might just need to be allowed to spend their balance then shut off when they are zero.
    – bmike
    Apr 25, 2020 at 15:56

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