Apple iTunes Will Not Take My Money but the Apple Store Will? It’s a Head-Scratcher For Sure

I ran into an issue the other day while using iTunes; I wanted to purchase a $50 gift card for a friend, but I couldn’t because the iTunes store said that I had “exceeded the maximum Gift certificate purchase amount for [my] account.” Confused, I took a look back at my recent purchases and found that I had only spent $200 in the past year on gift certificates, so what was the problem?

I even changed my credit card, just in case it was an American Express limitation, but using Discover I ran into the same error message. Reading the message again, I realized this was not a cap on my credit card, it was on my iTunes account. One Google search later, and I found that this was not a glitch — Apple evidently puts an arbitrary $100 cap on iTunes gift certificate purchases in a 30 day period.

But when I went to the Apple site, I had no problem buying a gift card (which would be mailed versus emailed) for twice the amount. So obviously this is not an issue of Apple denying or not liking my credit card; it’s some kind of dubious safety feature to help prevent iTunes fraud.

I guess.

I would have just accepted that was how it is and how it is going to be, but Kevin tried to purchase an iTunes gift certificate for another friend, and iTunes denied his card … flat-out denied it, even though the card has plenty of available credit. He hasn’t bought any iTunes Gift Certificates in ages.

Because of my experience, I told Kevin to go to the Apple iTunes website and purchase a gift card …

Sure enough, he had no problem.

So what’s the deal? iTunes doesn’t like credit cards that the Apple site likes just fine, and iTunes puts an arbitrary limit on gift certificate spending — but certainly not on from-device App purchases, or from-computer music purchases? Why would Apple frustrate their customers like this? It makes no sense to me.


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.