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Apple payment services explained and how to find and change payment methods

As part of its digital services, Apple offers various payment methods that you can use in its own store, as well as other online retailers and third-party walk-in stores. It can be difficult to sort out which method applies where. Here is the overview to find out where to go and what to change as needed.

Apple’s payment types

Apple has many different Apple-branded services, payment methods and gift cards. It’s a shockingly long list, and what Apple offers varies from country to country where you receive bills or have a bank account.

Apple Pay. Apple Pay allows you to add credit and debit cards for contactless payment at retail locations and many types of online payment. You need a device with Touch ID or Face ID to add cards, and can sync them securely via iCloud between your devices. A Mac without a T2 security chip can rely on a mobile device also using Apple Pay. (Apple has a list of countries where Apple Pay is available.)

Apple cards. The Apple-branded Mastercard credit card works like any other payment card, but it is managed entirely from the Wallet app in iOS or iPadOS.

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Apple Cash can be used to pay for many types of Apple goods and services, as well as person-to-person transactions.

Apple Cash. Apple Cash is a person-to-person payment system as well as a way to receive cash discounts from an Apple card. It’s technically a Discover network debit card behind the scenes. You can use Apple Cash to pay for some types of Apple goods. It is only available in the United States

Apple account. This is not a card, but it is a balance you can use on any digital purchase. It appears in several places, including all Apple digital store windows.

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Apple Store gift cards only allow retail purchases, online or in person.

Apple Store gift card. You can purchase or receive gift credit on an Apple Store gift card, which can be redeemed at an Apple Store, whether in person or for online purchase – but not for digital goods. If you trade in Apple products for cash, Apple will provide it in the form of one of these cards. The balance is not displayed digitally anywhere, but in your wallet, as it is kept and available for personal use or via the Apple Store app.

App Store and iTunes gift cards. For app, media and subscription purchases, including iCloud storage, this card may have a balance. After redemption, the balance will be added and displayed in all your stores – App Store, iTunes, Music and Books – as part of your Apple account balance.

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