How to Set Up an iTunes Store Allowance

family using devices
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Apple discontinued the iTunes Allowance feature in May 2016. As a result, no new iTunes Allowances can be set up and existing ones were cancelled. Apple now recommends using Family Sharing to monitor and manage kids' spending at iTunes.

An iTunes Allowance can be a pretty neat gift. After all, what's better than having iTunes Store credit show up in your account every month, like magic? While not quite as easy as sitting back and letting the money appear, setting up an iTunes Store allowance is pretty simple. Here's what you need to do.

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Setting Up an iTunes Allowance

setting up itunes allowance, step 2
  1. To begin make sure you have an iTunes account. If not, set one up.
  2. Ideally the recipient of the iTunes Allowance already has an Apple ID separate from yours. If not, you can set one up as you create the allowance.
  3. When you've got your account, go to the iTunes Store and make sure you're signed in.
  4. In the QuickLinks section at the top right, click on Send iTunes Gifts.
  5. A window pops up. Click on the Learn More About Gifting link at the bottom of the window.
  6. This takes you to a page with information about different kinds of gifts you can give through iTunes. Scroll down the page until you get to the Allowances section. There, click on Set Up An Allowance to proceed.
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Create the iTunes Allowance

how to set up an itunes store allowance, step 3

On the setup page, you'll see a form to fill out to create the allowance. The fields are:

  • Your name and The recipient’s name: these should be pretty obvious.
  • The amount of the monthly allowance: this can be US$10-$50/month
  • Send the money now or at the beginning of the next month: either start the allowance right away or on the first of the next month
  • If the recipient of the allowance didn’t have an iTunes account or Apple ID in Step One, you can create it by selecting Create Apple Account."
    • Creating an Apple ID for a child receiving the allowance is ideal because iTunes accounts have to have credit cards associated with them, whereas Apple IDs don't. This is important because someone with an Apple ID and iTunes Allowance can only spend the amount of the allowance each month, whereas someone with a credit card in their iTunes account can spend the allowance, but also bill additional purchases to the credit card on file. This could result in unexpected charges for you.
  • Lastly, you have the option to add a message to be delivered via email along with the allowance.

Click Continue and you will have set up an iTunes Allowance for a lucky person.

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Canceling an iTunes Allowance

iTunes allowance logo
image copyright Apple Inc.

Sometimes you have to cancel an iTunes Allowance due to a variety of reasons. Here's how:

  1. Go the to the iTunes Store and sign in.
  2. Click the button in the top left with your Apple ID on it. From the drop down, click Account.
  3. In the main account screen, you’ll see a list of all the iTunes Allowances you have set up. Choose the one to cancel and follow the onscreen instructions to do so.
  4. Any money that's in the account when you cancel the allowance stays there. You can't get a refund for unused allowance money.
  5. Remember: Money goes into an iTunes Allowance account on the first of every month, so plan ahead. You don’t want to end up spending money in a month when you intended to cancel the account.