iTunes Store Bug: Your credit card was declined. Please enter valid credit card information

Date: August / 31 / 2010 + Comments: 119

Since August’s last week many USA iTunes customers while using the store with a Credit Card or PayPal have seen this error message out again and again, unable to buy anything or update their Apps.

Your credit card was declined. Please enter valid credit card information.

When you try to buy something (an app or song) after you login to your account, you get a new window that states:

Verification is required
You must enter your Apple ID and password, click Billing Info, and verify your payment information in order to make purchases.

And once again to log in again to verify your payment details, you get a form with red letters indicating:

You must verify your payment information before you can make purchases.

Although you do update your data, either of PayPal or credit card, and press Done, it again gives the error message:

:!: Your credit card was declined. Please enter valid credit card information

So your credit card was rejected / denied by iTunes, even though you enter valid values in this regard. And this becomes in an infinite loop in which Apple will never accept your data or other cards, which are also valid.

Reasons

There is a theory: Reading some forums about it, most of these mistakes happen when your IP is outside of USA, meaning that even though you use a U.S. Paypal account or credit card, if you are not in the same country, you will have this error.

Some people reported this error while trying to buy something from a not U.S. country with a U.S. account, but when they called a relative in the USA to login with the same account, the error did not exist. :|

Solutions

It is an error from iTunes Store and not from your bank account or PayPal. Sadly, there’s no apparent solutions . I recommend to you to read the following Apple Support forums, maybe a solution will appear there, but until now there is none:

As you can see it is not an isolated error and it is happening to several customers.

Some of them recommend that the best solution is to send an email to Apple Support to the following link and wait 48 hours for a response:

Apple Support, iTunes Store: Billing, managing your account

Hopefully we will have a solution.

If you went through something similar and you solved it, please leave a comment and share your experience :)

UPDATE: Once it was solved by Apple Support, after a few days the same problem returns

iTunes Logo 2011 The first time I got the Credit Card message that it was Declines was on August 28th. I use PayPal with US address and US credit card, but I live in South America.

I sent the first email (using the form) on September the 1st. The same day Apple Support said they will find a solution and they have requested assistance.

I sent a second email on September the 3rd.
I received an Apple email saying my account was solved on September the 4th.

Yesterday (September 7) My account is having again the same problem. (and I have being buying stuff almost everyday).

I am sending a third email today (September 8).

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Post author: Daniel Semper

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119 Comments »

  1. Carlos A. says:

    I tried you steps but yes, nothing happened to me, i am gonna have to wait until they decide to address my issue =(

  2. Kennyg says:

    Now this is just stupid. There is OBVIOUSLY an issue and I’m glad I’m not the only one SOL.. I’ve loved the iTunes store, but this is extremely, EXTREMELY aggravating. List me under the ill-contempt crowd. FYI, reverting back to iTunes 9.2.1 does squat and thanks for the info DanielSemper but that didn’t do the trick either. There’s some new bug in the billing address verification process..

  3. Joe says:

    hidemyip.com I ran this and “confirmed my billing information”. I am not sure how long until I have to confirm again, but it works for now.

  4. alex says:

    i have the same issue, but in addition i have a open balance on iTunes with gift certificate and its also not working, now this is ridiculous that i already paid and cant use it up

  5. Carlos A. says:

    GOT IT TO WORK!!!!

    Did what some guy at the apple forum said he did and it worked for me F*CKING FINALLY!!!!

    Went store.apple.com
    Signed In, went to my billing info. Funny enough, i didn’t have any card information in there, not even paypal even though that is the one i’ve been using.

    Anyway, i put my normal debit card info and it went through with no problem.

    Went back to itunes, tried to download a free app and it asked me to verify my card info (as it has been doing for the past week). When i was in there, i selected NONE and it finally accepted NONE, and voila, I was able to download free apps like I normally do WOOHOO!!!!

    And now the good part, i entered a debit card info, another one, one i tried this week and kept declining and it ACCEPTED IT and i was able to buy the Calculator App i needed for work.

    Will try to change country information and billing option, to see if it works but so far WORKING FOR ME….

    Try that =]

  6. Laifukang says:

    VPN (12vpn.com) worked for me from china. What a pain in the ass. Another reason to switch to Android for my next phone.

  7. Pundersnit says:

    Here’s another work-around for buying iPhone apps. However it only works if you have a computer online in the US.

    Although I’m in Japan, I operate a website from a dedicated computer running OS X Server located in the U.S. that I administer from Japan via ScreenSharing. On this computer in the US I fire up iTunes via ScreenSharing and have no problem making purchases. After purchasing, I highlight the purchase, select File->Show In Finder, and send the highlighted file (via iDisk) to Japan. On the local computer here in Japan, I load it into iTunes (File->Add To Library), and then sync with my iPhone.

    It only takes a minute or two longer than normal, but, like I said, it only works if you’ve got access to a computer in the U.S.

  8. Darryl says:

    same issue here too and I am working in Germany. It has been over 3 weeks. They tell me a te is working on it. That is one sorry team. WTF? I would change companies but I have the iPhone 4 and am locked into contract. Very discouraged to say the least.

  9. tamnosbig says:

    Just got off the phone with the AppleCare folks who called when they said they would from the appointment I set last night.

    Had the same issue: all of a sudden, the debit card I had been using suddenly didn’t work. Coincidentally, I also just upgraded to a 3GS.

    Two parts to the solution: 1) I had to sign out of iTunes on ALL of my authorized computers AND my iPhone. 2) The billing information on the credit card screen MUST be the same as what the bank has on file for you. If “avenue” is abbreviated as “ave” then so does your billing address on the screen. If “south” is just an “s” then so does your billing address.

    I couldn’t get my old debit card to register on iTunes but I’m not sure how the bank has the address listed. I registered another card with the address that I was sure about (looked at the statement) and it registered with no trouble and I’ve downloaded apps now.

    The Apple guy on the phone was nothing but polite and friendly and stressed to me that they are aware of the situation and doing what they can to get the word out about a solution…what that might be, I don’t know.

    Hope this helps.

  10. RobertM1984 says:

    definitely an overseas thing. I have been having this issue since the end of august and I have been deployed for a while to an location in southwest asia. I dont even want to contact support.

    connecting to my universities VPN seems to fix it though.

  11. DanielSemper says:

    WARNING !!!! Once it was solved by Apple Support, after a few days the same problem returns.

    The first time I got the Credit Card message that it was Declines was on August 28th. I use PayPal with US address and US credit card, but I live in South America.

    I sent the first email (using the form) on September the 1st. The same day Apple Support said they will find a solution and they have requested assistance.

    I sent a second email on September the 3rd.
    I received an Apple email saying my account was solved on September the 4th.

    Yesterday (September 7) My account is having again the same problem. (and I have being buying stuff almost everyday).

    I am sending a new email today (September 8)… this is terrible!!!!

  12. brittany says:

    Am having the same issue. From Hong Kong. Tried to launch my VPN, did nothing. Tried to have my friend in the U.S. log in to my iTunes account from New Jersey, and it still didn’t work. Have sent in a message to the iTunes support, but not too optimistic that they’ll do anything based on the responses here.

    Please, if anyone figures out how to fix, let us know!

  13. john says:

    same here, I’m currently out of the country and I can’t download anything. Got an email from apple saying that I can change country in iTune, but need to have that country’s credit card and billing address etc…WTF is apple thinking! Will people apply credit card in another country while they only stays there for a month or two?

  14. mmzzmom says:

    I am having the same issue. have been back and forth with tech support via email for nearly 2 weeks now. I do live overseas but use a VPN, and also have US credit card and mailing addresses. I tried to change to my local country store but iTunes won’t let me because I have an outstanding seasons pass. Apple is blowing it on this one. Lots of lost revenue and a customer base that is very mobile. Even if I lived in the US i often travel for work so at any point I could show a foreign IP address. It is not specific to iTunes 10. I did not upgrade my son’s computer and we are experiencing the same problem. it is frustrating to try to do the right thing, e.g. buy music legally, and have road blocks thrown up.

  15. kevin says:

    DanielSemper post is on the right track.

    I followed this procedure and found that my email was not listed as verified. Once I verified my email it all started working again…

    Thanks Daniel…
    Kevin, Tokyo

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