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. Sunchaser says:

    All,

    Here is my experience/testing today after experiencing this problem last yesterday. I have sent the following to Apple Support.

    Hi Apple Support,

    I’m hoping you can help me. I have been been getting my credit card declined message when updating my billing method in itunes since yesterday, 8 Sept when trying to buy an app for my iphones and ipads. It was working fine until then, and there were no problems. I am a US Military member stationed overseas in the United Kingdom, with a US iTunes/Apple account with US based credit card(s)which has worked fine up until yesterday.

    I did a net search, and my problem seems to be related/described in the following link:

    http://www.aeromental.net/2010/08/31/itunes-store-bug-your-credit-card-was-declined-please-enter-valid-credit-card-information-2/

    To check this, I tried logging into US itunes from my UK based macbook, and setting my billing information and got the credit card denied message. I then remotely logged into my mom’s laptop in Tampa Florida (within minutes of the first attempt at home in the United Kingdom), and was able to successfully update my credit card information. I logged out of the US based system, and tried to make a purchase with my newly updated account from macbook at my home in the UK, and was presented with the “update billing information” dialogs again, and then subsequently failed that credit card update. I then repeated the process, and was able to again successfully update my account billing info from the US machine and made a purchase, but the process repeated itself when moving back to the UK machine. I have also checked with my bank, and they only see the “successful” purchase and no declines at all. This is with trying 2 separate credit cards and a debit card. This would appear that there is IP domain checking or geographic checking going on and thus iTunes (not my bank) is denying the credit card update and subsequent purchases. Can you please put me on an “exclude list” to fix this or have this fixed so I can resume being a loyal Apple customer (imac, macbook, 2xiphone4, ipad, 2xipodtouch3G, nano, shuffle, 2xATV, Powermac Dual G5tower, MobileMe.). When I set the account to “no credit card”, I can “purchase” free content and updates with no problems. I have also tried this on multiple machines with itunes10 installed.

    All these devices are somewhat limited if I can not purchase content through the itunes store.

    This is extremely inconvenient, as I was trying to purchase the tom-tom USA application for a trip I leave for on Sunday in Wash DC. I would really like this to be remedied before then. This seems to be itunes issues, as my bank(s) (both of them) have not processed any transaction requests that were denied.

    Your speedy reply/assistance is greatly appreciated.

  2. ERIC says:

    EVERYONE…

    ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS CALL SAMMY FROM APPLE ON 1-877-388-0879 EXT. 40390

    SHE IS SO NICE AND CAN HAVE A LIVE DIRECT CHAT WITH THE PEOPLE AT ITUNES. MY ISSUE WAS SORTED IN LIKE 5 HOURS!! THANKS SAMMY!

  3. Brittany says:

    FYI, I sent Apple iTunes customer support an email telling them exactly what my problem was. They responded w/in 24 hours telling me there was a “problem with my bank” and it would be fixed in 24 hours. (I know it wasn’t with my bank because I tried multiple accounts, but I digress.)

    After 24 hours, I logged onto iTunes using a proxy server (I use a program called Astrill; subscription required) to hide my overseas IP address, and this time it worked for me.

    Just thought I’d post my results in case they might work as well for anyone else. Good luck

  4. rhys says:

    Hey im really annoyed as i just brought a ipod touch, i set up my Id accound and when it came to my billin info i typed everything fine and wouldnt let says itunes have declined my card :( someone please help

  5. Zeke says:

    I am also having this problem can someone help me please?

  6. BrazilNuts says:

    I posted this in another thread similar to this and hope this may be useful to some. There is a problem and there is a partial workaround while they fix it. Please contact iTunes by email in order to have your accounts unblocked.
    “This is definitely a system glitch from Apple iTunes that was happening to fewer people last year and intensified this last couple of weeks to a lot of people. It is not a geo location problem, but some issue with the application store anti-piracy system or whatever security feature on iTunes that became rogue.

    The offending computer or device used with the account when attempting to purchase an application, becomes blocked (or embargoed) with the credit card declined loop were it is not a problem with the card, as any other payment type are also blocked, including the “none” option.

    There is no need for people to VPN as the problem is also happening to US accounts based in the US, like mine.

    The workaround is logging to the iTunes account in a computer different from the one that “caused” the glitch and filling up the remaining information when asked to verify the account. Still did not verify if this works under iTunes 10, but all different computers under version 9 I tried worked. However they became blocked again when tried to purchase an app. It has to be done with a computer that did not try to purchase apps after the first computer was blocked.

    The embargo will continue on the app store and the user will be able only to update applications, download free applications, buy movies and songs or whatever. Don´t try to purchase apps or your computer will become blocked again.

    This will work on all devices linked to one´s iTunes account, including Apple TV, PCs, iPhones and iPads.

    This will work until a supervisor at iTunes unblocks your computers and account. They are overburdened with the launch of the new ipods and new iTunes 10. In my case still waiting for more than a week exchanging messages with an extremely polite agent that can´t do this by herself. iTunes does not have a customer service desk reachable by phone, only email. So hold on to your seats.

    When attempting to purchase an application, the in use device or computer will become blocked and the verify account information loop will come back. Then the fix has to be find another computer (not used before) and start all over again. This works like a virus that spreads after the first device is infected as the account becomes infected. Only a non infected computer can be used for the workaround.

    I am sure Apple, as a great company they are, will fix this on due time and when they recognize the problem(maybe they already have), but until then this is what is presented.

  7. BrazilNuts says:

    If you tell iTunes Tech Support your are outside the US, you will receive a scripted reply based on the iTunes terms of service. The problem is not geo location as many others are having the same problem, based in the US.

    The only fix is an unblock that the customer service agent can’t do, only supervisors or tech. It is taking more than a week to have it fixed as they are doing it manually and are overburdened as this is a system glitch during the launch of many new products.

    You will need to place a new tech support ticket and get somebody that understand this has to be escalated to a supervisor/technician. Keep trying and following up. Some solutions you received before does not work and has nothing to do with the App Store glitch.

    (*) Only with a non affected computer you will be able to confirm you payment method. Then you will be able to update apps, download free apps, rent/buy movies, songs and whatever. You will not be able to purchase apps.

    No need to VPN in this case. BTW the proxy setup still through Windows Connections. Try changing the setting on the connection option without a VPN configured. iTunes will not be able to access the internet. Just use a non affected computer (maybe on a lan house) and log in iTunes with your account and confirm the code. :!: If you attempt to purchase an app this computer will become affected/infected.

    This is not an issue with iTunes 10 individually and has been happening for a year or so. Presently there are many thousands that are being affected by whatever change was done for the App Store security against hackers/piracy which has become rogue.

    It makes no sense getting a payment option loop when logging in the US or elsewhere. If you try renting a movie on Netflix (which uses geo location) when travelling outside the US you will receive a message you are outside the US. This happens with Amazon also. All vendors are very clear with that. Point being, this is a system glitch, bug or whatever.

    Apple will fix it eventually, but at this time customer service is the only one that can help those with this problem. And it takes time.

    Please read my post on a partial temporary workaround.

  8. spotterk says:

    First email I got from Apple Support:

    My name is Michael from iTunes Store Support. I understand your credit card being declined and you cannot make further purchases at this time. I know you must be looking forward to having all this taken care of, and I’ll be happy to help you with this. If you would like to purchase from an iTunes Store in a particular country, you must have both a residential address and a billing address in that particular country. Items on any particular country’s iTunes Store are available only for distribution to customers who use a credit card, debit card, iTunes Gift Certificate, or iTunes Gift Card issued in and for that country. For example, the U.S. iTunes Store can only sell to U.S. residents using credit cards or debit cards that were issued in and for the U.S., or U.S. residents using iTunes Gift Certificates or Gift Cards that were purchased in the U.S. I’m sorry you ran into trouble with your iTunes Store purchase. To purchase music on the iTunes Store, you need to refresh your account information in your user profile. Your time is valuable, so I would like to point out that there are several steps to take for this to be done correctly. I’ll walk you through this process to get you back up and running in no time. 1) Make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes. It can be downloaded free of charge at the Apple website: http://www.apple.com/itunes/download 2) Open iTunes. 3) From the Store menu, choose Sign In. 4) Enter your account name and password then click Sign In. 5) From the Store menu, choose View My Account. 6) On your Apple Account Information page, click Edit Payment Information. 7) On the Edit Payment Information page, select the None radio button to completely remove all your credit card info. 8) Click Done, and then click Done again. 9) From the Store menu, choose Sign Out and then close iTunes completely. Once you have removed your credit card info, follow these steps: 1) Using your web browser, go to the My Apple ID page at: http://appleid.apple.com/ 2) If the site is not displayed in your preferred language, click the Change Language link in the upper-right corner, type the name of your language in the field that appears, then click the Save button. 3) Click the “Manage your account” link. 4) Type your iTunes Store account name (which is your Apple ID) in the Apple ID field, type your password in the password field, then click the Sign In button. 5) Click “Addresses” in the left column. 6) Edit your addresses and make sure the appropriate state is selected for all of them, then click the Save Changes button at the bottom. 7) Next, click “Phone Numbers” in the left column. 7) Ensure your phone numbers are formatted correctly (i.e. the area code is correctly typed into the area code field). 8) Click the Save Changes button. After you have updated your billing and shipping address, follow these last steps: 1) Open your web browser, and navigate to the Apple Store Online: http://store.apple.com 2) At the main window, choose the option to Review Your Account. 3) Log in with your iTunes Store account name using the same password you use in the iTunes Store. 4) At the Your Account screen, choose the Change Account Information option on that screen. 5) Enter your credit card billing information, including the shipping address information. 6) Choose the proper county for your address. Click continue. Your account will then be updated, and a pre-authorization amount will temporarily be charged to your credit card (which will be automatically removed). Once your account is updated, close your web browser. 7) Launch iTunes. Your iTunes Store account should work normally. If you continue to experience this issue, just reply to this email and include any more information you may have discovered. I trust the information that I have provided will be helpful to you in resolving this issue. If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and I will be happy to assist you again. Sincerely, MichaeliTunes Store Customer Support Please note my schedule is 8AM to 5:00PM(EST) Sunday to Thursday. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Interresting aspects:

    1. If you call 1800-My-Apple about the problem your advised that the service desk cannot help you via phone this can only be corrected via Email.

    2. If you have a creadit card associated with the account that is approved prior to you leaving the U.S. then your card will continue to work while overseas if downloading video or Music. But if downloading apps it fails.

    3. The length of time to get at least this much in responce is crazy.

    4. Will the app providers be happy with the fact that they are not going to make any money on the over 400,000 US people who are outside the US supporting the U.S. Military while overseas?

    5. Having credit on ITUNES prevents you from being able to change your region. Your required to spend the ballance before changing the region. The ability to spend the ballance is hindered by not being able to provide a valid payment method. You’ll have to do the New account request.

    6. The suggested action from APPLE is to get a local credit card for the country in which they are in. Yea, like that is possible being your a U.S. Citizen assigned overseas not a overseas customer living there as a tax payer.

    As for use of VPN here’s what I got.

    For Fun.I repeated all the steps above this time using a VPN based in the US. Well I was able to sucessfully get all the way to the last two steps. Opened the Itunes Application. selected to log-in. Entered username and password. Got the Verification is required box …Before you can make purchases, you must click OK then verify your payment information. So Clicked OK Up comes the Edit Payment information screen. Where the credit card has all but the Seurity code information. Entered the proper number. Verified the address was correct from my Bank’s statement. Country Region is United States. Select “Done” And Again Your credit card was declined. Please enter valid credit card information.

    Apple is working toward blocking the VPN work around as well.

    (n) The solution of sending an email to the Apple Support does not correct the problem. It only gives the user the false hope that something is being done in the background.

    What is being done in the background is Apple working on Apple’s security procedures in accordance with agreements toward liscense and copywrite fighting the capababilities of piracy and intellectual property circumvention has decided that the following has to take place to procure an application from the ITUNES portal.
    1. You must be using a computer that is physically located in the US (using a U.S. Service provider)
    2. Your credit card has to be valid with a US financial institution.
    3. Your billing address for the institution must be based in the U.S.
    4. ITUNES 10 application does not use the WWW ports most assume are being used with connecting with a VPN. ITUNES V10 actually uses it’s own ports and protocols and therefore if you selecct a VPN tool it needs to be more than just secure web browsing. You’ll have to VPN your entire connection out of your house. (All ports and protocols)

    Note depending upon how the application is writted it may also require you to old school tweek and change your local computers’ Time and region settings to match whichever item it is where the VPN service is being granted from.

    Rebutle (Point of this message):

    There is no “solution” posted. Only facts leading to the work-around that you’ll need to ship the device to someone in the U.S. so that you can have the device acquire the application you desire every time you want another Application.

    Are you currently inside the U.S.?

    If so congratulations I am Jealous.
    For the rest of us (most of this posting) what was posted was the email I got today from Apple tech. If you outside the U.S. you will have to get a Credit card for the country in which you are currently at and use the web site for that country.

    In trying to get this worked out. For me I live in Korea. I have to navigate the Korean web page (not offered is an english translated version) where the option is “Visa” “Amexpress” “Mastercard”. So not I’m off to find a bank that will allow me to get a credit card (one of the three listed above) in a country I barely understand the language of to give me an approval for a credit card.

  9. stylinexpat says:

    As of now I am happy. I got a reply from Apple and am able to purchase applications again using my iPhone 4 like I was able to. Not sure how long this will last for so I am going to make sure I download all that I need before it goes away again lol..

    The email said:

    Hi *****,

    John here. Thank you so much for your patience while the iTunes Store researched this issue. It looks like your credit card company is having an issue communicating with the iTunes Store.

    I have good news for you. I have taken this to a senior advisor and we have done some work on your account. It has been found that this issue has been resolved. Please try again in 24 hours.

    If you continue to have issues in 24 hours, please feel free to reply to this email and let me know.

    Have a great day, ******.

    Sincerely,

    John
    iTunes Store Customer Support

    Please Note: I work M-F, 9-6PM (EST)

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Thomas says:

    I had the issue and complained. Like many on this list – I work for a company that requires that I travel rough 180 days a year. My home is in Miami florida – this is where I live. I am on a longer project for 6 months in Holland and so my firm also got me a local iphone to keep calling costs low. So – I travel back and forth. It isn’t just US citizens living abroad or military personnel – it’s also general users who travel.

    I reported the issue on Sept 2. and got the standard response. I then got an email on Friday saying it was fixed. I immediatly went in and downloaded some apps I was looking to buy. I went to bed – got up – and in the morning it was all blocked again.

    I don’t know what my reaction should be. An iphone without an ability to buy apps, rent movies – or do anything on it but make calls – well – that is just a cell phone and I don’t have to pay 400 plus for one of those. My next phone will clearly be an Android device – no walled garden. At least then I can comfortably buy my apps and spend my money in peace without big brother watching and waiving a finger at me because I happen to be working abroad for a month.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Wy wife and I are on the same itunes account and she can download and i can’t. Also I called my bank about this and they said my bank account was showed activity but they said I entered the wrong CRV code (3 digit security cone on the back of the card) I know I entered it right. I tried atleast 10 times. I haven’t got any word back from apple yet. I am really starting to get PISSED OFF!!!

  12. Paul says:

    Am having the same problems, I’m teaching in Korea for a year and now I can’t buy apps for my iPhone or iPad. This is the last nail in the coffin. I’ll be buying a Windows Phone 7, and a Windows tablet so I can aviod Apple’s control freak grip.

  13. SrAJason says:

    It’s been well over 2 weeks since I sent my first email to apple about this issue. I am currently stationed overseas in Europe and I’ve been here well over 2 years. Am I to understand that the new Terms pretty much screw over any US servicemen/women that are serving outside of the States? Way to NOT think it through Apple.

  14. paint says:

    Has anybody tried using an ITunes gift card?

    I just bought my iPad on Sunday in the States and then flew back to China on Monday. I had no idea that you couldn’t buy apps in China. I guess it does say it in the fine print, but it’s kind of ridiculous. I”ve already put about 6 hours into trying to solve this. Looks like many of you have put in more. I really need Pages for my work.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if you have someone in the States buy you a gift card and then get the info from them and then use it overseas to buy apps…would it work?

  15. DanielSemper says:

    I have read that some have bought gift cards and it was the same, they couldn’t use that money to buy apps.

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