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. Esophorus says:

    Tried Elaines advice. Didn’t work. Any other suggestions? I’m in Korea with an American account.

  2. Henry Deutsch says:

    I just wasted the last 5 hours in Hong Kong trying all of these workarounds and still cant get my very expensive Ipad and Mac to work…this is total insanity…is there no hope ?

    HD

  3. gibocracy says:

    Im currently deployed and im trying to buy music. i cant believe they havent fixed this, they are missing out on so much money If this goes any longer ill just get it elsewhere or for free.

  4. concerned says:

    I am also having the same problem when I Installed Itunes version 10. I am currently in Afghanistan and have never had a problem in the past.

  5. husky1213 says:

    I too am having this problem but I have a new problem occurring: When I go to Apple’s Support page and fill out their Customer Service info it asks me for a valid email address even after putting it in the iTunes account name box. The box said optional so I then tried leaving it blank and putting my email in the “Details about the issue” section but still no luck. I’ve tried multiple emails as well and still nothing. I’m deployed in Afghanistan and this is really annoying Any help plz

  6. TK says:

    Conditional Solution I’ve got.

    CONDITION: your (formerly) valid credit card information should be remained and never be modified in your profile; you should NOT try to update it because of those annoying messages, and you can confirm this if you have no problem with updating previously purchased apps.

    Solution: Send an email to iTunes Store Customer Service(http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/contact.html).
    In my case, problem was solved in just 2 dyas, and now I have full access to purchase any apps as usual before. What they said was

    “I understand that you have been unable to purchase from the iTunes Store. The account maintenance team has resolved the issue. If you have any difficulty signing in and making purchases with your account, please reply to let me know. I apologize for any frustration this has caused. Thank you for being a valued iTunes Store customer.”
    , and I got the problem solved after receiving this email.

    I’d also tried every work-around I got from here, and unfortunately, had no good result back with them, and, you know, work-around is just detouring at the end. That’s why some of you guys had stuck in infinite loop again after trying work-around. You have nothing to lose with sending an email to Apple.

    Hope this would help.

  7. husky1213 says:

    nm it fixed it’s self

  8. crackbot says:

    currently deployed over here in afghanistan and am still not able to get it to work. I’ve had numerous emails with them and received just BS the entire time

    you would think that at least paypal would work since it does all the checking and verifying for itunes. this is obviously a code issue and they need to have this resolved

  9. Duc says:

    I am on the same boat as all of you. I emailed Apple and was told the issue was fixed and to wait 24 hrs before logging in. 1 week has pasted and I still cannot input in my. I’ve checked my bank statement to confirm my address and it is correct. This is getting way out of hand.

    My other option suggested by apple is to buy gift cards and redeem it. I DON’T LIKE THAT OPTION. Fix this issue already.

  10. C Franklin says:

    Great thread for a crappy issue. Spotturk’s solution worked for me, logging into both appleid.apple.com and store.apple.com. my guess is they merged two databases and don’t have a great way to resolve conflicts so they kick them out. As a side thought, I just bought something in a (physical) Apple Store recently, and it’s possible this went into some Apple Store database and screwed things up. I mention only because a few people on the thread have said in passing that they just bought their devices in the US.

    Me: US credit card, US billing address, logging on at the moment from the UK.

  11. Jay says:

    I’m with the US military stationed in Japan and as soon as I moved to Japan iTunes cut me off. My credit cards are declined all the time even though there is nothing wrong with them. Suddenly, I can’t use my iPad or iTouch to download anything. I guess my US account won’t work from out of the country. I even tried using iTunes Japan but that won’t work either. What a way to treat servicemen and women. Thanks for nothing Apple!

  12. Hani Obaid says:

    I have been waiting for apple itunes support to answer for several days since I received their machine generated formletter response telling me they’re investigating. Finally after trying everything I could think of I figured it out myself. As suspected and confirmed by Visa, this isn’t a problem with the credit card or the credit card information, but an itunes store desktop application bug. First it is displaying a misleading and inaccurate message on entering valid credit card information for an available credit card with more than enough credit (your credit card has been declined). This message implies that apple sent the request to your credit card vendore which wastes your time and the credit card vendor’s when you contact them to investigate.

    It turns out the whole issue is caused by poorly coded integration between itunes store desktop application and apple store web application. I found an old apple knowledge base article which said that whenever you update account info on itunes store, it automatically updates apple store.

    What was really happening when itunes store displayed the CC declined message was that it was trying to update apple store’s information to match, but the apple store account info has different options and validaiton than the itunes store accounts info (in my case the apple store doesn’t have an option for my country, Jordan). So when a validation error was encountered by itunes desktop app as it was trying to update apple store information, it just falls back to displaying credit card declined simply because the apple programmers did not bother (too lazy I guess) to take the validation error from the apple store and display it in itunes.

    So what I did was open apple store account management, change my email and save. Then open itunes login with the new email, then itunes will ask me to re-enter account info (not just billing info) this allowed my cc to be accepted immediately.

  13. Duc says:

    This whole CC crap is getting out of hands. Why won’t Apple change their ‘new’ system. This is clearly a problem for a hand full of users. I’ve contacted their support and all I got from their responses are ‘sorry’ replies. My issue had never been fixed as they have mentioned. Just plain ridic(K)ulous.

  14. Mike says:

    Apple is so full of errors! Highly disappointed because im a soldier defending our country and on my off time i would like to watch a movie through my ipad that i just ordered but come to find out I cant download anything! What a waste.. Now my ipad is pretty much useless, no movies no music no songs .. Fml. Thanks apple … You guys are fffffing redic!

  15. ssaito says:

    Hi, I am responding to Spotterk’s post, which I found most helpful. I followed instructions that Apple cust support sent, and they worked for me working through my company’s VPN (they use Aventail SonicWall). Perhaps you might try a third party VPN service provider that can do the full port VPN that you mention – I was not aware of that issue with VPNs. I’ll post if the solution breaks down – it only just started working.

    Shame on Apple for such bad customer service – they are really putting the content owners interests ahead of their end customers.

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