The Advantages & Disadvantages of Apple ID Payment Options
Last year I held discussions with several parents who had discovered purchases had unknowingly been made on their Credit Card. The fees were incurred by their children through 'In-App' Purchases and purchasing applications from App Store. One student had spent almost $200 on 'In-App' purchases and another had accidentally purchased Proloquo2Go ($229.99). Fortunately the cases were solved and in various circumstances money was refunded.
Spending can be controlled and measures can be taken to manage finances. There are numerous payment options and some methods are safer than others. I would like to identify four payment options for iTunes/App Store and highlight the advantages and disadvantages associated with each;
1. Credit Card
Credit Cards can be linked to an Apple ID and purchases can be easily made in iTunes or App Store. After selecting an application, music track or album to purchase, approval is requested. Once agreement is made the transaction takes place. Children may end up purchasing more applications than needed and in result credit card statements may end up being somewhat of a surprise. Credit Card spending can be controlled by enabling various Parental Restrictions. Turning Off 'In-App' Purchases is wise. Certain settings can be enabled to prevent application installation and download.
2. iTunes Cards
Gift cards are convenient and a favourable means of providing additional iTunes and App Store credit. Discounts are often available and this means money can be saved. The best iTunes Card sale I have ever seen was 'buy-one-get-one-free' at Harvey Norman. I bought two $50 iTunes Cards for the price of one! Basically purchase the iTunes Card, remove the small silver sticker on the back to reveal a code, open App Store on an iOS Device, find 'Featured' and scroll to 'Redeem' and select 'Use Camera'. Capture the code and instantly credit is provided. It couldn't be easier!
Within the App Store applications can be gifted. The desired App is simply found and gifted to the recipient by selecting 'Share'. Email address and message is entered and a delivery date can be specified. This method is a handy way of making someone's day special, however, it can be a tedious method of application delivery and bulk purchasing.
4. iTunes Allowance
Monthly allowances can be purchased in amounts of $20.00 to $100.00. Continual Credit Card deductions will be made and amounts will be credited to the nominated Apple ID at the beginning of each month. This option may limit unwanted spending, however, children may decide to empty their balance before the close of each month knowing full well they will receive additional credit in the near future due to the automated payment.
Payment options can be confusing, however, providing you have Apple Care Protection, excellent support is available on 1300 321 456. Alternatively Apple include helpful information on their site to assist with payment information.
I have used and will only ever use one way of providing App Store credit. Call me old fashioned, I prefer going to the shops and purchasing an iTunes Cards on Credit Card. I earn Frequent Flyer Points, control my spending and know my iPad, iPhones and MacBook are not linked to my bank. In addition I feel as though I'm giving myself a little present and it feels special each and every time. Furthermore, I can purchase iTunes Cards on discount and in affect make purchases within the App Store for less. You can't do this with Credit Card!