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Why can't Expatriates use their American Credit Cards

1755 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013 5:34 AM by Dah•veed RSS
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MizBrown Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 1, 2012 2:55 PM

I had been using my foreign address with my American credit card in the past, but just after the current update broke seeing Panasonic RW2 files in Finder, I discovered that I am no longer allowed to live outside the US and buy things from the App Store and presumeably not from the iTunes store.  My credit card company has both my foreign address and my foreign phone number on file. 


I can see there being a problem if the credit card company's address for the customer did not match the location of of the user, but this is not the case with my card and card company and I have bought things from US companies without this problem.  I should be able to attach the account to the US store with the US card or I should be able to use the foreign store with the US card which has my foreign address.


I think there are many people in my situation, Americans living abroad who keep their banking in the US and I guess Apple feels it can throw us away as customers.   I'd like to know the reason.  It's not the issuing banks. 


This also means, of course, that I can never buy an iPhone or an iPad, and will have to stick with Android phones where I can buy apps on line.

Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    This is a user to user support forum. Apple is not here. Apple does not answer questions here.


    To have an account in the iTunes/Mac App Stores;

    1. You must use the store for the country where you reside.

    2. You must use a bank card from a bank in that country.

    3. You must have a verifiable billing address in that country.


    Those are the rules. AFAIK, they have always been the rules. The system is automated and is not programmed to use something different. If necessary, use your expat bank card to purchase iTunes/Mac App Store gift cards for the country in which you reside to fund your purchases in the store for the country were you reside.

    '09 Mac mini, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, Mac OS X (10.7.3), iOS (5.0.1) Mac fanboi since 1984!
  • Keith Doherty3 Level 4 Level 4 (1,735 points)

    The itunes /App store rules a nd restrictions are and always have been attached to BILLING ADDRESS combined with the regional identifier  (First four of the sixteen long digits)


    To purchase via the US store both criteria need to be met.


    If you have moved out of the US and had your cards transfered by the lender the first four of your new card will change leaving you out of the US store.


    You will nned to sign out of the US store and open a new account within your new abode using the requiste card and billing address.


    Caveate if you actual have multiple abodes like myself FLorida/London/Portugal each with local paymant methods your can have mulitle accounts as Apple does not use IP address blocking.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    They have NOT always been the rules.

    Yes, those have certainly been the rules for over 10 years at least. Somehow the setup that you had fooled the system until it recently caught up with you. I guess one could say that for that time you were outside the USA you were lucky. As with the other poster, I have two accounts, in two countries, the US and Mexico.

    '09 Mac mini, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, Mac OS X (10.7.3), iOS (5.0.1) Mac fanboi since 1984!
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)
    This card company was sold to another US credit card company which sent me my new card to my address in the country where I have residence.

    That is likely what broke it for you. Not anything that Apple changed.

    '09 Mac mini, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, Mac OS X (10.7.3), iOS (5.0.1) Mac fanboi since 1984!
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    I am not disputing anything that you say, but I am pointing out that the rules haven't changed and everything you report points to someone helping you skirt the system that has been in place for a long time and what made that house of cards crumble is likely when the bank card company changed hands and you got a new card.


    You say that you aren't seeking advice. That is what this forum is for, not grousing about Apple's business decisions or company policies. You agreed not to do either when you opened your account to use these forums.

    '09 Mac mini, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, Mac OS X (10.7.3), iOS (5.0.1) Mac fanboi since 1984!
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    So where is a place to complain about Apple's screwups?

    Anywhere outside of the Apple Support Communities. Continuing to break the rules here will just get your comments deleted and if you persist then your account will be closed and you will be banned permanently from the Apple Support Communities.

    '09 Mac mini, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, Mac OS X (10.7.3), iOS (5.0.1) Mac fanboi since 1984!
  • M K H Calculating status...

    I have the same problem with you, just noticed the problem recently myself. The support staff asked me to write a feedback on the iTunes Store, which I did. I'm pretty sure there are many travelers and expats finding this restriction very limiting, so I suggest to send your feedback too, hope more voices will cause Apple to find a more stable solution ( like Amazon).

  • Edgarin108 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Do you work for Apple?

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,035 points)

    Moderators in the forum work for Apple.  Thay have been authroized to apply the TermsOfUse to the letter if they consier it necessary and do monitor posted messages.

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