Passbook Apple Pay 8 Limit

I generally keep a lot of credit cards, because I like to play the loyalty frequent flier bonus miles game. I’ve been able to take some amazing trips for next to nothing over the years as a result.

But telling you about my global travels isn’t the purpose of this post. The point of this post is to highlight a limit you’ll encounter if you add enough cards to Apple Pay.

It appears that Apple Pay limits its users to only eight credit and/or debit cards per device. I ran into this limit as I was adding as many of my credit cards into Passbook as I could. It’s nowhere near a deal breaker, but this is somewhat disappointing for me…

Apple Pay Add Another Card Greyed Out

Interestingly enough, you aren’t actually told that you’re limited, you’ll just notice that the “Add Another Card” button is greyed out, and tapping it after adding an eighth card results in nothing. This is disappointing for those of us with lots of credit cards, or for those of us with just a healthy mix of credit and debit cards.

I’m not sure if this is an arbitrary limit, and Apple will eventually raise the number of credit cards that can be added, or if there were some other, perhaps regulatory reasons. why a ninth card can not be added at this time. I know for sure that this is strictly a limit on the credit/debit card side of Passbook, as I have more than eight passes added to Passbook, and there seems to be no limit to Passbook passes.

The simple solution to this is just to remove the credit cards I don’t actually use, and that’s what I did. All of my cards have a zero balance anyway, but I would enjoy having them all accessible via Passbook in case of an emergency.

What do you think? Am I just nitpicking, or is this a legitimate issue?

  • Cody Cutrer

    Maybe it’s a limit to the size of the Secure Enclave. That could also be a technical reason why the 5S doesn’t even get in-app apple pay, even though it has Touch ID.

    • pauleebe

      The 5S has Apple Pay for in-app purchases, ect.

      The 5S doesn’t have full-fledged Apple Pay because it has no NFC.

      • yermum

        This is correct. It still has the secure enclave for storing touch ID info.

      • Cody Cutrer

        Then maybe you could show me how to add a credit card to passbook on my 5S on 8.1. It’s not there. And Apple is pretty clear that Apple Pay requires 6, 6 Plus, Air 2, or Mini 3.

      • pauleebe

        You don’t add the credit card. It’s limited to the credit card on your iTunes account, as it’s basically limited to iTunes in-app purchases and the likes.

      • Cody Cutrer

        Um, no. Have you actually tried it? Target supports Apple Pay – no way to pay with my iTunes account. Apple Store can use iTunes account, but it always has. Still no apple pay with touch ID.

      • yermum

        I think you need to reread my reply again, and maybe again… Just sayin.

      • iBanks

        The 5s does not support Apple Pay unless paired with an Apple Watch. I too have 8.1 and all apps that have been updated to support Apple Pay within the app does not show the option on my 5s. It does show on the i6 however.

      • yermum

        Did I say anything of thus nature? No. You fail miserably because you don’t know how to read. Back on the short bus you go.

      • RyanFoley

        The guy you replied to said:

        “The 5S has Apple Pay for in-app purchases, ect.

        The 5S doesn’t have full-fledged Apple Pay because it has no NFC.”

        To which you responded “This is correct,” which is false. The 5S has no Apple Pay at all unless paired with a watch. Whether you meant to or not, you ‘confirmed’ that the 5S has “Apple Pay for in-app purchases, etc.”

      • yermum

        I was clearly referring to the secure enclave, since a couple of you can’t manage common sense stuffs. Secondly, while he had the name wrong he was still correct in that you can use the 5s for in app purchases as well as regular app and media purchases. The only thing he had wrong was the name. Quite minor, and understood by most.

      • iBanks


  • yermum

    Honestly, if you have more than 8 (really 3) credit cards you have other far more pressing issues.

    • Was waiting for this comment, and you did not disappoint. 🙂

      • yermum

        Goes without saying Jeff 😉

      • arsenal6

        How do you collect points on all 8…

      • Charlie

        Hey Jeff what type of cards would you best recommend for the loyalty frequent flier miles? Been looking into this for a while but would be awesome if you have any recommendations. Thanks

    • William Melendez

      I was about to say the same thing, but you beat to the punch, good thing I read the previous comments lol

    • pauleebe

      You beat me to it.

      More than 8 credit cards and either you are so in debt you shouldn’t have an iPhone at all, or you can afford to have multiple iPhones for more than 8 credit cards 😉

    • Jamessmooth

      Ok I’ll bite… what “pressing” issues does one have with more than 3 credit cards?

  • What if?

  • CollegiateLad

    Yep, you just love bitching I suppose.

  • Abdu Dab

    apple couldn’t secure their iCloud service, how could the secure credit cards?

    • yermum

      Really? Are you continuing on an ages old troll or just plain ignorant?

    • Mark

      Here’s a solution. Don’t think they can secure it enough for you? Then don’t use it

    • Rowan09

      When was it hacked?

    • Chinch07

      They do a good job with credit cards. Do you know the hundreds of millions of cards on iTunes?

  • Tyler Smith

    I wish I could use my cards lol my banks are not using it as of now….

  • CS

    So what’s with Apple sharing location info with your credit card provider?

    • iBanks

      Well that plays a big part in preventing fraud. If your in CA, but your card is swiped or used for an purchase in VA, it can solve an fraudulent issue quickly. Happened to me and the location data is what protected me in my case of fraud.

  • Stokies993

    Surely having multiple CREDIT cards should probably mean you need to take a serious look at your financial situation??

    Just a thought…

    • They have a term for my type. Deadbeats. Those who carry a 0 balance.

    • Quang

      I have 5 credit cards to maximize my cash back rewards.Of course, I have no financial issue. Every purchases I make with credit will give me 2-3% cash back.

  • Nuno123

    I think having that much credit cards is a mess… Credit cards were made to be profitable so be careful in its usage. I only have one physical credit card and I use a lot of virtual ones with Mbnet so for me the limit of eight is more than enough.

  • Just like Safari was once limited to 8 (I think it was 8) tabs the same will follow with Apple Pay and then one day in an iOS update the restriction will be removed…

  • onesimpleclik

    Don’t plan to get a credit card ever in my life, I’m not that stupid.

    • Steve R.

      I hope you’re just trolling, unless you never plan on buying a house, car, etc.

    • Uhm, you’re kidding, right?

    • Dan

      good luck buying a house

    • Gautham Sivakumar

      You actually don’t need a credit card to buy a house or car. It’s just society’s built-up ignorance. It is completely possible to make large purchases without needing a credit score. I don’t want to post a lecture here…..but check out Dave Ramsey if you’re interested.

    • Lube

      Not clear how owning a credit card is stupid…paying interest on a credit card is stupid, but just don’t carry a balance…

  • Housten

    good post Jeff, I play the same game as you do and have 0 debt with a healthy credit score of 790 so SMH at all you fools who claim 4+ cards is to many and we must be drowning in debt. they don’t know how to play the game and travel for free, cash back etc. hopefully the 8 card restriction is temporary and more banks come on board

  • Blake

    I have two credit cards and a debit card. I’m not sure why you need as many as you say you have. Just have one that takes advantage of miles or rewards or whatever you’re into and another one as a back up. Seems a little overkill for me but hey…

    • Dan

      I agree, I like to have one of each kind Mastercard/Visa/Amex, more is just silly

      • Blake

        Yeah I’ve got a visa and MasterCard. I’m wanting to get a discover or Amex, I’m trying to figure out which has the best cash back bonuses. I don’t do miles so that’ll be the best for me.

      • jlevin75

        So judgmental. Just because only have 2 cards is what you want/need doesn’t mean others can’t have it differently. I have a lot more than 8 credit cards and a very high credit score. Having credit cards does not equal having poor credit or high amounts of debt.

      • Blake

        No one said anything about his credit score. I have excellent credit. I just don’t know the reason for 8+. You can possibly use all 8+ at once, if so why not use one or two with higher credit limits.

      • Dogman

        I agree with you – I have a number of credit cards obtained over the years – none the last 5 years – my credit score is in the low 800s, along with my wife’s high 800 credit score. Every card is paid off every month – no interest paid here. I rotate the cards every 3 days – starting to use each card the day after it closes – gives me 2 months to pay for the purchases. Plus I get 1% back in cash rewards. Chase allows you to combine points from various cards. So I’m not stuck with multiple cards under the $25 redemption limit.

  • diaasyoussef

    I completely agree I’m one of people that I was very disappointed when I found out that I’m only allowed to add 8 cards I have 25 credit card in my wallet and I use them all and doesn’t make sense to add only 8 cards I hope they can fix this issue soon

    • JC


  • Allen

    I just got an iPhone 6+ and discovered this limitation of 8 credit cards today. I have 12 credit cards currently open and discovered that I could only add 8 cards. Kind of a shame, since this would be a good way to make small charges on all of them periodically to show activity. And for those of you slamming those of us with lots of credit cards, it is because you are not educated yet in the points game. 12 credit cards currently open, zero debt, no car payments. (30K left to pay on the mortgage). Credit score of 822. For those of you playing the points game, have you discovered any issues using Apple Pay vs actually swiping the card? I noticed that the Apple Pay creates a virtual card number for your real card. For instance, do the American Express promos work since they are tied to a particular card number?

  • Lube

    Nothing wrong with having 8 or more cards. I have more than 8 credit and debt cards (about 12), no carried balances, and excellent credit. Like the author, each on my cards has different purposes. Plus, having more cards has raised my credit score (although higher credit limits on fewer cards would do the same thing).

  • Ryan Steinberg

    It actually offends me when people say having too many credit cards is a bad thing. I have 10 credit cards, and 3 debit cards for that matter. I have an over 800 credit score, I’m only 25 years old and yes I’ve worked very hard to get where i am at today. i have a spreadsheet that breaks down each credit card and i constantly monitor each and every one, i haven’t paid any interest on any credit card in over 3 years. Hopefully Apple Pay opens it up to us who have multiple cards. *correction 4 debit cards

    • Scott

      Thank you! I’m in the same boat as you. I even have the spreadsheet with all of my accounts by day so I track everywhere the money goes.

  • Scott

    Love it! I work at a bank, have a very healthy credit score, and I’m not drowning in debt. I have 7 debit cards for my personal, MM, HSA, and joint accounts with my children. I have 1 corporate MC and 1 personal MC for where I work, 4 wholesale club and store branded MC’s, 2 Amex, 2 Chase Visa, 1 Citi MC, and 1 Huntington MC. That’s 19 cards. I also have about 12 rewards / courtesy cards. All CC’s have no or very low balance. They also have automatic bill payment setup. I use the store cards when I visit them for reward points (some as high as 10% cash back). My personal MC for where I work is used to pay all the monthly bills (more reward points). The others are added to Amazon and used here and there where I get the most benefit from them. I use my CC’s like a couponer (is that a word) uses coupons. I suppose I’m a less common digital wallet user, but with the addition of rewards & courtesy cards, I would think an eight card limit is a bit low. I’m still a bit fuzzy on why they imposed the card limit in the first place. I also use Samsung Pay and they don’t seem to have a limit.