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Not everyone wants to have their credit card or debit card linked to their Apple ID. Some people are afraid of having their financial information tied to online merchants and digital content stores because of the unfortunate reality of identity theft and unauthorized purchases.

With that in mind, what should you do if you don’t want a credit card that you’ve already linked to your Apple ID to be there, but the ‘None’ payment method option isn’t showing for you?

We’ll talk about that in this post and explain why the option isn’t available to you.

It is 100% possible to set up an Apple ID without a payment method. My colleague Sebastien talked about how to do that in a tutorial published last year, but there is┬ástill a considerable niche of people who have been having trouble removing their payment information after they’ve already added it.

Normally, you would just select “None” as a payment method and use iTunes Store gift cards to purchase content or stick to free downloads, but there are some rarer situations where the “None” option won’t be available.

Unable to remove a payment method from your Apple ID?

There are a number of reasons why Apple might be preventing you from removing your payment information from your Apple ID. Apple says that one the following reasons are likely the cause:

You may owe Apple money

If you owe a balance on something you’ve purchased from the App Store or iTunes Store, but Apple has been unable to charge you for it, then Apple may not allow you to remove a payment method from your Apple ID until that balance is paid off.

This might happen if your linked credit card was shut down, or suspended before Apple had a chance to bill you, and as a result, Apple hasn’t gotten their money yet and is patiently waiting to collect their toll.

Once the balance is paid off, you can go into your Apple ID settings and easily select the “None” option for a payment method, which effectively removes your credit card from Apple’s online system.

Are you subscribed to an auto-renewal service?

If you are subscribed to a service that is set to automatically renew every so often, then Apple will not allow you to remove your payment information because doing so would mean you wouldn’t have a way to pay for your automatic renewal.

Among the things that you may have automatic renewal enabled for are:

  • Apple Music
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Newspaper subscriptions
  • And more

Once you disable automatic renewal for any of these services that you may be subscribed to, you can easily set your Apple ID payment information to “None.”

Keep in mind that if you cancel your renewal within 8 hours before the renewal is scheduled to renew, then you may still be charged one more time before it cancels.

Do you use Family Sharing?

If you’re utilizing Family Sharing on your Apple ID, then you will be required to carry the burden of having a payment method associated with your Apple ID and will be unable to remove it.

This payment method is used by all Family Sharing members at the discretion of the account organizer. There is no way to retract the payment method without first disabling Family Sharing.

Did you move to a new country or region lately?

If you’ve moved out of your home country or region, and are trying to use a valid Apple ID that you set up on another country or region, then you will need to associate a new payment method with that Apple ID at least once.

You will always have the option to go back and remove it later on by selecting “None” from the payment options list in your Apple ID settings from a computer.

Has your Apple ID ever downloaded from the App Store before?

If you managed to make an Apple ID without a credit card, then kudos to you! But Apple may require you to provide a payment method the first time you attempt to download an app or a song from one of its digital content stores.

Of course, you can always remove it later on from your Apple ID settings.

Wrapping up

This information applies to Apple ID users who are using the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or any of Apple’s digital content stores that use your Apple ID to make purchases or keep a running history of your downloads.

Keep in mind that it’s typically a good idea to keep a credit card on file just in case you want to make a purchase some day, but we do understand that some people are deathly afraid of managing finances online for security reasons, so if you’re one of these people, then more power to you.

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Did this piece answer your question as to why you couldn’t select “None” as a payment method for your Apple ID? Share in the comments!