Apple says that missed Apple Card payments don’t impact Apple ID

Things got a little interesting yesterday regarding the Apple Card. A customer of Apple’s credit card raised concerns over a missed payment and, potentially, having their Apple ID essentially locked down as a result. But, it turns out that’s not exactly the case.

Dustin Curtis is a designer, and, yesterday, he shared a story about how Apple locked him out of his Apple ID. The initial premise of the story started with a series of events in why Curtis missed an Apple Card payment. According to the designer, Apple froze his Apple ID due to the missed payment.

That, unsurprisingly, led to some confusion. A lot of speculation that missing an Apple Card payment could lead to the company freezing an Apple ID altogether, blocking access to basically everything attached to it. Including iCloud and even services like Apple Music.

But, it turns out that isn’t the case. According to Apple, the Apple Card and an Apple ID aren’t linked in such a way where missing an Apple Card payment could even lead to the Apple ID being disabled or inaccessible. What led to the problem with Curtis? Well, it stems from a trade-in process that didn’t get completed.

It turns out Curtis traded in an old MacBook in an effort to buy a new M1 Mac. Apple offered an instant discount on the new machine, as it does, and offered a discount on the new machine. Turns out Apple didn’t send the box for Curtis to trade in the old machine, and, over time, he forgot about it. As a result the 14-day window passed and Apple felt obliged to act on the missed trade-in.

The only time Curtis looked into the issue is when Apple locked his Apple ID. He apparently missed emails from Apple before that two-week window, too. The next part is where the Apple Card comes in: apparently Curtis used the Apple Card as the primary payment source for the trade-in/new purchase. However, when Apple couldn’t charge that card for the missed trade-in (basically the full amount for the new M1 Mac), that led to the Apple ID freeze.

So, a lot of things happened to lead to the issue. However, it was not a missed Apple Card payment that brought on the Apple ID freeze.

Here’s Apple’s statement on the matter, sent over to 9to5Mac:

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience we may have caused for this customer. The issue in question involved a restriction on the customer’s ‌Apple ID‌ that disabled App Store and iTunes purchases and subscription services, excluding iCloud. Apple provided an instant credit for the purchase of a new MacBook Pro, and as part of that agreement, the customer was to return their current unit to us. No matter what payment method was used, the ability to transact on the associated ‌Apple ID‌ was disabled because Apple could not collect funds. This is entirely unrelated to ‌Apple Card‌.

So, hopefully that clears this up.