Tip: add multiple cards to your Apple account to avoid a lapse in payment

We’ve all been there–you’ve had a credit card number compromised or you accidentally went over your limit. One of the hassles, when this happens, is that your recurring payments such as those to Apple may not go through. This might not be a huge deal if you’re just purchasing a song from the iTunes Store, but it’s a bigger problem when your monthly storage charge can’t be processed. Apple does not immediately delete your data from their servers, though your data will stop syncing until you fix the problem. To avoid the issue, Apple lets you add multiple cards to your Apple Account (and now with iOS 12.3, you can add Apple Pay cards as well). You set the order and if the first one is declined for any reason Apple will try the next one in the list.

To set this up on iPhone or iPad go to the Settings app > tap your name > Payments & Shipping. Enter your Apple password if prompted. To add a new card just tap “Add Payment Method”. You can choose either an exiting Apple Pay card (including Apple Pay Cash or the upcoming Apple credit card), or you can choose to add a credit card manually or use PayPal.

If you want to rearrange the order of preference, tap the Edit button at the top of the Payment Methods list and drag the little rubber grips on the right side up or down. Or remove an item from the list with the red button on the left while in edit mode.

You can access similar controls on Mac by going to the Apple menu > App Store > [your name, lower left corner] > View Information > Manage Payments.

Be aware that if you use iCloud Family Sharing, only the “Family Organizer” will be able to make these changes, and all family member purchases will follow these payment preferences.

Apple has more information on handling declined cards.