iTunes Allowances are an easy way to provide a monthly iTunes store credit “ which works in both iTunes and the iPhone App Store “ to your children or anyone you want. I discovered this handy feature because my daughter is already a big iPhone apps fan, at the age of six, and I ‘ve […]
" />

How To: Give Someone a Monthly Allowance for the App Store

iTunes Allowances

iTunes Allowances are an easy way to provide a monthly iTunes store credit “ which works in both iTunes and the iPhone App Store “ to your children or anyone you want.

I discovered this handy feature because my daughter is already a big iPhone apps fan, at the age of six, and I ‘ve been funding her apps purchases via iTunes gift cards up until last night. I hit a hitch last night in trying to buy a new iTunes gift card for her. During mid-January I had purchased a couple of gift cards for two friends, and between those and a small gift card purchase for my daughter, I had hit a $100 ceiling for gift card spending in a 30 day period.

I don ‘t know if this limit applies just to my account and maybe can be raised on request, or whether it is an across the board restriction.  And given that my experience with support for the iTunes store is that they are only available via email and are not at all speedy in their response, I wasn ‘t even too keen to try asking about the subject.

Instead I got lucky and spotted a reference to Allowances in the Support FAQ area.

The idea of automatically pumping a regular amount of money across to my daughter ‘s iTunes account at the beginning of each month, rather than having to remember to buy a new gift card and go through the buying process each time, was quite appealing to me.

It turns out it works just as advertised too.  Oh, and for bonus points, it did not complain about my having exceeded my gift cards limit for 30 days “ so I ‘ve now got a slick new service to provide my daughter her ‘Apps Allowance ‘ each month without me lifting a finger, but I also feel like I snuck right past those iTunes gift card gatekeepers who had cut me off because of passing some stupid limit.

The allowance covers iTunes music (or other) purchases as well as the App Store “ so lord help me when my little one discovers she can grab songs too 🙂

Some / many of you may already know about the Allowances feature in iTunes.  I had just never noticed it “ even though it ‘s sitting right there if you scroll down on the Buy iTunes Gifts page.

You can send allowance credits from $10 to $50 USD to any recipient you like, as long as you know their iTunes account details.  Here ‘s a little more detail from the Apple Support page on this:

iTunes Allowance is a form of store credit. Each month, your chosen amount will be automatically added to your recipient’s iTunes Store account. The full allowance amount will be charged to your credit card on the first of each month (you aren’t charged based on your recipient’s usage). Unused allowance credit rolls over from month to month until the recipient spends it.

Here ‘s how you setup an iTunes Allowance for someone:

— You need to have a valid iTunes account yourself to start with of course, and you ‘ll need to be logged into iTunes under the account you want to send money from.

— You also need to know the email address used in your recipient ‘s iTunes account ID.

— On the main iTunes Store home page, click the ‘Buy iTunes Gifts ‘ link

HomeMain

— On the Buy iTunes Gifts page, scroll down (past thee entries for email and printable certificates and past the specific movies and TV shows, and online gifts on Facebook) and you will see the Allowances entry “ with its piggy bank icon.  Click on the ‘Setup an iTunes allowance now ‘ link.

— On the Setup page, you ‘ll enter your name, the recipient ‘s name, the monthly allowance amount (between $10 and $50), and the recipient ‘s Apple ID.  You also choose when the first installment will be sent (either now or on the first of the month thereafter), and can add a personal message to the recipient if desired.

That ‘s all there is to it “ you just confirm and enter your iTunes password when prompted and you ‘re done.  At the recipient end, things are even simpler “ they don ‘t even need to go through the ‘Redeem ‘ routine.  They ‘ll get an email confirming the allowance arrangement and when they next visit the App Store they ‘ll see a message stating what their new balance is, including the amount you sent as a first installment (whenever it is sent).

I ‘ve tried to condense these setup instructions a little and hopefully make them a tad easier to work with.  You can see full details on this at Apple ‘s support page here:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2105

OK, so how many of you with kids and iPhones (or iPod Touches) already knew about this feature?  Is it one you may find useful?

Continue reading:

TAGS: