It’s happened to a lot of us: You look at your credit card statement only to find an Apple mystery charge. With so many unique services, app subscriptions, and digital purchases, it can be hard to remember what that was for. Here is how you can figure it out.
Step 1: Understand Apple’s Fee Types
Typically, you can separate Apple’s fees into two categories: purchases and subscriptions. Purchases are a one-time fee, while subscriptions are repeated over a period of time.
Here are a few reasons why Apple may charge your card:
Purchases on the App Store: Downloaded to an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, or Mac.
ITunes Media Purchases: These include music, movies, TV shows, or e-books.
Equipment purchases: Made on Apple.com or in an Apple Store.
Apple service subscriptions: These include Apple Arcade, Apple News +, Apple TV +, iCloud storage, Apple Developer Program, or iPhone Upgrade Program.
Subscriptions to third-party applications: These are also billed through the App Store.
Step 2: Check your purchase history
Apple allows you to check your transaction history via iTunes, the Apple Music app, or on an iPhone or iPad. However, it is not immediately obvious to find or understand this list.
Apple often groups together purchases. When viewing your Apple media purchase history, don’t be concerned if the total charge amount is different from the prices of the individual items you purchased.
Follow these steps to check your media purchases on an iPhone or iPad:
Tap your name at the top, then tap “iTunes & App Store” (or “Media & Purchases” on iOS 14 or later).
Tap your Apple ID, select “View Apple ID” from the pop-up window that appears, then tap “Purchase History.”
You will see a list of all your recent purchases sorted by date. Scroll down and see if any of the totals match your card debit. If so, you’ve found the culprit.
Follow these steps to check media purchases on a Mac or PC:
Open iTunes or the Apple Music app.
In the menu bar, click on “Account”, then choose “View my account”.
Scroll down to the “Purchase History” section and click “View All”. You will then see a list of all your Apple media purchases sorted in chronological order. You can also sort by purchase date or view different time periods to track specific charges that match your credit card charges.
Step 3: Check your subscriptions
It’s also a good idea to check your subscriptions to Apple services or third-party apps. These are often charges that you accepted but have since forgotten. When you check them, remember that it is easy to cancel any subscription you no longer want or need.
To check your Apple subscriptions on an iPhone and iPad, follow these steps:
Open “Settings” and tap your name at the top.
Tap “Subscriptions”. You will see a list of all your Apple subscriptions and you can manage them from there.
Tap any subscription in the list to get more details about it. Check if the charges match those of your credit card. You can also cancel a subscription here.
To check your Apple subscriptions on a Mac, follow these steps:
Open the Mac App Store and click on your account name in the lower left corner.
Click “Show Info” at the top of the window.
In the pop-up window that appears, scroll to the “Subscriptions” section and click “Manage”.
Click “Edit” to see more information about a subscription. You can also cancel a subscription on the details screen if you wish.
Apple recently made it possible to turn off receipt of subscription renewal emails. You may have accidentally changed this setting and no longer receive them.
To make sure your renewal emails are turned on, open “Settings” and go to Apple ID> Subscriptions. Turn on the switch next to “Receipt Renewal” if it’s off.
You should now receive notifications in the future whenever Apple charges your card with a subscription renewal.
Step 4: Check your purchase history on Apple.com
If you’ve purchased Apple hardware online, such as a Mac, iPad, iPhone, or accessories, you can view your order history for the past 18 months on the Apple order status website.
You will need to know the Apple ID you used to make the purchase to sign in. You can then compare the charges with those of your credit card.
Step 5: Contact Apple Support or your credit card company
If you still can’t figure out what an Apple-linked debit was used for on your card, maybe it’s just because the purchase record interface is so confusing. Maybe someone in your family bought something and forgot to tell you about it, or maybe it was a fraudulent charge.
If you can’t find the charges in your Apple purchase or subscription records, consider contact apple support about that.
If that fails, you may want to contact your credit card company and contest the charge as fraudulent. Keep in mind, however, that companies (including Apple) often lock out accounts associated with chargebacks. So just make sure that the charge is indeed fraudulent before reporting it to your credit card company.