How to buy apps without a credit card - PhoneArena

How to buy apps without a credit card

How to buy apps without a credit card
Some say that the best things in life are free, but that’s not always the case when it comes to mobile apps. If you have your eyes on a paid app, but don’t want to use a credit card, or you simply don’t have one, then what are your options? Well, it depends on what phone you have and where you live.

Android devices

If your smartphone is running Android, then you’re shopping at the Google Play Store. In the US, these are your non-credit card options:

Mobile Phone Billing

The cost of purchases made using this method will be added to your monthly phone bill. Here’s a list of the carriers that support this service:
  • AT&T 
  • Boost 
  • Sprint 
  • T-Mobile 
  • US Cellular 
  • Verizon 
This is a very quick and convenient way to buy apps, especially if you do it rarely and don’t want to be stuck with extra funds in your Google Play balance. If you plan to purchase apps or other digital goods, primarily using this method, check with your carrier if there’s a monthly limit (for Verizon it’s $100).

Google Play Gift Card

Gift cards come with a code you redeem to add balance to your Google account. You don’t have to go to out looking for a store to buy one, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers sell Google Play Gift Cards with e-mail delivery. Besides the hassle of redeeming a code, another downside is that the minimum amount is $10, so if you’re just interested in one or two cheap apps, you’ll be stuck with unused funds. On the plus side, using a gift card puts a limit on the possible charges, so a kid can’t accidentally rack up a huge bill while playing a game with in-app purchases, for example.


Unless someone has sent money to your PayPal account, you’ll have to use a credit or debit card to connect to it, so it kind of defeats the purpose, besides adding another layer of security.

iOS devices

If you’re an iPhone owner, then your only way of getting apps is the Apple App Store. For reasons unknown to us, in the States, there are no carriers that have an agreement with Apple for direct carrier billing, so your options are limited to:

App Store Gift Card

Also available for e-mail delivery, as well as in your local tech store or supermarket. The only difference is that for the App Store the cheapest option is the $15 one.


Again, you’ll need to add funds to your account by other means, if you’re dedicated to not using credit cards.

Overall, gift cards are the best option if you want to control your spending and want your mobile account to be completely separated from any financial instruments you are using. Gift cards will also keep information about your purchases away from your carrier.
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