Is it possible to open a foreign Itunes account while travelling in the USA?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by petalino, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. petalino macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Please help if you can:

    My friend lives in Poland, but currently is vacationing in the USA where she just bought a used Ipad 1.

    I wanted to download some free Apps onto her Ipad just to show her what she can do with it, but to my surprise we are not able to open an Itunes account in her name using her polish credentials such as address and credit card. We tried to do this in the USA.

    We managed to get an Apple Id for her, but this will not suffice for downloading even free Apps or Books, since all App Store downloads (even free ones) require a credit card number on file.

    I have emailed Itunes support, but they are not being very helpful; they just sent me instructions on how to open an account, while completely disregarding my question.

    Does anyone know of a restriction when trying to open an Itunes account while travelling in a foreign country? In this case the foreign country would be the USA, since her base is in Poland.
  2. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    To open an iTunes account you need two things:

    (1) Payment info: a Credit Card on file or an iTunes gift card
    (2) An address on file.

    So, without a US credit card, you would have to purchase some US iTunes gift card to open an account (any value). You also need to provide an address. For me to tell you to make an address up wouldn't be proper, so I'm definitely not doing that here, nor am I suggesting using the address of where your friend is staying (say the hotel's address). But if you did do that, then with a US iTunes gift card in hand you would have no problem opening an US account.
  3. petalino thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    So is an Itunes account not available to residents of another country?

    Are there no Itunes purchases available in Poland, Germany or any other countries?

    From what you are saying one would need US credentials (cc and address) to buy an App or download a movie?

    Does this mean that all the goodies that we have here (apps, I mean), are not available to people outside of the USA?

    How does Apple manage to sell so many Ipads in the international market with this limited functionality?

  4. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    It is if they punch in the required info.

    There should be iTunes stores in each of those countries.

    To buy an App or movie on the US iTunes store, yes you need US credentials. To buy an App on the German iTunes store, you need German credentials. This is for licensing reasons.

    It doesn't mean that at all. You can have accounts in multiple countries at once. I for instance have a US and a Canadian iTunes account.

    By opening up iTunes stores in each country it sells devices to. The only limit right now is that you can't consolidate multiple accounts. Since you can have as many accounts as you want though, the limit is rather trivial.
  5. b.c. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2008

    there ARE separate iTunes stores for each country.

    not sure if this will work, but...
    do you & your friend have access to a Mac or PC, with iTunes on it?

    if so, perhaps open up iTunes on the Mac or PC, log out of the current iTunes account, then select the Polish iTunes store (go to bottom right corner of the iTunes store window, and click on the flag that appears there to change stores from the US store).

    once you've got iTunes connected to the Polish iTunes store, see if your friend can create an iTunes account there (click on "Sign In" at upper right corner of iTunes window) including entering her home info and CC. If that works, then next go to the iPad's Music app and log into the account.

    OR, if your friend doesn't yet have an iTunes account you might be able to create a Polish iTunes account directly on the iPad. to try doing so on the iPad, open the "Music" app, click on the Store button at bottom left corner, then scroll to bottom left of the music page and click on "Sign In"

    from there you can Create an AppleID and select the country or region

    maybe one of these methods will let you sign into the Polish iTunes store and set up an account.

    hope this helps...
  6. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    b.c. good tip. Also, it is worth mentioning, you can access and download apps/movies from an iTune store even if you are not in that country. So if you sign up for a Polish iTunes store account, you can download those apps in the US, and vice versa.
  7. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    You can open an account in any country anywhere - all you need to do is to download a free app - no credit card needed. I opened an account in the EU from the US that way to get the 12 days of Christmas deal.

    Alternatively, go to any Starbucks store in the US (most free standing ones have them) that has the free app of the week and us that code to open an account.

    If you Google opening up an iTunes account in another country you'll see a step by step way to do it.
  8. petalino thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    JLC, I doubt that this is possible.

    Whenever you download an App, you need to login with your account name and password. Upon doing this you can download the App.......
    but before it lets you download anything for the first time, a credit card number is needed, even if downloading a free App.

    For some reason it will not accept my friend's only card she carries. Its a Debit/Visa from a polish bank. Of course we are trying to do this from the Polish Itunes store.

    I may let her use my card just to get started, but the card is from a US based bank. It might work though.

  9. davwin, Apr 25, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012

    davwin macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    It isn't too complicated to setup an account in another country, especially the US. Since you're friend is physically in the US have them buy an iTunes giftcard or a prepaid credit card at a store and open a US account. You will still need an address but, you can google one or use the store's zip code and address or whatever you need to generate the account. After it is created, you can log into and use the account and US store from wherever you are.

    There are of course benefits and limitations to having multiple accounts in different regions. You can only be signed in to 1 account at a time per instance of iTunes so managing apps and music and everything can become tedious. Also, some content will be available in one region and not in another (movies/TV is a big difference with the US store). If you want to purchase content then you will need the requisite currency. So, for the US store you'll need US Dollars whether via a US giftcard or credit card or PayPal account.

    The benefits are that you are no longer restricted to only the locally licensed content for your region and you will almost always get content cheaper in the US store versus the EU stores due to the conversion rate. You'll also have access to all the weekly freebies or "timed" freebies that are in the US as well as your other regional accounts. For example, when an app is free for a day only in the US store but is still regular price elsewhere.

    To second what JLC posted, this will work as stated, you just need the app/song/download code and it will let you generate a new account without selecting a payment method. This obviously limits you to free content only though since you would not have a payment method for that region.
  10. b.c., Apr 25, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012

    b.c. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2008
    @petalino - yes it IS possible to setup a US account without credit card by downloading a free app, as JLC suggests. the trick is to first connect to the US iTunes store, then try to download a free app without being signed into a valid iTunes account, THEN create an account and select NONE as the payment method. see this article for more detailed info

    this method definitely works, I have a US account created this way without credit card, in addition to my regular home account in Canada.

    however, note that this will create a free account on the US store

    But if what you really want to do is create an account on the Polish iTunes store while in the US, please see my earlier post, I think that may help you. the key to my earlier post is that you should first connect to the Polish iTunes store, then try to create an account. Don't try to create a US account with your friend's Polish contact info and credit card.
  11. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    I assure you it can be done - I've gotten UK and Austrian accounts this way with no CC; as well as set up a US account for a UK friend. You will wind up with a separate account with a new Apple ID but you do not need a CC. If you want to buy something you will need US card or US gift card.

    The key is to download a free app in the US store and select None at the CC or Gift Card screen. Like I said, a simple Google search will turn up step by step instructions on how to do it; I know it works because I have down it for friends as well as myself.

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