How can I pay for Android applications

Apps also pay without a debit, credit card or PayPal

Pay in the app store
Image: There are several options for paying for chargeable apps in all app stores. Even if you don't have a credit card, you can choose between different alternatives. This includes paying via the mobile phone bill, payment providers such as PayPal, prepaid cards and, in some cases, even direct debit from the current account. An overview of the payment methods available in the major app stores from Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon and others can be found in the table below.

More about payment methods in app stores:

Prepaid cards and promotional codes

Prepaid cards are available for the Apple App Store, Google Play and the Windows Store. They are available in many supermarkets, drugstores and electronics stores as well as petrol stations and online shops, usually valued at 15, 25 or 50 euros. The card usually contains a code that has to be scratched off and then redeemed in the respective app store. The credit for the Apple App Store is called iTunes credit and is linked to the Apple ID.

The advantages: The user does not need a PayPal account, a credit card or any other payment method to purchase the app. He can also handle the fact that his account data is sent over the Internet, and he has full cost control, because only the purchased shop credit can be spent.

The disadvantage of prepaid cards: The user first has to spend money, even if he doesn't want to spend that much. For example, if you want to buy an app for 99 cents, you still have at least 14.01 euros unused on the Appstore credit account. As a rule, he can only get this money back if he terminates his user account.

Credit can often also be purchased online, sometimes processing fees of up to 3 euros are incurred - but many providers do not charge additional fees. The corresponding credit code is then displayed directly on the screen or received by e-mail and paid using the common online payment methods such as PayPal, Giropay, paysafecard and instant transfer.

Pay in the app store
Image: With Google - as with many other providers - in addition to unlimited Google Play gift cards, time-limited promotional codes can also be redeemed - i.e. discounts that cannot be combined with other credit and cannot be paid out. When purchasing products in the Appstore, the promotional credit is always offset against the purchase amount first. However, certain redemption conditions (possibly also from third-party providers) must be observed. Promotion codes are often given as a welcome discount for new customers. In addition, app developers more often receive promotional codes from the respective app store, which they can pass on to their customers as temporary discounts for their own app for one-time use. Prepaid cards and codes cannot be paid out or transferred to other accounts and are often - as with Google Play - limited to a specific currency and only valid for specific countries.

Transfer credit and give away apps

Apple makes it possible to give credit and apps to others as an "iTunes gift". To do this, the giver needs an Apple ID that is linked to a valid payment method. The amount to be given away can then also be selected in the App Store or in the iTunes Store, although no store credit is used to purchase gifts. It is possible to send an iTunes card by email or by post. An Apple Music individual membership can also be given for free for three or twelve months. For the price of ten months, you can even get twelve months of membership. Individual apps, books, music and series can be accessed on iOS devices in the App Store using the icons Deploy and gift by specifying the recipient's email address via a link. It goes without saying that you can also give them away via the iTunes store on your PC or Mac.

Mobile phone bill

Paying via the mobile phone bill, known as carrier billing, is now available in all major app stores - but in some cases the function is only offered to customers of certain mobile phone providers. The practical thing about it is that the user does not have to create another customer account, nor do they have to store bank details with another service provider. For contract customers, the purchase price for an app is due with the next mobile phone bill; for prepaid customers, the amount is deducted from the mobile phone credit accordingly. An important prerequisite: when shopping in the app store, the cell phone must be logged into the cellular network. If the cell phone is on the Internet via WLAN, paying by cell phone bill does not work. We have summarized for you more about the process, the advantages and disadvantages as well as an overview of which network operators can pay by mobile phone bill in which app store in our guide to carrier billing - Paying apps by mobile phone bill.

Debit and Credit Cards

In all app stores, users can pay by debit and credit card. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are popular. If you have concerns about the usual credit card debiting from your current account, you can alternatively opt for a prepaid credit card. In the large app stores, payment by invoice and direct transfer - without going through other payment service providers - is excluded.


PayPal is as widespread as paying by credit card. For payment in the Appstore, you only need to enter your email address and password; the bank account or credit card details are stored in the PayPal profile when you register. However, users should note that PayPal is a popular target for phishing emails. On the one hand, the user can manage a PayPal account based on credit by transferring money from his current account to PayPal. If you have added credit to your PayPal account, you can transfer it back to your current account if you no longer need it for PayPal payments. On the other hand, it is also possible to store the data for a current account or a credit card so that PayPal can automatically debit the amounts for purchases there. PayPal can also be used to send credits or money to family and friends for free.

Google survey app

Google offers a special feature with its Google survey app. With this application, which can be obtained from the Google Play Store, users can earn credit by answering short surveys, which can then be used to purchase content in the Google Play Store. The individual surveys are usually answered in less than a minute and are remunerated between EUR 0.15 and EUR 0.80, depending on the scope.

Amazon Coins

Amazon Coins is a virtual currency that the online trading house introduced. These are available in bundles of 500 to 50,000 coins. The highlight for many users is the built-in discount: With 1000 coins, purchases with a value of 10 euros can be made, but the coins themselves cost less. When purchasing larger coin packages, the price per coin also drops. However, the specific prices for coin packages can sometimes vary at very short notice. Purchased coins can also be given away as gifts. In addition, owners of Amazon devices such as the Kindle Fire and Appstore users can "earn" coins as part of promotions or receive them for free. However, these have an expiry date. The biggest restriction of the Amazon coins: They are only valid for virtual items, namely apps, games and in-app items in the Amazon app store, and can only be bought and redeemed within the country of residence.

Overview: payment methods in app stores (selection)

App Store
Galaxy Apps
Prepaid cardYesYes-Yes-Yes
Buy credit onlineAmazonPayPal Digital Gifts-various providers 2)-Microsoft
Mobile phone bill /
Prepaid credit1)
Credit cardYesYesYesYesYesYes
Direct debitYes---Yes3)Yes
MiscellaneousAmazon CoinsClickandBuy,
Apple Pay
Google survey appKlarna
Status: April 2021
1) Availability depends on the cellular network operator used, see overview.
2) Partly at unfavorable conditions
3) About Klarna

More about app stores