How to set-up an iTunes US account

I always pick the songs that I buy off the movies or series that I watch. The last one that I obsessed about was Kim Taylor's Baby I Need You from the last season of Smallville, which I happen to watch just a few days ago (yes, I am that late). Since the song is not too current nor too mainstream, the song wasn't available on iTunes PH.

Though I may, on occasion, download movies or tv series from the internet (I said may so I can still totally deny this), I am quite anal about having pirated music on my iTunes collection. This leaves me with getting my music on iTunes US.

Now, iTunes US restricts non-US residents from creating an account, but the only real roadblock to this is that it requires a US credit card for you to be able to purchase anything. Since I have my trusty GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay which counts as a US-based card and provides me with a personalized US address, I was able to easily create a legitimate account and purchase my music.

Here are the steps:

1. On the iTunes app, click on the flag icon at the bottom left part of the screen. You will be asked to 'Choose your country or region.' Choose United States. If you are logged in to your PH account, this will automatically log you off.
2. When the iTunes store for the US comes up, click on 'Sign In' at the upper left side of the screen.
3. On the Sign In window pop-up, click on 'Create Apple ID.'
4. Proceed through the sign up process, use a real email address, but not one that's associated with any existing Apple/iTunes account. When you get to the payment screen, encode the information from your GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay wallet. You may also use your US billing address as your account address.
5. A verification email will be sent to you. Verify your account and start shopping on iTunes US.

This also applies to apps that are released ahead or even exclusively in the US i.e. Google Maps which took a few months before getting released in Asia.

Note: On your existing iTunes account, you may try and change your location to US and use your GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay information to purchase items.

For postpaid subscribers, you have the option to charge up to P500 worth of digital goods to your monthly postpaid bill. This applies to iTunes, Google Play, and BB World. You may click here for more information regarding this.

If you still don't have your own GCASH account, click here for steps on how to get one. Also check out some of my other friends that have discovered the perks of using GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay.

Update: To create an iTunes US Account WITHOUT a credit card (for free apps), here are the steps:

1. Sign out of current Apple ID if you are sign-in to one
2. If you are in the PH store, click on the flag icon at the bottom left part of iTunes. Select US from the list of countries then select a free app from the App Store
3. Install App
4. Create New Apple ID
6. Agree with Terms and Conditions
7. Fill in your new Apple ID and Password (you must create a new Apple ID; don't use your old Apple ID)
8. Create and answer your secret question
9. Select NONE for Payment Method

10. Put in a Billing Address
11. Submit application for new Apple ID
12. Wait for verification email
13. When email arrives, verify your account
14. Start downloading your free apps

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