Use a family payment method on Google Play

When you're in a family group, you can make purchases on Google Play using the family payment method or a separate payment method.

How the family payment method works

  • When a family group is created, the family manager can add a family payment method.
  • Family members can use the family payment method to make purchases on Google Play or in-app purchases through Google Play's billing system.
  • The family manager is responsible for any purchases made by their family members using the family payment method.
  • The family manager gets an email receipt each time a family member makes a purchase through Google Play's billing system.
  • The family manager can turn on purchase approvals to require family members to get their approval to make certain purchases.

    Important: Purchase approval settings only apply to purchases made through Google Play's billing system.

Make purchases using the family payment method

Family members can make purchases using the family payment method, or another payment method.

Purchases you can use family payment method for

Family members can use the family payment method to make in-app purchases and to buy the following content through Google Play's billing system on Google Play:

  • Apps
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Games
  • TV shows
  • Magazine issues

Tip: If content is eligible to be added to Family Library, you'll see the Family Library icon Family Library on the details page.

Purchases you can't use family payment method for

The family payment method can't be used for certain kinds of purchases, including:

  • Subscriptions
  • Devices from the Google Store, like phones and tablets
  • Google Play balance
  • Google Pay purchases
  • Alternative billing system

Payment options for the family manager

If you created your family group, use the instructions below to manage your family's payment method and track purchases.

Add a family payment method

Important:

  • You must add the family payment method to the family manager's Google account. Only a family manager can add, associate, edit, or delete a family payment method.
  • You must use a credit or debit card as the family payment method. Other payment methods, including Google Play gift cards, aren't eligible.
  1. Open Google Play Google Play.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  3. Tap Payments & subscriptions and then Payment methods.
  4. If you don't already have a credit or debit card added as a payment method, tap Add credit or debit card.
  5. Follow the instructions to add a new payment method.
  6. Under "More options,” tap More payment settings.
    • You'll be redirected to Google Pay.
  7. Tap Subscription and services and then Google Play family and then Manage.
  8. Tap Change payment method.
  9. Select a card from the dropdown menu.
  10. Tap Submit.
Change your family's payment method
  1. Open the Google Play app Google Play.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  3. Tap Payments & subscriptions and then Payment methods and then Change family payment method.
  4. Select a new payment method.
  5. Tap OK.
Choose purchase approval settings for each family member

Choose the purchase approval settings for your family members. Purchase approval settings only apply to purchases made through Google Play's billing system.

See purchases made by family members

The family manager can see a list of all the purchases made using the family payment method through Google Play's billing system.

  1. Open the Play Store app Google Play.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon and then Payments & subscriptions and then Budget & history.
  3. Tap Purchase history.
  4. Scroll through all past purchases. If the purchase was made by someone else in your family, you'll see "Purchased by" and their name.

Tip: If you share a credit card with your family members, they might already have access to the credit card you use as the family payment method. You'll only see purchases made with this credit card in your order history if your family member selects the family payment method to make the purchase.

Important: The family manager will only be able to see purchases made by a family member through Google Play's billing system. This means that purchases made by a family member through alternative billing system will not be visible to the family manager.

Troubleshoot problems

Family payment method option doesn't display

If the family payment method doesn't display as an option when you go to make a purchase, it's because the family payment method can't be used for that type of purchase.

"Your family payment method is invalid" error

To fix this, have the family manager:

  1. Open the Google Play app Google Play.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  3. Tap Payments & subscriptions and then Payment methods and then Change family payment method.
  4. Select a new payment method.
  5. Tap OK.
I need a family payment method refund

Either the family manager or the family member who purchased the content can ask for refunds for content purchased using the family payment method.

Refunds are returned to the family payment method.

Learn more about how to make requests and the Google Play refund policies.

Limit child's use of family payment method

If your child is under 18 and their account is managed with Family Link, you can set purchase approvals to limit their use of the family payment method.

Tip: Purchase approvals can only be used to limit purchases made with the family payment method through Google Play's billing system.

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