You can’t change your billing country for XBOX Live.

Update: I’m not sure when the policy was changed (within the last 12-24 months probably) but you can now change your XBOX Live account region on the XBOX website. You are allowed to change your region once every 3 months.

Note that some content you previously bought in your original region may not transfer to your new region. Details are on the XBOX website.

Recently when trying to buy items on the XBOX Live marketplace my credit card started getting denied. In an effort to determine why this was happening, I visited Microsoft’s billing site. In doing so I discovered that it is impossible to change your billing country on that site. In fact during a telephone call to XBOX Live Support I was informed that the only way I could change my country was to create an entirely new XBOX Live Gamertag.

I originally signed up for XBOX Live back in 2002 when I lived in New Zealand. Subsequently I immigrated to Australia and in 2006 I bought an XBOX 360. Since I had been paying for XBOX live since 2002, when I signed in to my 360 with my existing Gamertag I was allocated a Gold XBOX Live Account.

At some point in the last two years I switched the credit card I was using for XBOX Live to a new credit card issued by my Australian bank. I probably updated my billing details via the account management blade on the XBOX. Using this new card I continued to buy game content in the Live marketplace. Everything was going fine until last week when it all stopped working.

So, after my conversation with XBOX Live Support it appears that my only options are to:

  1. Get a new Gamertag, which will stop me from using content tied to my existing Gamertag and reset my Gamerscore to zero!
  2. Buy Microsoft Points at brick and mortar retail stores.
  3. Use my old NZ credit card (which is difficult to pay now that I live in Australia).

None of these options are particularly appealing. In the end this whole experience has made me bitter and twisted about XBOX Live.

It seems that I’m not the only one in this predicament either.

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60 thoughts on “You can’t change your billing country for XBOX Live.

  1. Joe your solution works like a charm!!!!! I just wish I had read your reply yesterday before I bought two games with another account. Anyway, now I got my codes and my original account with the wrong country is gold again for a year :)

  2. It’s a bummer, i accidentally made my account with US billing details, now i can’t buy microsoft points on that account :@.

  3. it sucks big time. though, cool link- will be useful.

    i live in holland but put my default country as united kingdom (where i’m from) as i wanted my live in english.

    have just found out that was a big mistake! wanted to download cod 5 maps.

    spend 800 euro and go through 2 xboxs in one month, and this is all microsoft can offer you- absolutely squat.

    sort it out dummies!! i’m going to try get manipulative on the phone; NOTHING’S impossible. give a little!

    meanwhile, will have to put points on another account i made- what a waste- and then hope i can still access the maps when my xbox is dead and i have a new one…

  4. by the way, microsoft tell me that i cannot download the maps on my current (uk) account- unless i go to the uk with my xbox and download them there. because of the region difference.

    even though i am downloading in holland on a dutch isp…

    i despair!

  5. this problem has always been a nightmare for me. all i can do is get my friends back in my registered country (UK) to buy me points; or via gamesbite.com. gamepointsnow has failed me 3 times, have never ever been able to buy from them via google checkout.

    so..can anyone confirm that points cards sold in stores are region-free?

  6. Same problem for me… And in Europe it would seem many people (logically) move to neighbouring countries for jobs and relationships… Being on the same landmass and the open borders makes it all easy and convenient… But then this problem surfaces…

    I SOOOOO wish someone would give a response/explanation… Major Nelson? ANYONE?

  7. Just tried adding my first MS Points for COD and I can’t because my account is USA and I am in Britain. I managed to have 2 lots of gold account though in Britain on this fine! Not until I tried to get points that I opened an American account originally by mistake.

  8. This really sucks!
    Instead of wasting their money on creating unnecessary technology to get rid of controllers and try to sell more than the Nintendo Wii, they should make a solution for this kind of problems.

    I mean seriously, I live in the US but I used a hotmail account that I created while I lived in Mexico, but I did´t know that that was gonna be such a problem. A lot of free content is only available on the US Xbox LIVE Marketplace, which sucks. Luckily I can sign in into my brothers account and download all that stuff, but seriously, Microsoft need to start spending their money on solving actual problems instead of wasting it on useless technology. I mean it is cool and all, but that could have waited.

  9. it sucks! i used to live in mexico, but i moved to the us and now i cant buy anything from the damn store. i hope they resolve this quickly

  10. This does indeed suck. And will probably never get fixed, it’s been a problem for years. I don’t understand why this is such an issue. Fine, if they want to limit content by location fair enough, but i don’t understand why there is a prohibition on you MOVING location.

  11. This has been a huge problem for me. I immigrated to Canada from the United States and it appears I can’t change my billing address.

    I’m constantly getting blocked from downloading content due to this mismatch. Most recently I’ve found that I can’t play 1 vs. 100 under any circumstances – it keeps telling me “Download is currently unavailable. Try again later.”

  12. I to am having the same issue however I went from Canada to the United States. As for the downloadable content it sucks balls with the difference.

    What i don’t get is why the country region is locked to control the live content. Should it not be controlled by the local IP address that you are using. Come on the PS online is all free… the wii online (even though very limited) is FREE. and M$ just makes things more difficult

    • I feel your pain. Probably due to my account originating in NZ I can’t download the Call of Duty Classic XBLA trial or buy the game. Guess I’ll just have to get it on from the PlayStation Network.

  13. i have the same problem im from the uk but when i set up my account i set it sayin i was from the US and now i cant buy microsoft points so im tryin my last ditch atempt and am buying 4000 points from amazon.com not .co.uk hopin they’ll be US microsoft points hopefully this works or else i’ll never have my avatar lightsaber and N7 armour :(

  14. FURIOUS!!!! Having spent a shit load of money again on xbox 360 i found that moving to Portugal from the uk has completely destroyed my billing options!!! arghhhhhhhhhhh xbox has some of the best technology in the world but cant sort out a problem like this????? TITS!

  15. What a joke… your post was made 2 years ago and the issue is still there.

    I have exact same problem … I emigrated from “Finland” to UK, and I can not change my country … and I cannot acces many things – for example xbox tells me “you cannot use Indie Games, its not available for you” (available in UK, not available in Finland).

    What comes to content downloads, I know that it is possible to have 2 accounts in my xbox, one is true UK account, and with it I can play 1 vs. 100 but with my main Finnish account I dont see it. Same with the Sky TV client. UK account lets me watch TV from my box, Finnish account does not, even if I and my Xbox are in the UK, having UK ip address…

    But I still want to keep using my old Gamettag, as it has accumulated almost 40K gamerscore over the 2 years I have had it…

    • Yep. It is still an annoying problem. I’ve “solved” the problem by creating a second account too. I use that to download XBOX content that my main old account can not access. Once the content is downloaded to my 360 any account on that 360 can use the content.

  16. urgh… i have recently moved from the U.S back to the UK, i used to play xbox compeitively back in the U.S but now i dont anymore, however i have a friends list bursting full of contacts from the last 5 years of, pizza, all night gaming with my buddies, lateness for work etc… i cancelled my american credit card and chose to get a UK one…buuuuuut i can’t pay for MSP or subscription or anything cos my Gamertag is F****** area locked.

    Here’s my options given to me by the incredible technical expertise of Buddhists sitting in a shack just north of Bombay…

    1- make a new GT and lose all of my contacts
    2- or pay near treble the cost to get MSP and subscription cards shipped over from the states.

    Paying by credit card is so simple and it means that you can pay for subscription at any time.

    This BLOWS BILL GATES YOU GIANT GAWPING BASTARD!

  17. Xbox gamers are the most hardy of all the major consoles. We love our magnificent machines so much we’ll fork out for live subscription even when PSN is free. We’ll pay to change our own in game name for christ sake! We’ll Buy the downloads at extraordinary prices simply because we love our machine and the enjoyment it gives us however we get treated like shit by microsoft, we are like the kid brother who no matter how nasty or mean his older brother is to him, he’ll still think his big bruv is the best thing in the world

  18. Wow. After reading everyones comments, I actually feel slightly better! I thought I was the only one having this problem. Nothing at all on their FAQ’s…. and it looks like a frequent question!

    I lived in Oz for about 4 months way back in 2003. I bought a computer and had to make an MSN account. I moved back to NZ later that year and a few years later got my first Xbox. I purchased a gold account with my NZ credit card and all was well. Couple years after that I got a 360, but didn’t renew my gold membership.
    The problem started there, as they said my account didn’t exist, so had to make a new one. Did that, but was told the gamer tag was in use! (which can be proven by the fact I still get emails for that account….) Damn, so made up a new one which I didn’t really like at the time but it fitted. I then purchased some points to get an arcade game, but when my credit card bill came through, it showed that I’d been charged in Aussie dollars, which ment I was was charged a currency conversion fee as well.

    By the sounds of things, everyone else has had the same run around I’ve had with trying to change my country. But at least I know I can go to a local department store like Bond and Bond and get 1500 points for $25 (or $30 at EB Games), and the points load up no problem. This is after the fact “helpdesk” told me to get someone from Aussie to buy the cards there and send them over.

    Ended up paying the 1200 points to change my name – got it back to the old one by just adding NZ at the end. Close enough :D

    The ONLY reason I got a crapbox is because Microsh*t have Halo

  19. i recently moved from Australia to UK, and the old card i wsa using is Australian…
    can i change my Country to UK,and because of that, i cant add a new card to the list… is there anyway to add a card, or will i have to make a new account or use Prepaid Xbox live cards???

    • If you first signed up to XBOX Live in Australia, there is no way to pay for that account with a UK credit card as far as I know. Other than buying subscription cards and Microsoft points cards in retail stores.

  20. Man this is BULLSHIT! I tried to redeem a 12 month gold card that i paid 60 dollars for, only to have some xbox guru say that I set my country to United States, when I live in Canada! Talk about a retarded mistake! WHy can’t you change it! Now I have to make a new account which is complete rubbish.

  21. i heard if u make a certain array of buttons in system controls it lets u reset ur accounts region =)
    like left T right T X,Y, Leftb.right B, and dpad let me know if it works

  22. you could just recover your gamer tag onto a new email address that you set up in the place you now live and the Country/Region will change to match the new email settings :)

    simple

    • Sorry David but this solution does not work. I have tried it and the country/region is still greyed out and unchangable on the xbox console. People should also be aware that they can only change the windows live ID once every 30 days.

      Looks like the people with this problem just have to live with it. Apparently if you download content via a silver membership set to your correct region, you are able to access the content with your half-breed account.

      I am going to set up a silver account with local info. Keep buying U.S. MS points online and look into setting up a VPN to make it look like my 360 actually has an IP address in the U.S. (I am in Aus)

      Failing all that I will burn my xbox, delete my hotmail account/s and go back to PC gaming.

  23. Yeah I have the same problem with my account being stuck to new zealand. Thing is I got my xbox in Canada but because I used a hotmail address to set it up that had originally been created in NZ it made the country NZ. F-ed up!!

    Anyway lucky I still had an NZ credit card to pay the xbox live fees and I use a silver account to download anything with MS points that I buy here because it can then be used by the other accounts on the same xbox. By far not ideal but the only way I could find with out making a new account. Which by the way would make you loose all your saved games as well as the gamer points.

  24. All I can say is MS should be totally ashamed of themselves, move NY to London and I have already had to get a new UK Xbox because my US one wont work with bloody UK region locked copies.. had to rebuy games and now I cannot even use my old Gamertag! Outrage.

  25. Now 2011 and you still cannot live in Greece and use UK credit cards!!! Nice lady on US help line could not solve the problem. Same problem occurs when trying to buy points online Greek address UK card no go. So Xmas present not much good then? Google Account hopeless says already have account NO NO I don’t. Frustrated to say the least

  26. Is it possible to download the map packs onto your hard drive (example if you live in holland and your location is set to UK) if you do the following:

    1. set up internet connection sharing on your pc so that you can have your xbox 360 go through your pc.

    2. set your pc to travel to a proxy server located in the UK for internet access.

    For all intensive purposes this will fool your xbox live into thinking you are on internet in the UK wouldn’t it? I do this to access content on the INTERNET not for my country.

  27. Now its possible to migrate accounts from country to country, with out loosing redeem points or anything of the sorts in this page: https://live.xbox.com/en-US/BillingMigration/SelectRegion

    The only problem is its limited to like 7 or 8 countries but hope this at least helps a few people here and hopefully its a matter of time before they open up all regions for this migration.

    So if I create a silver acount, ANYTHING I download is available for every acount??

  28. Just created a fake account and oh surprise, I’m in Mexico and the language is locked in Spanish, I’m a native speaker, that´s not the problem, the problem is I don’t like dubbed games (or movies by that same token) and when it comes to gadgets and software Im used to using/operating them in English

  29. I moved from the U.S. to Canada and am having the same problem. I can’t download new content so I buy a new Xbox in Canada thinking that would solve the problem, nope. More money down the drain, can’t change billing options so I guess i’ll just have to create a new gamertag and start over from scratch.

  30. I have the same problem , my Xbox Live account is on South Africa country and I’m living in Canada ! So , I can’t put Microsoft Points on my account or Xbox Live Gold Membership because I have a South Africa country account . Please help me !

    • I maintain a credit card from my original country just to pay for XBOX Live. But you can probably just buy MS Points cards from South Africa if you don’t have an old credit card. Otherwise contact Microsoft and try and convert your account.

  31. Why arent they making anything that you can change country? Because there are alot of people who have this problem, and they can make some money out of it.

  32. This just blows so hard, I can’t even check out some of the FREE content because I can’t enter a valid billing address. For my PC games.

    Well, this is certainly the last time I buy ANYTHING with THAT label on it.

  33. I changed my country once through xbox.com, i changed the country from USA (which was the default country) to Colombia. Now I live in Mexico and I can’t seem to find the option to change this, I really don’t want a new account and this is a big problem, does anyone know about changing the country on xbox.com?

    • They had a program in 2010 where people who had signed up for Live accounts for countries that they didn’t live in (because they didn’t have official XBOX Live programs in the country they lived in) could change their billing country once they launched Live in those countries. Colombia was one of those countries. But now that you’ve set it to Colombia they won’t let you change it again.

  34. how the hell have they had this problem for FOUR FLIPPING YEARS and not made a hint of change or even a message that pops up telling you that it is about to set for life a detail that i didnt even FLIPPING enter!!!!!!! just because my email has a .com ending AT LEAST GIVE US THE FLIPPING CHOICE RATHER THAN JUST DO WHAT THE XBOX THINKS IS RIGHT. i was in england when i was registering for a free month xbox live gold membership and has always used english games and an english ip addressadn funily enough live in england!!!!!!!!!
    and the game that gave me the free month was bought i england!!!!!
    this is absolutely FLIPPING BULL DETRIMEMT. and i was using my account long before i went live so now everything is lost!!!!!!! I SO WANT TO SWEAR!!!!! and to think those nice hacker guys targetted PLAYSTATION that has FREE ONLINE GAMING not a paid for service! and that when the paid service makes a mistake (NOT ME) xbox dont even seem to care. if it was poss to change billing address for countries that never had a proper xbox live system then why cant it be used for all these people over the years that have been screwed by a faulty system!!!!
    TYPICAL FLIPPING MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!!
    NO WONDER BILL GATES GIVES SO MUCH TO CHARITY HE MUST FEEL REALLY GUILTY CREATING SUCH A SCREWED UP COMPANY

  35. It’s actually quite easy guys. I just figured it out last night, and just tried it now. Use the following steps.

    1. Create Hotmail account, and select country of choice you would like your xbox account to be associated with.

    2. Go to xbox dashboard, settings, account, windows live ID, Change windows live ID. enter password to your current live ID, enter account info for your newly created hotmail account. This will transfer your gamertag, points and all info to your new windows live ID.

    3. Enjoy your same xbox account with a new billing country.

    For those such as myself using an american xbox account outside of the states (i.e Canada) you can buy xbox live cards online, or use a service such as entropay to fund a virtual credit card.

    I believe you can also pay with Paypal.. which might make changing your billing country unnecessary. Of course this method is great for getting apps and whatnot only available in other countries (Hulu plus, etc.)

    • I tried doing this, and it comes up saying that I can only change my Windows Live ID once every 30 days, and not within 30 days of creating the account. So, now I have to wait a month to try this. :P

      Microsoft really dropped the ball on this one.

    • “I tried doing this, and it comes up saying that I can only change my Windows Live ID once every 30 days, and not within 30 days of creating the account. So, now I have to wait a month to try this.

      Microsoft really dropped the ball on this one.”

      Same with me. I tried to change my ID earlier and it didn’t work. Then I found this post and thought let me try this!! But now have to wait til the end of the month to see if it works >.< Oh well

    • Ok, tried it after the 30 days, and it’s a no-go. Still shows me all the US content, and still has me as US based, even though the email I created was a Canadian email. Ah well. Now I have to wait 30 days to switch it back. :P

    • Unfortunately Microsoft caught on to this workaround quite quickly, maybe I shouldn’t have posted it online :p

    • And if it doesn’t work? Do we curse you? ;)

      Yeah, that’s an old site, when they USED to allow you to do it. You’re not allowed to anymore.

    • They used to allow transferring your billing country for a small number of countries. These countries were added to XBOX Live late in the game and lots of customers from those countries had accounts from their neighbouring (or nearby) countries. Australia and New Zealand were some of the first countries to get XBOX Live (back in the original XBOX days) so it wasn’t available to us.

    • This is great! Will this also change the stuff on our Dashboard? I’ve been seeing Verizon FiOS stuff on there, due to my account being a US based account. Now that I’ve changed it to Canada (finally, after living up here for 3 years!) I wonder if it will show Rogers. I’ll have to check when I get home, and see if it does.

      Thanks for posting this!!

    • Yes. The content on the dashboard will become specific to your new region. You may loose access to some content and services if they are not available in your new region.

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