[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]
When most people think of retail store credit cards, they imagine sky-high interest rates and the inability to use the card outside of that individual store. The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards, also known as the Apple credit card, is very different from this perception. While you might be rewarded the most for shopping inside an Apple store, it’s actually issued by Barclaycard, and it’s a Visa card. That means you can use the card anywhere Visa is accepted.
Special Financing on Purchases
If you are planning to purchase a new Apple computer, or any other expensive Apple product, and would like a little extra time to pay it off, then this would be a great card to use. It offers up to 18 months of special financing on all Apple purchases, made within 30 days of opening your account. Here’s how the promo breaks down:
- 6 months of special financing on purchases under $499
- 12 months on purchases $499 to $998.99
- 18 months on purchases $999 to $1498.99
With this promotional financing offer, you will receive no interest/deferred financing for the time period mentioned above. It’s important that you make timely payments and have the purchase paid off by the end of the promotional period. If there is still a balance, or you are late with a payment, then interest will be assessed, back to the date of purchase. If you have purchased an expensive computer, then this could end up making it a much more expensive purchase than you had budgeted. For purchases without special financing, the standard purchase annual percentage rate (APR) will be a variable 15.24%, 21.24% or 28.24%, based on your credit.
A strategy that works for most people is to take the total amount due and divide it by the number of months you have to make payments. This is the total amount that you need to pay each month to pay off the item before the end of the promotional period. For example if your computer cost $1,000 and you have 18 months to pay it off, you need to pay at least $56 per month. Add this amount to your monthly household budget and you will keep yourself on track.
Earning & Redeeming Rewards
When you use your Apple credit card for purchases at Apple stores, Apple.com or iTunes, you will receive three points for every $1 spent. Anytime you use the card at restaurants you will receive two points per $1. All other purchases will earn one point per $1. When it comes time to redeem your points, you can do so for Apple or iTunes gift cards. For every 2,500 points that you earn, you will receive a $25 gift card.
There are two versions of this card. When approved you will receive either a Visa Platinum or a Visa Signature. The card you receive depends entirely on your credit. Applicants with higher credit scores are more likely to receive the Visa Signature card and more benefits.
As a Visa Signature cardholder you will receive 24/7 concierge service. If you need help booking travel plans or need a dinner reservation, you can call and have them take care of it for you. You will also receive an extended warranty on purchases you make using your card.
As mentioned earlier you can receive up to 18 months of no interest/deferred financing on Apple purchases. The standard APR on both purchases and balance transfers is either a variable 14.74%, 20.74% or 27.74% depending on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers carry a fee of 3% of the transaction or $5, whichever is greater and transactions outside the United States carry a 3% fee. There is no annual fee.
Alternatives to the Apple Credit Card
The Apple credit card offers a lot of opportunity to anyone that frequently spends a lot of money on Apple products. Unfortunately, it has one big miss. Unlike a lot of retail store credit cards, you will not receive coupons that can help you save money on purchases.
If you frequently spend a lot of money with Apple, then the Apple credit card is probably a no brainer. The 3 points per dollar you will receive on purchases is great, and the gift cards could help you save on your regular Apple or iTunes purchases. However, if you are just an occasional shopper, then it might be best for you to look for a card that will earn higher than just one point for every dollar you spend on everyday purchases.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
- Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
- Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% based on your creditworthiness*
- Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
- No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Card Details +
An option could be the Citi Double Cash card (full review here), which will give you 1% cash back when you make a purchase and then another 1% back after you pay off the purchase. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as Barclaycard and Chase, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
With this card you will not receive special financing like you will on the Apple card, but there is an APR Intro: 0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*. If you have good credit then the Citi Double Cash should offer a lower standard APR. The APR starts at 14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable). The annual fee is $0* on the Citi Double Cash card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- No annual fee
Card Details +
Another card that is perfect for everyday purchases is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card (full review here). You will earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase that you make. This is great for anyone that doesn’t want to keep track of bonus categories. If you also have a card that earns Ultimate Reward points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, then your cash back can be turned into Ultimate Reward points.
In addition to its earning potential on purchases, you will also receive a $150 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. If you like the special financing offered on the Apple credit card, then you might be interested in the Intro: 0% for 15 months APR on purchases and balance transfers that comes with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. After this introductory period, the APR will change to a variable 16.24% - 24.99% Variable. This card also has a $0 annual fee.
At publishing time, the Citi Double Cash and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
This article last updated September 12th, 2017.