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Whether you're first in line for the latest iPhone release, comparison shopping for holiday gifts or putting together a new office setup, choosing the right credit card for your next Apple purchase can make a big difference in your savings — especially since Apple discounts are hard to come by.
For loyalists, Apple's own branded credit card may seem like the obvious choice. But unless you're taking advantage of that card's interest-free financing benefits, you may be able to find better rewards or benefits elsewhere.
Here are five of the best credit cards to use at Apple.
Best credit cards to use at Apple
As you compare credit cards for your Apple purchase, make sure to also comparison shop retailers for the best price point on your Apple product. Combining the best product price point with the right credit card rewards is the best way to maximize your savings.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Our pick for: Purchase protection with cash back
Annual fee: $0.
APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.74%-28.74% Variable APR; see rates and fees.
Welcome offer: Earn up to $250 – Here’s How: Earn up to $150 back when you shop with PayPal. Earn 20% back as a statement credit on purchases when you use your new Card to check out with PayPal at merchants in the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back as a statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
3% back on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 spent per year.
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year.
3% back at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 spent per year.
1% back on other purchases.
Why we like it for Apple: If you care about purchase protection, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express can give you 90 days worth of peace of mind against theft or accidental damage to your new device. Plus, you can get 3% back on U.S. online retail purchases up to $6,000 per year — including online purchases through Apple.com. Terms apply.
If you’re purchasing a new iPhone or iPad with a wireless plan attached, extend the protection on your device by paying your monthly wireless bill with one of many cards that offer cell phone insurance.
U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive
Our pick for: Strategic shoppers
Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
APR: The ongoing APR is 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR.
Sign-up bonus: Get a $250 bonus after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.
6% cash back on your first $1,500 in combined eligible purchases each quarter at two retailers you choose (from a list of 24 options, including Apple). See full list below.
3% cash back on your first $1,500 in eligible purchases each quarter in your choice of one everyday category.
1.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
5.5% cash back on prepaid car and hotel reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center.
Why we like it for Apple: The potential to earn 6% back on Apple products? That's such a high rate that strategic spenders may not mind paying an annual fee for this card and jumping through a few hoops first. Just be aware of the caveats: You'll need to activate Apple (or Amazon, or Walmart, or wherever you're buying your Apple gear) as one of your two 6%-back retailers for the quarter; and you'll earn that high rate on only the first $1,500 in combined spending across both of your chosen categories for the quarter (1.5% back on everything else). As such, Apple probably won't be an ideal "set it and forget it" category here. Ideally, you'd choose Apple for a specific quarter where you know you'll be dropping, say, $1,200 on a new Macbook — but if that's all the Apple-specific spending you're planning for the year, make sure to select new categories for the next quarter.
Discover it® Cash Back
Our pick for: The well-timed buy
Annual fee: $0.
APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74%-26.74% Variable APR.
Sign-up bonus: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (requires activation).
1% back on all other purchases.
Why we like it for Apple: If you don’t mind waiting to time your purchase with Discover’s annual 5% calendar, this card could earn the highest rewards rate available for Apple purchases. For example, in September 2022, you could earn 5% back on up to $1,500 by ordering through Apple.com and paying through PayPal with your Discover it® Cash Back at checkout. Or from October through December 2022, purchase your Apple products either at Amazon or in person at any store with your Discover it® Cash Back in a digital wallet to earn 5% back.
Compare other popular cards with rotating cash-back categories that may align well with your purchase of a new Apple product. For example, in Q4 of 2022, the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ feature PayPal and Walmart as 5% bonus categories, so you could buy your Apple product in one of those ways as well.
Our pick for: Interest-free financing with cash back
Annual fee: $0.
APR: The ongoing APR is 13.24%-24.24%, Variable.
Sign-up bonus: N/A.
3% cash back on Apple Pay purchases made directly with Apple, including in Apple stores, within the App Store and for Apple services.
3% back on Apple Pay purchases with select other retailers.
2% back on all other purchases made through Apple Pay.
1% back on all purchases made with the physical Apple Card.
Up to 24 months interest-free financing on an iPhone or Apple Watch.
Up to 12 months interest-free financing on iPads, eligible Macs and select accessories.
Up to 6 months interest-free financing on Apple TVs and AirPods.
Why we like it for Apple: Beyond being the obvious choice for Apple loyalists, this card offers the best combination of interest-free financing and cash-back rewards on the same purchase.
» MORE: Full review of the Apple Card
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
Our pick for: Online Shopping
Annual fee: $0.
APR: The ongoing APR is 17.99%, 26.99%, or 29.99%, Variable APR.
Sign-up bonus: None
3% cash back on PayPal purchases, 2% back on all other purchases.
Why we like it for Apple: When you order online through Apple.com (or any other online retailer) and use PayPal at checkout, this card earns 3% cash back on all purchases. But even if you end up buying your Apple device from a merchant — online or otherwise — that doesn't accept PayPal, you won't do any worse than 2% back on the purchase.
Prefer testing out products in person at the Apple Store? You can still take advantage of the rewards available on your PayPal Cashback Mastercard®. Once you've made your final selection, go online to Apple.com to make your purchase through PayPal and select "pick up in store" as your delivery method. Often, your product can be ready to take home in as little as 15-30 minutes.
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Our pick for: Financing a large purchase
Annual fee: $0.
APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for up to 21 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-28.74% Variable APR.
Sign-up bonus: N/A.
Why we like it for Apple: If you need to make a large Apple purchase now and pay it off over time, this card offers one of the longest 0% APR periods on the market.
Other credit cards to consider
Of course, the Apple Store is not the only place to purchase Apple products, and sometimes you can take advantage of a deal by comparison shopping with other retailers. Consider these co-branded cards for rewards programs that may pair well with a sale on Apple products at a particular retailer:
Note, though, that the rewards offered through these co-branded cards may only be redeemable at affiliated stores.
Alternately, if you're a business owner who needs to purchase Apple laptops or devices for you or your employees, you could consider looking into small-business credit cards. Several of them offer lengthy 0% intro APR periods, and more than a few of them feature "office supply stores" as a bonus category, meaning it might make sense to purchase your Apple products or accessories from Staples or Office Depot.