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If you’re in the market for an Apple product and have a pile of points collecting dust, applying those points toward your purchase could be a good way to keep some cash in your pocket. However, be aware that those points may have greater value when redeemed for travel instead.
A list of the rewards programs that allow redemptions for Apple merchandise and gift cards are shown below. In the cases where it's possible to redeem points for gift cards at the same rate as for cash back or a statement credit, it's probably better to buy the Apple product outright and use the points to pay yourself back. That way, you can earn rewards on the purchase, and you may be entitled to purchase protections that you won't get if you pay with a gift card.
Credit card reward program
Merchandise point value, in cents
Gift cards point value, in cents
Chase Ultimate Rewards®
U.S. Bank® Rewards
Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) Rewards
American Express Membership Rewards
Capital One Rewards
Citi ThankYou Points
Bank of America Rewards
The Apple Card earns Apple Cash that can be redeemed for purchases at any retailer, including Apple, or for a cash deposit to your bank account. It’s really a cash-back card, so it isn't included in our list.
1. Chase Ultimate Rewards®
The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program offers the best value of any rewards system for redemption toward Apple merchandise. Points are worth 1 cent apiece for both merchandise and gift cards. That means 10,000 points are worth $100.
But frequent limited-time offers can increase that redemption rate for merchandise by 10%, 25% or even 50%, depending on which card you have. If you can hold off on your redemption until one of these offers is available, you'll get more value out of your points than you would for a statement credit or Apple gift card.
If you don't have enough points to cover a redemption through the Ultimate Rewards® portal, Chase will let you apply whatever points you have (as long as they pay for a 20% minimum of the total purchase) and charge the remaining cash balance to your card.
However, note that these options are below the valuation NerdWallet puts on Chase Ultimate Rewards® when transferred to travel partners instead.
2. U.S. Bank rewards
U.S. Bank rewards earned on the Altitude and FlexPerks suites of cards can be redeemed for both Apple merchandise and gift cards.
Merchandise redemptions can be made by navigating to the Apple Rewards Store in the U.S. Bank Rewards Center, where points are worth approximately 0.85 cent apiece based on retail prices in the Apple store. That means 11,764 points are worth $100 when redeemed for merchandise.
But when redeemed for gift cards, points are worth 1 cent each. Gift cards are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $100. That means 10,000 points are worth $100 when redeemed for gift cards. Occasional limited-time offers will provide a better redemption rate than this.
U.S. Bank rewards are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for a statement credit or bank transfer. So unless there's a promotional offer for using points at the time of your redemption, you'd be better off purchasing your Apple gear with your credit card to earn rewards on the purchase, then using your stockpile of points to offset the charge with a statement credit. Doing this gives you the added benefit of being able to shop at any retailer — not just directly through Apple.
» SEE: Best U.S. Bank credit cards
3. Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) Rewards
PenFed offers two credit cards that earn points redeemable for Apple merchandise and gift cards.
As of October 2022, merchandise redemptions can be made by navigating to the PenFed Rewards portal and selecting the Apple Rewards banner. Based on retail prices from the Apple store, merchandise redemptions result in a point value between 0.6 cent and 0.8 cent apiece.
Points are worth 0.85 cent apiece when redeemed for gift cards, which are available in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $250. That means 11,764 points are worth $100 when redeeming for gift cards.
There is no direct way to convert PenFed Rewards to cash, but they can be redeemed for travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent apiece.
If you're looking to burn your rewards on a new MacBook or some AirPods, you'll get the best value through redeeming for gift cards, then using those for your purchase.
4. Barclays rewards
Applications are currently unavailable for new cardholders looking to earn Barclays rewards. But legacy cardholders of any of the Barclays Arrival cards and those who were moved in a product change to the Barclays View Mastercard are still eligible to earn and redeem rewards.
If you have one of these cards, rewards can be cashed in for Apple gift cards at a redemption rate of 0.5 cent apiece. That means 10,000 points are worth $50 when redeemed for gift cards, which are available in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $250.
You can also redeem your rewards directly for Apple merchandise, but the gift card will generally provide more value. Based on retail prices direct from Apple, the redemption rate for merchandise will range between 0.3 cent and 0.5 cent per point.
These rates are well below the baseline value of 1 cent per point cardholders can get when they redeem Barclays rewards for a statement credit against travel purchases. Even if you’re strapped for cash, you’d probably be better off trying to cover the cost of a flight or hotel room with rewards and purchasing Apple gear outright.
5. American Express Membership Rewards
American Express Membership Rewards can be used to purchase Apple gift cards at a redemption rate of 0.85 cent apiece. Gift cards are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50, $100 and $500. That means 11,764 points are worth $100 when redeeming for gift cards. Similar to other issuers, AmEx also releases limited-time offers that increase the value of points redemptions for gift cards.
While this rate is better than the 0.6 cent per point cardholders can receive when redeeming their Membership Rewards for a statement credit, it is still below the baseline value of 1 cent per point available when using points to instead book travel through the AmEx travel portal. And if you’re an optimizer, both of those rates are well below the value NerdWallet puts on Membership Reward points when transferring to travel partners.
6. Capital One Rewards
Points earned on Capital One cards (called miles) can be used for Apple gift cards at a redemption value of 1 cent apiece. That means 10,000 miles are worth $100 when redeemed for gift cards. Gift cards are available in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $200. Like many other issuers, occasional limited-time promotions may provide an enhanced redemption rate.
But Capital One miles can also be used toward cash back or a statement credit at a value of 1 cent per point. If you’re looking for Apple products, you’d probably be better off charging the purchase to your credit card and earning credit card rewards, then covering the purchase price with a statement credit or cash-back redemption. This also has the added benefit of being able to shop at any retailer — not just directly through Apple.
7. Citi ThankYou Points
Citi ThankYou points can be redeemed for Apple gift cards at a value of 1 cent per point. Gift cards are available in denominations of $25, $50 and $100. That means 10,000 points are worth $100 when redeemed for gift cards. This redemption value is equal to the cash-back value of ThankYou points when redeemed directly to a bank account or for a statement credit.
Instead of redeeming points for gift cards, you'd be better off buying that new Mac Mini with your credit card and earning ThankYou points on your purchase; then redeeming your ThankYou points for a statement credit against the charge.
8. Bank of America® rewards
Points earned on Bank of America® credit cards can be redeemed for Apple gift cards at a redemption value of 1 cent per point. That means 10,000 points are worth $100 when redeemed for gift cards, which are available in denominations of $25, $50, $100, $150, $200, $250 and $500.
Bank of America® points can also be redeemed for a statement credit or as a cash transfer to a deposit account at a value of 1 cent apiece. So if you have a pile of Bank of America® rewards that you want to redeem for a new iPhone, you'd be better off making the purchase with your rewards-earning credit card and offsetting the purchase with a statement credit. This way, you can also shop around for the best deal and not be forced to make your purchase directly through Apple.
Valuations presented herein are calculated as cents per point (cpp) by multiplying the dollar cost of an item by 100 and dividing by the number of points required.
Valuations presented herein are based on everyday point redemption rates and do not include limited-time promotions.
All merchandise valuations are presented based on prices taken directly from the Apple Store.