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Best iPad Air Deals for the Holidays

December 20, 2013
Holiday Tips & News
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Editor’s note, Dec. 18, 2014: Since this post was written, ShopDiscover has become Discover Deals, which continues to offer Discover card customers special access to exclusive shopping deals.

Do you need an Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi? If you have an iPad 2, iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface Pro 2 or Google Nexus 7, the answer is “probably not.” There’s a lot of functional overlap between the newest iPad and those devices.

Perhaps the better question is do you want an iPad Air? It weighs practically nothing (1 pound, to be precise), has a crisp retina display and is equipped with a smoking-fast A7 chip that puts its computational power into desktop league.

It’s an improvement over the iPad 2 for sure, and it’s very cool, but is it enough of an improvement to warrant the price tag of $499 for the 16GB version, all the way up to $799 for the 128GB model?

That’s up to you, but if you can’t live without the latest technology in your hands, here are a few ways to get a good deal that can cut the cost of this cutting-edge device.

Get a Business Credit Card at Staples

The method that can save you the most is signing up for a Staples business credit card. Do it before Dec. 3 and you’ll get a $50 credit on your first purchase of $150 or more, and earn 5% back in Staples rewards credit, which adds up to a total savings of $72.45 on the 16GB model.

What makes this tactic tough is that you have to be an authorized officer of a business to qualify.

Sign Up for a Walmart Credit Card

If you’re just an average guy or gal without his or her own business, then try the Walmart credit card for an easier deal. Sign up for the card before Jan. 31 and make a purchase of at least $75, and you’ll see a $25 credit on your statement within one or two billing periods.

The catch on this one is that you have to make your purchase online at Walmart.com the same day you sign up for the card. For additional savings, go to Walmart.com through MrRebates.com and earn 5% back on your purchase. Total price for 16GB model after these steps: $430.05.

Fill Prescriptions at Target

Get prescriptions filled on a regular basis? Do it at Target and you can get $48.65 off the price of your iPad Air.

Step 1: Sign up for the Target pharmacy rewards program and get five prescriptions filled to save 5% on a day of shopping in-store or at Target.com.

Step 2: Use your Target REDcard and save another 5%.

Easy Ways to Add Savings

Discover credit card holders can click through the ShopDiscover.com rewards mall and save 5% at the Apple Store immediately, an easy task if you already have the card. Of course, this is not so easy if you don’t already have a Discover card.

Probably the easiest way to save 5% is by creating an account at UPromise.com, a college-savings website, then buying your new iPad at Best Buy. That’s good for $25 off, which leaves you with a final price of $474.99.

If all else fails, the cash-back website TopCashBack.com is offering a 2% cash back reward at the Apple store, which translates into a savings of $9.98. The great thing about this is that anyone can get it.

Don’t Pay Full Price

Bottom line: There are lots of ways to save money on your new iPad Air, everything from quick discounts for signing up for a credit card, to programs that allow you to stack the savings and earn cash back on the purchase, and even ways to cash in on things you already buy, like prescriptions.

You don’t have to be a business buyer (unless you’re after that Staples discount) to get great deals. Everyone can get a break on Apple’s slickest new gadget.

Now that you’ve found the best deals on the hottest electronics of the season, be sure to responsibly recycle or donate any unwanted electronics.

Apple image courtesy of Shutterstock