The majority of Americans own at least one Apple tablet, smartphone, or computer. In fact, the average household owns more than two Apple products, according to one 2017 CNBC survey. Of course, these sleek electronics can be quite pricey, leading many consumers to wonder which credit card they should use to optimize their Apple purchases.
While some credit cards are on top exclusively because of rewards, others make the list for their various benefits offered. But whether you're after a cashback card or a travel rewards card, we have something for you. So let’s take a look at which credit card you should consider using for your next Apple purchase, whether you’re shopping for a new MacBook or you’re first in line for the latest iPhone.
- Why using a credit card for Apple purchases could be a great idea
- What to look for in a credit card before using it for Apple purchases
- The 5 best credit cards for Apple purchases
- The 2 best business credit cards for Apple purchases
- The bottom line on the best credit cards to buy Apple products
Why using a credit card for Apple purchases could be a great idea
When making a big purchase, consider whether or not a credit card is your best payment method. After all, the right card will not only reward you but also protect you. This is especially true for Apple purchases.
The first reason is simply due to cost. By using the the best credit card to buy Apple products, you can rack up substantial miles or cashback rewards just for spending the money as you normally would. As long as you pay your statement balance in full (and don’t accrue interest charges), this essentially means free money in your pocket.
You may also want to use a credit card for an Apple purchase because it can offer protections that your debit card or cash cannot. For instance, you may be able to take advantage of an introductory 0% interest rate offer, allowing you to spread out repayment without worrying about interest charges.
The right credit card may also give you certain purchase protections. Let’s say you used a specific credit card to buy a new iPhone, then dropped the device a few weeks later, shattering the screen. If your card provides cell phone protection, that repair or replacement could come at no cost to you.
What to look for in a credit card before using it for Apple purchases
So, what makes one credit card better than others, specifically when it comes to your Apple brand purchases? Well, what qualifies a card as a best credit card to buy Apple products will largely depend on your financial lifestyle and what sorts of perks mean the most to you:
- Let’s say you need to buy a new MacBook for work but can’t afford the expense all at once. In this case, a card with an introductory 0% APR offer could allow you to spread out the repayment without penalty.
- Planning to upgrade the family’s iPhones soon? Use that big transaction to meet a card’s minimum spend requirement, and snag a hefty welcome bonus.
- If you’ve cracked your fair share of iPad screens over the years, opt for a card with loss or damage protection. For a period of time, your Apple purchase could be covered against certain situations.
- By choosing a card with an extended warranty benefit, you could potentially double your manufacturer’s coverage with no added cost to you.
- If you pay your monthly phone bill with certain cards, you can enjoy cell phone protection against loss, theft, or damage without paying your provider a monthly fee for insurance.
If you’re planning an Apple store purchase in the near future, take some time to consider which credit card would be the best option for you. These popular electronics are as pricey as they are sleek, and optimizing your purchases could save you hundreds in the end.
It’s also important to keep in mind that many of these protections may only come into play if you are buying your next Apple product from an Apple store directly. You may lose out on certain benefits if you buy your iPhone through your cell phone carrier, for instance, or if you purchase a second-hand iPad.
The 5 best credit cards for Apple purchases
|Card name||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Amex Platinum||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months||5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases||$550|
|Apple Card||Earn up to 3% cash back on eligible purchases||3% cash back on Apple purchases and when you use Apple Pay for purchases from select partners, 2% on other purchases made with Apple Pay, and 1% cash back on everything else||$0|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards||Earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months||1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day||$0|
|U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa||Earn 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days||5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases||$400|
|Wells Fargo Propel||Earn 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months||3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases||$0|
The Platinum Card from American Express
Looking for a travel credit card that provides many excellent benefits and also rewards you for your purchases? Look no further than the Platinum Card from American Express.
With the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
In addition to rewards points for purchases, though, you’ll also enjoy:
- $200 annual airline fee credit
- $100 fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry enrollment
- Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounges, as well as access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
- Up to $200 a year in Uber credits, plus Uber VIP status where available
- Up to $100 annual credit at Saks Fifth Avenue
- No foreign transaction fees
While the American Express Platinum Card does come with a $550 annual fee, this can be easy to recoup if you take advantage of all the available benefits.
Of course, Amex’s purchase protections — covering everything from your iPhone to your MacBook and beyond — could also make up for the annual cost, if you even had to use them once. This card is an excellent choice for Apple veterans and iNewbies alike, offering coverage such as:
- 120 days of purchase protection for your items, up to $10,000 per occurrence. This covers you if your purchases are damaged, lost, or stolen. After January 1, 2020, any purchase you make will only receive 90 days of protection.
- Up to 1 additional year of warranty on your purchases.
- 90 days of return protection for your items, even if the store refuses to accept your return request.
The American Express Platinum Card isn’t for everyone, especially with the hefty annual fee. However, if you’re a fan of airport lounges, travel often, or are looking for a card that provides a premium level of service (for Apple purchases and beyond), it might be the right choice for you.
This is your card if you want a premium experience that pays for itself in enviable benefits and protections.
Of course, we couldn’t write an article about Apple purchases and credit cards without mentioning the Apple Card. Introduced just this year, the Apple Card is as sleek and feature-packed as the Apple devices you buy.
Apple Card isn’t any old credit card, either. It’s a no-fee product that aims to make budgeting easier, rewards simpler, and spending safer. Oh, and its etched titanium look is sure to be a show-stopper when you pull it out at dinner.
The Apple Card offers:
- Zero account fees — no annual fees, no late fees, no foreign transaction fee, and no fees for going over your limit. (Of course, interest charges are still fair game if you don’t pay your statement balance on-time and in full.)
- Daily Cash Back on everything you spend and cash back is available for use almost immediately.
- Added account security, by using all of the same features that your existing Apple devices already do (such as Face ID, Touch ID, and unique transaction codes).
- Seamless integration into your mobile wallet.
- A full-blown, 24/7 support system that’s available via text whenever you have a question.
No one can deny the beauty of using an Apple credit card to pay for an Apple product. Thanks to budget-friendly account tracking and 3% back on Apple purchases and purchases with select partners when using Apple Pay, though, it’s easy to see why this card should be in the running next time you’re shopping around and why it makes our list of the best credit cards for Apple purchases.
By the way, those Apple partners that you can earn bonus rewards with include Nike, T-Mobile, Uber, Uber Eats, and Walgreens (as of June, 2020). And Apple purchases includes things you buy through the App Store and iTunes.
This is your card if you’re a huge fan of Apple, don’t like fees, and want to earn 3% back on every Apple purchases and purchases with select partners when using Apple Pay you make.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards
We get it — not everyone likes keeping track of which card offers what cashback on what purchases. That’s why cards like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards shine: With this card, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day.
Even better, you can redeem those rewards in any amount whenever you need them most, opting for a statement credit, gift cards, or as credit for a specific recent purchase. This card also has a very easy-to-achieve sign-up bonus. You can earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening. And did we mention that there’s a $0 annual fee?
This card is excellent for Apple purchases in particular because it offers extended warranty coverage on the things you buy. If your device stops working after your Apple coverage has expired, your Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card can step in to help. Additionally, you’ll enjoy access to Paribus, a price protection software designed to search recent purchases for price drops.
This is your card if you don’t want to worry about tracking complex rewards rates, and want to spend your cashback as you choose.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa
Whether you have the newest Apple devices or are still rocking that iPhone 6, you may use Apple Pay to pay on the go. With a card like the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa, you’ll earn 5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases.
You'll also enjoy added protections for your purchases. This card offers purchase benefits such as:
- 90 days of purchase security against damaged or stolen items
- extended warranty protection, covering you for up to an additional year
- 90 days of return protection, if the store won’t accept your return
You’ll also enjoy a slew of premium travel-related benefits, including:
- $325 in travel expense credits
- airport lounge access
- fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry enrollment
- 12 complimentary Inflight Gogo Wi-Fi sessions per year
Add those perks to trip cancellation and delay coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, rental car coverage, roadside service and more, and this card is easily able to justify its $400 annual fee for frequent travelers.
This is your card if you travel often and use Apple Pay on your smart device, but aren’t ready to commit to a $500+ premium credit card.
Wells Fargo Propel
One of the most versatile cashback credit cards is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. This card offers account holders 3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases.
Essentially, there’s something for everyone, and no limit to the points you can earn.
You’ll also enjoy purchase benefits such as:
- 90-day retail protection if your item is damaged or stolen
- cell phone protection against theft or damage as long as you pay your monthly service bill with the card
- up to one extra year of extended warranty
These make the Wells Fargo Propel card an excellent choice for Apple users, especially if you carry an iPhone. This card also has a $0 annual fee and the points you earn will never expire.
You can also take advantage of this card’s 0% intro APR offer if you’re a new cardholder. You’ll pay no interest for 12 months on new purchases and balance transfers when you open a Wells Fargo Propel account.
This is your card if you want to earn lots of cash back on the most common purchases, without paying an annual fee.
The 2 best business credit cards for Apple purchases
|Card name||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Amex Business Gold Card||Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months||4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases||$295|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months||5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else||$95|
American Express Business Gold Card
You can choose your business’ own cashback categories with the American Express Business Gold Card, based on where you spend the most money.
Bonus categories include gas, restaurants, shipping, airline-direct airfare purchases, select hardware/software/cloud purchases (including Apple), advertising, and more. You’re able to choose two categories in which to earn 4X points; other purchases earn 1X points.
The card does come with a $295 annual fee, but you’ll enjoy purchase benefits such as:
- 120 days of purchase protection against theft or damage. After January 1, 2020, any purchase you make will only receive 90 days of protection.
- Up to 1 additional year of extended warranty
The next time your business is planning an Apple Store purchase, consider the American Express Business Gold Card. Not only will your item be protected if it’s stolen or dropped in the first six months, but you’ll also be able to earn up to 4X points on every dollar you spend through Apple.
This is your card if you want to truly maximize your benefits when making a business-related Apple purchase.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
It’s not rare to find a credit card offering an introductory sign-up bonus. However, when you see one like the 100,000 bonus points currently being offered by the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you’d be silly not to consider it — especially if you won’t have any trouble meeting the minimum spend requirement. After all, the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn are equivalent to about $1,250 when redeemed toward travel rewards, all for buying the things you already needed.
In addition to the bonus, you’ll earn 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else. Plus, enjoy:
- 120 days of purchase protection against damage or theft, for up to $10,000 per incident
- up to an additional year of extended warranty
- up to $600 in cell phone theft and damage protection when you pay your monthly bill with the card
This card has an annual fee of just $95, making it a reasonable option for many small business owners who want to still earn excellent rewards and benefits.
The card is a great choice for your next Apple spending spree, thanks to the extended warranty and purchase protection coverages. Plus, if you can meet the minimum spend requirement — especially with a pricey Apple buy — you’ll snag major bonus points in the process.
The bottom line on the best credit cards to buy Apple products
Whether you’re buying an iPod for the gym or new laptops for the whole family, Apple has become the go-to tech company for many consumers. But no matter how much you spend at the tech giant’s stores (or if you’re new to the brand), there are a few rewards credit cards that you should consider before you hit the register.
By choosing the right credit card to buy Apple products, you’ll enjoy not only points and sign-up bonuses, but also lasting protections on those pricey electronics — and that alone can be worth hundreds. Take time to read the fine print from the credit card issuer and determine which situations qualify for coverage and how to file a claim through your card (if needed).
Also calculate whether you will use the card’s other benefits enough to recoup your annual fee, when applicable. And if you're not applying for this card right away, take some time to improve your credit score so you can increase your chances of getting your application approved.
Most importantly, though, just be sure to choose and open the best credit card for Apple purchases before you buy your next device, and make sure your card rewards you.
Best Luxury Travel Benefits
- 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
- 5X points on eligible flights and hotels
- $15 in free U.S. Uber rides each month ($20 in December)
- $200 airline fee credit each year
- Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
- Terms apply