Last updated on March 20th, 2023
If you’re planning on springing for the latest iPhone, you might as well maximize your credit card rewards while you’re at it, right? After all, you don’t want to have a brand-new phone – but no money for anything else. From special financing to maximizing points, here’s everything you need to know about saving money when buying a new Apple iPhone.
What Should You Consider When Looking for a New Credit Card to Buy an iPhone?
Before buying a new iPhone, there’s the game planning on how to afford one of the most expensive smartphones on the market. Because of the costs of premium tech gadgets, like Apple products, purchasing that mobile phone with a rewards credit card might be an attractive idea.
Here are some expert tips on how to choose the right credit card to purchase a new iPhone:
Look for 0% Intro APR
A 0% intro APR credit card is a card that offers an interest-free promotional period on purchases, balance transfers, or both. Paying off the balance during this period means you’ll pay 0% interest on it – all while enjoying the convenience of paying over time. Getting a 0% APR credit card is a great choice if you plan to pay off the entirety of that purchase (or balance transfer) within the promotional period.
With the Apple Card, you won’t get 0% APR on all purchases, but you will get access to Apple Card Monthly Installments. This plan allows Apple cardholders to buy select Apple products with interest-free monthly payments. This works similarly to 0% intro APR and is a great option for the diehard Apple fanatic.
Many credit cards offer rewards for purchases, such as cash back, miles, or points. These rewards are redeemable for statement credits, award flights, free hotel nights, gift cards, and more. Look for a credit card that offers rewards compatible with your spending habits or will help you save towards your dream redemption. Then, use that card to pay for your new phone and rack up the rewards!
Some credit cards offer sign-up bonuses for new cardholders who meet a minimum spending requirement. These bonuses can further offset the cost of your new iPhone while also earning accelerated (and bonus) rewards.
Some credit cards offer purchase protection benefits, including extended warranties, price protection, and theft or damage protection. These benefits can provide peace of mind and help protect your investment in your new iPhone.
Purchase protection is vital, as it provides coverage for eligible purchases that are stolen or accidentally damaged due to smoke, fire, water, steam, or other vandalism. Not all card issuers provide purchase protection, but many of the best rewards cards do – including Visa Signature and World Mastercard credit cards.
Best Credit Cards for Buying an iPhone
So, what are the best credit cards for buying a new Apple iPhone? Here are our top picks for snagging a new iPhone – while getting the financing you need – and the rewards you want.
3% back on Apple & select merchant purchases
2% back on Apple Pay
The first card on the list is something of a no-brainer. The Apple Card, from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, is a no annual fee card that earns 3% back in Daily Cash on Apple tech and app store products. The card also earns 3% back with select retailers, including Uber, T Mobile, Walgreens, and Nike. It also earns 2% back on Apple Pay buys, and 1% back on everything else.
As mentioned, that special financing is another great reason to consider the Apple Card. The Apple Card Monthly Installments plan lets you finance a new iPhone from Apple with interest-free monthly payments. The plan also lets you track your payments directly from your Apple wallet. Although there are cards that would yield higher returns, the Apple Card is ideal if you regularly make purchases in the App Store, subscribe to Apple Music or any of their other subscription-based services.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter
0% intro APR for 15 months
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another solid option, thanks to its flat-rate, unlimited, 1.5% cash back on every purchase and a lengthy 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers. New accounts enjoy that intro APR for 15 months from account, with a variable rate after that. Even better, new accounts can also earn a $200 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Besides unlimited 1.5% cashback on all other purchases, Freedom Unlimited cardholders earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, and 3% on drugstore purchases.
Another unlimited cash back option is the Citi® Double Cash Card from Citi. The card earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. The card also provides a lengthy 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, making it a great choice if you want to pay off an existing card balance – but still want to get rewarded for your new iPhone.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
2% back on dining, gas, and drugstores
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is a great way to save on a new iPhone – and especially so if you plan to buy your phone off the online giant’s website. Cardholders earn 5% back on all purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods (non-Prime members earn 3% back), as well as 2% cash back at all drug stores, gas stations, and restaurants, and 1% on all other purchases. That 5% back on Amazon is a great incentive – as is the typical Amazon welcome offer – an instant Amazon.com gift card on approval.
Discover It Cash Back
5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate
0% for 15 months from account opening
The Discover It Cash Back is another great option for buying an iPhone, thanks to its quarterly rotating categories. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in combined quarterly spending on rotating categories like Amazon, restaurants, gas stations, PayPal, and more.
Even better, new Discover Card accounts enjoy 0% intro APR for around 18 months on purchases and transfers, plus provides Discover’s Cash Back Match. After year one Discover will automatically match your cash back dollar for dollar. Not bad, huh?
Anyways, back to the 5% rotating cash back. Here’s the current Discover Cash Back Calendar:
|5% Cash Back Category|
|January – March 2023||Grocery stores, drug stores, and select streaming services|
|April – June 2023||Restaurants and wholesale clubs|
|July – September 2023||TBD|
|October – December 2023||TBD|
Summing It Up
Always be proactive when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck on expensive tech purchases – like a new Apple iPhone or iPad. Pay close attention to things like APR, annual fees, and rewards points. As always, never spend more than you can afford to – and try to pay your balance in full every month.
Related Article: Best Credit Cards To Use at Costco