The Best Credit Cards for Buying an iPhone

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Last updated on August 23rd, 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.

Rewards

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.

Purchase Protection

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.

Apple Card

Apple Card
Excellent-Good-Fair
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good / Fair
Mastercard Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Apple Card

  • 15.74% to 26.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR

At a Glance

You don’t need to need to be a die-hard fan to fall in love with the intelligently designed Apple Card. Designed for digital use in conjunction with Apple Pay (spoiler: an iPhone is required), this card boasts no annual fee – or any fees for that matter – up to 3% cash back for Apple and other popular retailers, automatic cash back rewards, a gorgeous interface for monitoring your spending, and innovative security features to make credit card theft a worry of the past.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • No annual fee
  • Earn cash back with every purchase
  • No hidden fees
  • Get a detailed breakdown of your spending from your iPhone
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.74% to 26.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • You own an iPhone (or are planning to buy one)
  • You’re loyal to the Apple ecosystem
  • You frequently use your mobile device for making purchases (a.k.a. your digital wallet)
  • You do’t want to worry about carrying your wallet everywhere you go to make purchases
  • You do’t want the hassle of deciding how to redeem rewards

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®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Excellent-Good
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good
Visa Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • 20.49% to 29.24% Variable Regular Purchase APR
  • 20.49% to 29.24% Variable Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% Variable Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 15 months from account opening date Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card is a reliable option for customers looking to pair an attractive cash back rewards program with generous introductory interest rates. Cardholders can redeem for cash, travel, and more.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • SPECIAL OFFER: Unlimited Matched Cash Back. Use your card for all your purchases and at the end of your first year, Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earned! There is no limit to how much you can earn. Every dollar in cash back rewards you earn is a dollar Chase will match.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back is just the beginning of what you can earn. You’ll enjoy 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% – 29.24%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 20.49% to 29.24% Variable
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 20.49% to 29.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% Variable
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • You are looking for a low-rate credit card to perform a balance transfer
  • You prefer straightforward rewards earnings rather than quarterly categories requiring activation
  • You’ll make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • You do’t want to pay an annual fee

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.

Prime Visa

Prime Visa
Excellent-Good
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good
Visa Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Prime Visa

  • 19.49% to 27.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 19.49% to 27.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The Prime Visa offers cardholders impressive rewards on all Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, as well as elevated cash back at gas stations, drug stores, restaurants, transit, commuting, and more.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Instant Amazon.com gift card on approval
  • Earn 5% Back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, plus 5% Back on purchases made through Chase Travel.
  • Earn 2% Back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, plus 2% Back on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 1% Back on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Regular Purchase APR: 19.49% to 27.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer APR: 19.49% to 27.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Minimum Deposit Required: N/A
  • You frequently shop at Amazon or Whole Foods
  • You have an existing Amazon Prime membership
  • You want a card with no foreign transaction fees and Visa concierge services for your travel plans
  • You want a flexible rewards program, including savings at gas stations dining
  • You want the excellent customer service Amazon is known for

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

Discover it® Cash Back
Excellent-Good
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good
Discover Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 18 months from account opening Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Discover It Cash Back Card is a cash back credit card that offers enhanced earning potential in a selection of rotating categories. Cardholders earn 5% back on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases. The card also features 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, Discover’s 100% U.S.-based customer service, Discover’s bonus cash back match, and no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically
  • Discover matches all of the cash back earned by the cardholder at the end of the first year automatically; there is no limit to how much cash back is matched
  • Cash back rewards never expire, earn unlimited cash back
  • Use rewards at Amazon checkout
  • No annual fee
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 18 months from account opening
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months from date of first transfer
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer posted at the promotional rate. After that, 5% of the amount of each transfer
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: None the first time you pay late. After that, up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • You want to earn 5% back on select category purchases each quarter, including restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares, and online shopping
  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • You want 100% U.S.-based customer service
  • You don’t mind rotating categories changing every three months

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:

Date 5% Cash Back Category
Q1 January – March 2023 Grocery stores, drug stores, and select streaming services
Q2 April – June 2023 Restaurants and wholesale clubs
Q3 July – September 2023 Gas stations and digital wallets
Q4 October – December 2023 Amazon.com and Target

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

 

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards.com's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, BestCards.com lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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