Updated Feb 08, 2021 | Published Jan 07, 2020 • 14 min read
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If you need some extra time to finance the latest Apple product, the Barclaycard Financing Visa can help you with that. It provides deferred financing offers, however, which means if you don’t pay off your tech in time or miss a payment you could be charged a considerable amount of interest.
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Our Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Barclaycard Financing Visa® card 3 out of 5 Stars because it’s a mix of good and bad. It gives you time to finance purchases, but the financing offer is only deferred interest, rather than 0% APR.
Why We Like It
Deferred financing offers can give you extra time to pay off purchases
Use it to make an Apple purchase instantly upon approval
Why It Could Be Better
Deferred financing is not as good as a true 0% intro APR period, and you could end up being charged interest
No special perks at Apple, like early access to sales or discounted products
Deferred interest financing for purchases made at Apple within the first 30 days of account opening
Deferred financing term is based on purchase amount. Less than $499: 6 months; $499 to $998: 12 months; $999 and over: 18 months
For deferred financing, if a late payment is made or the full balance is not paid on time, interest will be charged for the full length of the term going back to the purchase date
This card was formerly known as the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards.
In the market for a new computer? Eagerly anticipating the next iPhone model?
You’re about to check out from the Apple store, when you see that flashy offer: “Take 18 months to pay at no interest!”
Is that a good idea?
Apple wants you to apply for the Barclaycard Financing Visa®, which is designed to help you pay for your next computer or iPhone (or anything else from Apple).
The major feature of this card is the deferred financing offer. You’ll get a certain amount of time to pay for purchases from Apple at no interest, with more time given for larger purchases.
But since this is a deferred financing offer, rather than a true 0% introductory APR, it comes with some strings. If you make a late payment or fail to pay back the full balance by the end of the term, you’ll be charged interest for the entire length of the plan, going all the way back to the purchase date.
So if you slip up, you’ll be charged a whole lot of interest. This is not how credit cards with 0% introductory APRs work; with those cards, once the intro period ends you’ll only be charged interest on any balance that remains. There are no retroactive interest charges. Those cards can also be used to make purchases anywhere, not just Apple.
We discuss how to get the most out of this card below, and explain how to use deferred interest financing offers safely if you do end up taking one. If you follow our guidelines and plan ahead, the Barclaycard Financing Visa can be a valuable way to help you get that new Apple Watch, iPhone, or whatever you have your eye on.
This is not the same card as the new Apple Card announced on March 25, 2019.
Insider Advice: Getting The Most Out of Your Card
Follow the terms to pay over time: This card is designed to help you make big purchases at Apple, where purchases made within the first 30 days are eligible for deferred financing plans, with term lengths that depend on how much you spend. All purchases made within the first 30 days will be counted in the deferred financing plan.
You can use the deferred financing offer again: After using your initial deferred interest offer for purchases within the first 30 days, you can renew that offer by calling customer support and requesting a new deferred financing plan. That will give you 60 days to make purchases from Apple, which will qualify for a deferred financing plan depending on how much you spend.
But beware the deferred interest offers: The financing plans are deferred interest, which means if you make a late payment or don’t pay off the entire balance on time you’ll be charged interest going all the way back to the purchase date. Make every monthly payment on time, and be sure to pay off the entire balance by the end of the term.
Set up an appropriate repayment plan: If you use a deferred financing offer, divide your total balance by the number of months in the term. The result is the monthly payment you’ll need to make to pay off the entire loan by the end of the term. Set up autopay for this amount every month to use the deferred financing safely and effectively.
Put it away and just make payments: After using a deferred financing offer, don’t use the card for more purchases because you’ll be charged interest at a high rate. Instead, put the card away and just make your monthly payments on time until you’ve paid off the entire balance.
Consider other options: Instead of using this card to finance a large Apple purchase, consider using other cards with true 0% introductory periods. They don’t use deferred interest, and their 0% rates apply to any purchases you make.
Where Can I Use the Barclaycard Financing Visa?
You can use this card anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, which is pretty much everywhere.
But it will be best to only use this card for big purchases at Apple, rather than for general spending. Check out the following sections to learn why.
Deferred Financing Plans
The Barclaycard Financing Visa comes with a deferred financing offer, giving you an opportunity to pay off purchases over time interest-free. Most people probably get this card because of this feature, with the aim of taking some time to pay off a new computer or iPhone.
You’ll receive special financing for purchases made from Apple within the first 30 days of opening the account. After the first 30 days, all purchases will be given the standard APR of 15.99% – 28.74% Variable.
After using this initial deferred financing offer, you can contact customer support to request another deferred financing term for more purchases. You’ll then have 60 days to make purchases from Apple, which will qualify for deferred financing again.
The length of your deferred financing term will depend on how much you spend:
Total Amount Spent
Less than $499
$499 to less than $999
$999 and over
This financing offer will automatically apply to the total amount you spend at Apple during the specified time period, aggregating all of your purchases. The total amount spent will be used to determine the length of the term.
The deferred financing plans only apply to purchases made from physical Apple stores, the Apple Online Store, or 1-800-MY-APPLE. iTunes purchases do not qualify, and neither do Apple products bought from other retailers.
Take note that this is a deferred financing offer, rather than a true 0% APR offer. That means if you make a late payment or fail to pay back the entire balance by the end of the term, you’ll immediately be charged interest for the entire length of the term, going all the way back to the purchase date.
Say, for example, you buy a new MacBook Pro for $2,000, getting an 18-month deferred interest plan with a regular APR of 28%.
If your first month’s payment comes in late by just a day or two, you’ll immediately be charged interest at 28% APR for the full 18 months. That comes to $840 in interest! And that will be added to your balance right as you start paying it off.
Similarly, if you failed to pay off the entire $2,000 balance by the end of the term — even if you paid $1,999 and only had $1 left to go — you’ll be charged $840 in interest.
This is why deferred financing offers are so dangerous, and why we recommend using credit cards with true 0% introductory rates on purchases instead. They let you carry a balance at 0% APR, and there is no deferred financing; once the 0% period runs out, you’ll only be charged interest on any balance that remains unpaid. They can also be used anywhere, and don’t have purchase requirements to activate the 0% APR.
I used the Barclaycard Financing Visa’s deferred financing offer to buy a MacBook Pro years ago. I paid it off on time, and it didn’t cost me any more than the regular purchase price.
Deferred financing plans aren’t evil — they’re just a potentially costly way to pay for something. In many cases they work out fine, and people are able to pay over time for purchases that wouldn’t be affordable otherwise, without getting burned with extra interest. But it’s easy to make a mistake, and the consequences could be expensive.
Follow these three instructions to stay safe with deferred financing plans:
Divide the total balance by the length of the term (in months) to find the payment amount you should make each month.
Always make that monthly payment on time, and try to be early to allow for processing times (set up autopay to make this easier).
Pay off the entire balance by the end of the financing term (this should happen automatically if you make that payment every month).
Your statement will show a minimum required payment each month, but if you only pay this minimum amount you probably won’t pay back the entire balance on time. Don’t assume that if you just pay the minimum amount they ask for, everything will be fine. Many people have paid just the minimums, thinking they were doing everything right, only to find a leftover balance at the end which triggered the retroactive interest charges.
Instead of just paying the minimum, divide your total balance by the number of months in the term: that should be your monthly repayment amount. There is no penalty for early repayment, so you should do so if possible. Consider dividing by one less than the number of months in your term, which could help avoid potential problems by paying off the balance a month early.
If you took a deferred financing offer and now find yourself in a situation where you won’t be able to finish paying it off by the end of the term, consider transferring that balance over to a different card with a 0% interest rate. There are many great balance transfer credit cards, with long 0% periods that could give you 12 or 18 months to finish paying off the balance, or even more.
The benefits that come along with the card are pretty limited, especially if you’re issued the Visa Platinum version rather than the Visa Signature. And while there aren’t very many, most of them could prove useful, like being able to check one of your credit scores and travel and shopping protections.
Free FICO credit score: As a cardholder you can check one of your FICO credit scores for free whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report. You’ll also see the key factors affecting your score, such as if your revolving credit utilization is too high.
Price Protection: If you buy an eligible item and find it being advertised for less, you can be reimbursed for the price difference.
Warranty Manager: Eligible manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less can be extended by up to one additional year.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Eligible rental cars are covered against damage and theft when you decline the rental agency’s own insurance.
Global Assistance Services: 24-hour assistance with lost and stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement or cash advance, and more
$0 Fraud Liability Protection: You won’t be held liable for unauthorized transactions (contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud).
ID Theft Protection: Provides assistance if you believe you’ve become a victim of identity theft
Visa Signature Benefits
In addition to the benefits above, if you’re approved for a Visa Signature version of this card you’ll also get a variety of other perks. You may be approved for a Visa Signature if your starting credit limit is $5,000 or more.
If you get a Visa Signature card you may have access to the following benefits, among others:
Luxury Hotel Collection: At eligible hotels, get a $25 food and beverage credit, VIP guest status, automatic room upgrades, and more.
Concierge: A 24/7 personal assistant you can call for help with travel plans and reservations, shopping, and more
Fine Wine & Food: Invitations to exclusive dining events and wine tastings, as well as discounts at restaurants and gourmet retailers
Entertainment Services: Includes special offers for entertainment, sports, and cultural events
Travel Services: Special deals and discounts on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more
The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
15.99% – 28.74% Variable
15.99% – 28.74% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
3%, $5 minimum
5%, $10 minimum
Returned Payment Fee
Up to $39
Up to $39
The terms for this Barclaycard are simple, like any other credit card, except for the deferred financing plans described above.
Any purchases you make from Apple after the initial 30-day period will accrue interest at the rate shown above. All purchases from merchants other than Apple will get that rate as well.
But did you know that you don’t have to pay interest on credit card purchases at all? As long as you pay off your statement balance in full each billing period, you won’t be charged interest on new purchases.
However, if you’re carrying a large balance from a deferred financing plan, it won’t be feasible to pay the statement balance in full every month. If you’re using a deferred financing plan, you should just stick this card in the proverbial sock drawer and make payments each month to pay off the balance by the end of the term.
The Bottom Line
The Barclaycard Financing Visa® could be a good way to finance large Apple purchases. But overall this card doesn’t have a ton of attractive features.
Here are the main points to remember:
Use this card for the deferred interest financing at Apple during the first 30 days (or call to get additional deferred interest periods later on).
Don’t use this card to buy anything else! Just put it away in a safe spot (not your wallet or purse).
Divide your balance by the number of months in your financing term; that’s how much you need to pay each month to finish paying off the balance on time.
Set up autopay for at least that much so you never miss a payment.
If you make a late payment or fail to pay back the full balance by the end of the term, you’ll be charged interest for the entire length of the plan.
As long as you follow those guidelines and use this card responsibly, you should be all set to pay off your purchases safely. But remember that 0% APR offers are a much better deal than deferred financing.
The Barclaycard Financing Visa might be a good pick to help finance your next computer or smartphone, but there are quite a few other options to consider. See some alternative card recommendations below.
How Do I Apply for the Barclaycard Financing Visa?
You can apply now for this card by clicking the link below. You’ll first be taken to Apple’s website, where you must click “Apply at Barclaycard.” Then you’ll be taken to Barclays’ website to submit your information. You can also apply for this card in Apple stores.
After being approved, you’ll be given instructions on how to use the card to finance a purchase from Apple. You’ll be able to use it as soon as you’re approved, and approvals often take less than a minute. For online purchases, after linking your new card to your Apple ID, the card will appear as a payment option when checking out at apple.com.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Barclaycard Financing Visa?
It’s recommended for you to have fair credit for the Barclaycard Financing Visa Credit Card.
In order to qualify for fair credit, you’ll need credit scores that fall within the ranges of 580–669 for FICO and 650–699 for VantageScore.
Keep in mind credit card issuers look at more than just credit scores, too, so even if your scores aren’t within those ranges, you might still have a chance at being approved. But that could work against you too — even if your scores are above the recommended, you might not be approved.
Qualifications and Requirements
Must create an Apple ID
Must be 18 to apply
Personal identifying information: Including birth date, Social Security number, and phone number
Financial information: Total household income and source of income, monthly mortgage/rent payment
Although the following cards are better in various ways, most of them lack one important feature that the Barclaycard has: the ability to be used instantly upon approval. In most cases you can’t use general-use credit cards instantly after being approved, but you can with many store cards.
Maybe you need a new phone fast, or you don’t want to wait the week or two it could take to get your credit card. In that case you may need to go with the Barclaycard Financing Visa so you can apply and make a purchase today.
Amazon sells many Apple products, and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) provides more cash back for them than you’ll get from the Barclaycard. And you’re not limited to just Apple, you’ll get the same excellent reward rate for everything else you buy from Amazon. This card does not offer a 0% APR, however, so it won’t be a good option if you want to finance a purchase.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review) is a flat-rate cash back card, meaning it offers the same reward no matter where you shop. You can redeem those rewards easily, and you’ll also get a true 0% intro APR for quite a while.
You’ll earn 5% back on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and for travel purchased from Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also get 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, which of course includes Apple products. And like the Barclaycard, the Freedom is available as either a Visa Signature or Visa Platinum, with their respective benefit packages.
The Freedom Unlimited’s 0% intro period is on the long side for a reward credit card, and it will let you pay off some expensive Apple purchases for over a year without being charged interest. And this isn’t a deferred interest offer, so there’s no danger of retroactive interest charges being applied to the entire balance. Instead, after the intro period runs out, you’ll only be charged interest on any balance that remains.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review) is an excellent credit card for earning rewards at U.S. supermarkets. You’re probably wondering why a U.S. supermarket-focused credit card is good for buying Apple merchandise — but let me explain (hint: it has something to do with buying gift cards).
As you may know, there are hardly, if any, U.S. supermarkets that carry Apple products. But they do carry Apple gift cards, and you can get cash back on those.
So, here’s the basic strategy:
Use the Blue Cash Everyday to buy gift cards at U.S. supermarkets which can be used at a store that sells Apple merchandise, earning 3% cash back in the process (on the first $6,000 in annual purchases, then 1%).
Use those gift cards to buy whatever Apple merchandise you want.
It does add an extra step, and means you won’t get protections like purchase protection, return protection, or extended warranties on the Apple tech you buy. But if you’re looking for a way to earn some cash back on Apple purchases while still getting a good amount of time to pay them off, here’s a way to do it.
Take note that the purchase of general-use gift cards, like Vanilla Visa Gift Cards, may be counted as a cash advance rather than a typical purchase. Cash advances won’t earn rewards and will start to accrue interest at a very high rate immediately, rather than being subject to the 0% intro APR.
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card (Review) was designed for one purpose: to give you a very long time to pay off purchases or balance transfers. And that makes it a good option for buying expensive Apple gadgets.
It has a very long introductory APR offer for purchases and balance transfers, making it great for paying off large purchases over time.
The U.S. Bank Visa provides a strong alternative to the Barclaycard, which only offers deferred interest rather than a true 0% APR. You won’t have to fear retroactive interest charges. There’s also no spending requirement to get that long APR period, unlike the Barclaycard.
Free credit score: Cardholders can check their VantageScore 3.0 credit scores for free, based on their TransUnion credit reports.
Cell Phone Protection: Provides up to $600 in coverage against damage or theft of cell phones, when you pay your phone bill with the card
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental company’s own insurance to get coverage against collision damage and theft of eligible rental vehicles.
Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0%* for 20 billing cycles on purchases, then 14.49% - 24.49%* Variable
Annual fee: $0*
0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.49% – 24.49%.
Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2020 World’s Most Ethical Company® – Ethisphere Institute, February 2021.
No Annual Fee*
Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule.
Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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