Review of the Barclaycard Visa® with Apple® Rewards Credit Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Nov 21, 2018 | Updated Dec 03, 2018

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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 Visa® with Apple Rewards Card, which is designed to help you pay for your next computer or iPhone (or anything else from Apple).

It provides 3X points per dollar at Apple and iTunes, which is the equivalent of 3% cash back. It also offers 2X points at restaurants.

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 Visa with Apple Rewards can be a valuable way to help you get that new Apple Watch, iPhone, or whatever you have your eye on.

Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card
Apply Now

Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.99%, 21.99% or 28.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 3X points per dollar at Apple and iTunes
  • 2X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • Rewards are automatically redeemed for Apple or App Store/iTunes gift cards
  • 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

Our Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars

We give this card 3 out of 5 Stars because it’s a mix of good and bad. It offers a decent reward rate at Apple and gives you time to finance purchases, but those rewards are a bit restricted and the financing offer is only deferred interest, rather than 0% APR.

Why We Like It

  • 3X points per dollar at Apple
  • 5,000 bonus points after making your first purchase
  • 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
  • Rewards must be redeemed for Apple, App Store, or iTunes gift cards
  • No special perks at Apple, like early access to sales or discounted products

The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards might be a good choice if you’re planning to buy an expensive computer or other hardware from Apple, but there are quite a few other options that could work better. Check out some of those alternative cards below.

Insider Advice: Getting The Most Out of Your Card

  • Use it for big Apple purchases: This card is designed to help you make big purchases at Apple, where you’ll earn 3X points, and gives you time to pay them off at no interest. The more you spend, the more time you’ll have to pay it off.
  • Follow the terms to pay over time: Purchases from Apple made within the first 30 days are eligible for deferred financing plans, with term lengths that depend on how much you spent. 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.
  • 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.
  • Redeem points for gift cards: You can redeem your points for gift cards for Apple or the App Store/iTunes, whichever would be most convenient for you. Redemptions are automatic once you reach the point threshold you set, and start at 2,500 points for $25.
  • 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 Apple Rewards Card?

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.

The Rewards

The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards can provide a maximum of a 3% cash back equivalent for Apple purchases, with a 2% cash back equivalent at restaurants.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar at:
    • Apple
    • iTunes Store
  • 2X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 5,000 bonus points after making your first purchase with the card

Cardholders earn 3X points at Apple and iTunes with this card, which includes physical Apple stores, Apple.com, and 1-800-MY-APPLE.

Take note that you’ll only earn 3X points at the merchants mentioned above; you won’t earn 3X points on Apple products purchased at other stores, like Walmart.

Every point is worth 1 cent when redeemed, so you’ll be earning a cash back equivalent of 3% for Apple products, and 2% at restaurants. This is actually a pretty good reward rate for Apple, compared to other credit cards, although it’s a fairly meager reward for dining.

This is the only credit card currently available with a bonus category for the Apple store itself, although you can find Apple merchandise at other stores which can be purchased with other credit cards (like Amazon, via the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature). That card would provide 5% cash back for Apple products, along with anything else from Amazon.

The 5,000-point bonus offer is easy to get — just make any purchase with the card, of any size. Those 5,000 points are enough for a $50 Apple gift card, a nice bonus that could make for a good gift.

Redeeming

The points you earn with this card are worth 1 cent each.

Those points will automatically be redeemed for a gift card once you reach a certain number, which you can specify. You don’t have to do anything yourself, the redemption will automatically take place after you receive a billing statement in which you earn a qualifying number of points.

You can set your preferences for one of two different types of gift card:

  • Apple Gift Card
  • App Store & iTunes Gift Card

You can also choose to get physical or digital e-certificates. Physical gift cards will take 7–14 business days to arrive, while digital e-certificates will arrive in your email inbox within 24 hours after receiving a billing statement which contains the rewards.

Physical gift cards are only available in $25 denominations (2,500 points), while digital e-certificates are available in denominations of $25, $50, and $100.

To earn 2,500 points for a $25 gift card, you’d need to spend $833.50 at the 3X rate.

The default setting is for physical Apple gift cards. But you can change this by logging in to your account and going to the “Rewards & Benefits Center,” then clicking “View my Rewards activity,” then clicking “Update.” Then you’ll be able to set new preferences, as shown below.

This redemption system can be a bit annoying. I used this card to buy a MacBook Pro a couple years ago and I’ve been sitting on 2,170 points ever since, which I can’t redeem. Eventually I’ll probably use the card again and will reach 2,500 points, but unless I do all those points are… pointless.

Changing the redemption options for the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card.

The Benefits

Deferred Financing Plans

The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards comes with a deferred financing offer, giving you an opportunity to pay off purchases over time at no interest. 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%, 21.99% or 28.99% 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 Term Length
Less than $499 6 months
$499 to less than $999 12 months
$999 and over 18 months

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. You’ll still earn rewards on any purchases that qualify for financing.

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 Apple Reward card’s deferred financing offer to buy a MacBook Pro a couple 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% 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.

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.

Many credit cards today offer a free credit score of some kind, although it’s a bit more rare to find on a retail store credit card. There are several ways to access some of your FICO credit scores for free, whether you have credit cards that offer that service or not.

Shopping Protections

  • 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.

Travel Protections

  • 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.

Other Benefits

  • $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

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.99%, 21.99% or 28.99% Variable 15.99%, 21.99% or 28.99% Variable 29.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0  3% 3%, $5 minimum 5%, $10 minimum
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $37 Up to $37

The terms for the Apple Rewards card 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.

You can check the terms and conditions here for the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards card.

Customer Support

Barclays Phone Support 1-866-928-8598
Apple Phone Support 1-800-275-2273

We’ve received many reports of poor customer support from users of the Apple Rewards card. Most of the complaints are about having a hard time dealing with customer service agents, or administrative errors that Barclays made, or problems making payments.

Although it’s difficult to say who exactly is at fault in these situations, it’s clear that many people have had issues with this card compared to others.

If you use this card be sure to completely understand the terms, especially regarding the deferred financing offer. Make your payments early, as soon as your monthly statement is generated if possible. And if you contact customer support about a serious issue, be sure to get any responses confirmed or in writing so you have a record to refer to.

The Bottom Line

The Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card is one of your few options for earning rewards at the Apple store, and it could be a good way to finance large Apple purchases. But overall this card doesn’t have a ton of attractive features.

The most valuable features are probably the ability to earn a 3% cash back equivalent at Apple, and that you can use this card for Apple purchases instantly upon approval. But there are other credit cards that can come close to that rate, or potentially beat it, and there are also cards you can use to buy Apple merchandise from other retailers.

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
  • Your rewards will be redeemed automatically for gift cards

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 Apple Rewards card 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.

Applying for the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards

You can apply for this card by clicking the Apply Now button 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 Apple Rewards card to your Apple ID, the card will appear as a payment option when checking out at apple.com.

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
  • Total household income and source of income
  • Monthly mortgage/rent payment
Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card
Apply Now

Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.99%, 21.99% or 28.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 3X points per dollar at Apple and iTunes
  • 2X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • Rewards are automatically redeemed for Apple or App Store/iTunes gift cards
  • 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

Alternatives to the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card

Although the following cards are better in various ways, they do lack one important feature that the Apple Rewards card 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, including the Apple Rewards.

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 Apple Rewards 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 Apple Rewards card (5% compared to 3%). 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 for purchases, however, so it won’t be a good option if you want to finance a purchase.

You’ll need an Amazon Prime membership to use this card. But if you don’t have one you can still get the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review), which offers the same reward rate as the Apple Rewards card.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back at:
    • Amazon.com
    • Whole Foods Markets
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Gas stations
    • Drugstores
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $70 Amazon gift card instantly upon credit approval

So you’ll get 5% cash back on the very wide variety of merchandise you’ll find on Amazon. New Apple computer? Check. New socks? Check. New toilet bowl nightlight? Check.

If you can find it at the Apple store, there’s a good chance you can find it on Amazon too. You’ll earn 2% more cash back with this card than you would with the Apple Rewards, and that can add up to a whole lot when you’re buying expensive electronics.

The latest iMac Pro starts at $4,999, not including tax. If you bought that with the Apple Rewards card you’d earn a 3% cash back equivalent, for a total of $149.97 in rewards. But if you bought that computer with the Amazon Prime Rewards card you’d earn 5% back, for a total of $249.95. You’d earn $100 more in rewards with the Amazon card, which would go a long way toward a fancy new pair of AirPods.

Benefits

The Amazon Prime Rewards card comes as a Visa Signature, so you’ll get the same Visa perks that are mentioned above for the Apple Rewards card. The Amazon card does not provide a free FICO score, however.

  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: At eligible hotels you’ll get a $25 food and beverage credit, automatic room upgrades when available, VIP guest status, and more.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call any time for non-emergency assistance, like help making dining or travel reservations.
  • Shopping Protections: Such as Purchase Protection and Extended Warranties.
  • Travel Protections: Like Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Roadside Dispatch, and several more.

Terms & Fees

You’ll pay no annual fee for the Amazon Prime Rewards card, but it requires an Amazon Prime membership ($119 per year for a standard plan).

If you apply for this card but don’t have a Prime membership, if you’re approved you’ll be given an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) instead. The basic Amazon Rewards card offers 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods, but the other terms are similar to the Prime Rewards card. If you ever cancel your Prime membership you’ll be downgraded to that card as well.

You won’t get a 0% APR with this card, so if you carry a balance you’ll be charged interest at a rate of 16.24%–24.24% Variable.

Read more in our Review of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

 

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited (Review) is a flat-rate cash back card, meaning it offers the same reward no matter where you shop. It offers less in rewards for Apple purchases than you’d get with the Apple Rewards card, but in return you can redeem those rewards more easily and you’ll also get a true 0% intro APR for quite a while.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months

1.5% cash back is only half of what you’ll get from the Apple Rewards card for Apple purchases, but this card is more flexible because it offers that same rate everywhere. So you won’t earn as much at Apple or restaurants, but you’ll earn more everywhere else.

Your cash back is easier to redeem with the Freedom Unlimited card as well. Where the Apple Rewards card requires you to redeem for Apple gift cards, locking you in to more Apple shopping, the Freedom Unlimited allows you to redeem your cash back for statement credits, as well as travel expenses, gift cards, and merchandise. So you can use your cash back to simply reduce your statement balance, which makes redeeming easy.

The Freedom Unlimited’s introductory bonus offer will provide $150 in cash back, which is $100 more than you’d get from the Apple Rewards card. But in this case you need to spend $500, whereas the Apple Rewards card just requires a purchase of any amount.

The best card for flat-rate cash back is the Citi® Double Cash Card (Review), offering 2% cash back for every purchase. But this card doesn’t have a 0% introductory purchase APR, so it’s only good for earning rewards, not financing purchases (it does have a long 0% APR offer for balance transfers, however).

Benefits

Like the Apple Rewards card, the Freedom Unlimited is available as either a Visa Signature or Visa Platinum. If you’re approved with a credit line of $5,000 or more, you’ll get a Visa Signature with enhanced benefits. Otherwise you’ll get a Visa Platinum, with basic benefits.

  • $100 Cash Back Referral Bonus: You’ll get $100 cash back for every friend you refer who successfully applies for the Freedom Unlimited, up to $500 per year.
  • Shop Through Chase: Earn extra cash back at select retailers via Shop Through Chase, like Saks, Under Armour, Macy’s, and the Apple store.
  • Credit Journey: Use your login details to access this comprehensive credit monitoring tool, which provides your VantageScore 3.0 based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Shopping Protections: Including Price Protection, Purchase Protection, Return Protection, and Extended Warranties.
  • Travel Protections: Such as Travel and Emergency Assistance Services, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, and Lost Luggage Protection.

If you’re approved for a Visa Signature card, you’ll also get the following:

  • Travel Accident Insurance: Provides up to $100,000 in coverage against accidental death and dismemberment when traveling by common carrier.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: If your trip is cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason, like sickness or severe weather, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000.

Terms & Fees

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee. It offers an introductory purchase and balance transfer APR of 0% for 15 months, followed by a regular rate of 16.99%–25.74% Variable.

That’s 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.

Read more in our Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

 

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).

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

It would be surprising to find a supermarket that carried any significant Apple merchandise. But they do often sell gift cards for stores that carry Apple products, like the Apple store itself or others like Walmart.

So, here’s the basic strategy:

  1. 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 purchases, then 1%).
  2. Use those gift cards to buy whatever Apple merchandise you want.

Ta da! You’ll effectively earn 3% cash back on your Apple purchases, as long as it’s your first $6,000 of U.S. supermarket spending, but it takes that extra step of buying gift cards. You can use this strategy to buy anything, as long as you can buy gift cards at a retailer where you’ll earn rewards. As another example, the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card (Review) provides 5% back on the first $25,000 per year spent at office supply stores, which includes Staples — and Staples sells a wide variety of gift cards.

There is a downside to this strategy, however. Most credit cards come with a variety of shopping protections, which often include Purchase Protection, Return Protection, and Extended Warranties. These can come in very handy if you have an issue with your purchase. But you won’t get these perks if you pay with gift cards instead of credit cards.

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 upgraded version of this card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express® (Review), is even better, offering 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%. But it also has a $95 annual fee, and its 0% intro APR period is shorter.

Benefits

The Blue Cash Everyday is an Amex rather than a Visa, so it has an entirely distinct set of benefits from the Apple Rewards card. Some of them will be quite similar, however, like the shopping and travel protections.

  • Amex Offers: A changing selection of merchants where you can get discounts or more cash back, like Dollar Shave Club, Pier 1 Imports, Wayfair, and Starbucks.
  • Entertainment Access: Provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events in big cities around the world.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner Membership: Enroll in ShopRunner, which provides free two-day shipping and returns at select online retailers.
  • Shopping Protections: You’ll get Purchase Protection, Return Protection, and Extended Warranties.
  • Travel Protections: Travel Accident Insurance, Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance, a Roadside Assistance Hotline, and a Global Assist Hotline.

Terms & Fees

There is no annual fee for the Blue Cash Everyday card.

You’ll get an introductory purchase and balance transfer APR of 0% for 15 months, and then a regular rate of 14.99%–25.99% Variable. This is almost as long as the 18 months you can get with the Apple Rewards card, but in this case it applies to any purchases you make, from any retailer.

That includes the gift cards mentioned above, so you can use this card to get a long 0% rate on any Apple merchandise you buy using them.

Read more in our Review of the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® and Blue Cash Preferred® Cards

 

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card 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.

Rewards

There are no rewards for using this card.

Benefits

There aren’t many benefits with the U.S. Bank Platinum card, but that’s not a big downside because this card isn’t intended for people who want luxurious perks. But it does have Cell Phone Protection, a relatively rare benefit that would go well with an iPhone.

  • 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.

Terms & Fees

There is no annual fee for the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, and it currently has the longest introductory APR offer for purchases and balance transfers available on any credit card: 0% for 20 months, followed by a regular rate of 11.74%–23.74% Variable.

That’s even longer than the longest deferred financing term of the Apple Rewards card, which also requires you to spend at least $999. But this 0% offer can be used for any purchase of any size, from any merchant — including Apple. And purchases will qualify for the 0% rate for the entire duration of the intro period, rather than just the first 30 days.

Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card
Apply Now

Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Card

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.99%, 21.99% or 28.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 3X points per dollar at Apple and iTunes
  • 2X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • Rewards are automatically redeemed for Apple or App Store/iTunes gift cards
  • 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
Didn’t find the the right card? There are plenty more to choose from. Check out our picks for other valuable cards in The Best Cash Back Reward Credit Cards.

Was this review helpful to you? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you use the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards, click here to leave your own reviewwe’d love to hear from you!

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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