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It looks like Apple is sweetening the pot for Apple Card users this holiday season, offering double cash back on the purchase of most Apple products plus 24-month interest-free financing on new iPhone purchases.
While Apple teased the iPhone financing program earlier this year, there was no word on when it would actually be coming, and after the iPhone 11 lineup launched with nary a peep about the program, many Apple Card users just shrugged and forgot about it.
As of today, however, the program is going live in Apple’s retail stores across the U.S., and will allow any cardholder to purchase a new iPhone using their Apple Card and pay the balance back over 24 months with no interest. To be fair, the concept isn’t entirely new — Apple has offered an iPhone Upgrade Program for a few years now, but this required a bit more paperwork as it was backed by a 24-month instalment loan from Citizens One, and was subject to other terms and conditions that could make things a bit more complicated by hitting users with things like late payment fees.
By contrast, the Apple Card program simply requires users to purchase a new iPhone directly from Apple using their Apple Card, confirming they want to take advantage of the program by selecting “Apple Card Monthly Installments” as their payment option. However, if you already have an Apple Card, there are no applications to fill out or other hoops to jump through — it otherwise works like buying any other product, and Apple and Goldman Sachs will handle all of the details automatically behind the scenes. The purchase price of the iPhone will be interest-free for 24 months, and the monthly repayment will be automatically added to whatever other minimum payment is due each month. Users can also include AppleCare+ for their iPhone in the instalment plan, provided they purchase it at the same time as the iPhone itself.
Users will also be able to manage their instalment plan directly through the Apple Wallet app, which will show the remaining balance and the instalment history. The additional instalment payment due each month will also be shown right on the balance summary screen.
Since not every has (or wants) an Apple Card, Apple is also still offering the iPhone Upgrade Program with the same terms and conditions as before.
6% Cash Back on Apple Products
From now until the end of December, Apple will also be offering double the cash back on almost all Apple Store hardware purchases, which means that if you’re picking up anything from a new Mac to a new set of AirPods, you’ll get 6% cash back, rather than the normal 3%.
This will include purchases made in-person at an Apple retail store, but also purchases made on Apple.com or via the Apple Store app, and unlike the iPhone Upgrade Program, the full purchase price of a new iPhone on the Apple Card instalment plan will qualify for the 6% cash back if you make it before the end of December, since you’re putting the entire purchase amount on your Apple Card right away. After Dec. 31, you’ll still be able to take advantage of the iPhone instalment plan, but you’ll only get the usual 3% cash back.
Although Apple also offers 3% cash back on purchases made on the iTunes Store and the App Store, these are not eligible for the double cash back offer, nor is the purchase of AppleCare+. Basically, only purchases of physical hardware products at an Apple retail store actually count. Likewise, other retailers that Apple and Goldman have partnered with like Uber, Walgreens, and Nike are still only offering the standard 3% cash back.