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Credit Cards

Shopping Black Friday sales at Apple? Here are the best ways to pay

Use one of these payment methods when buying Apple products for that special someone this holiday.

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Shoppers in masks outside front of Apple flagship store
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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, 'tis the season for cashing in on those anticipated tech deals.

Whether you're gifting to someone else or treating yourself, Apple products are consistently hot holiday items. Many will use this time of the year to purchase the newest Apple gadgets, like an iPhone 13 or a pair of Beats Fit Pro wireless earbuds.

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While Apple typically doesn't discount its devices on its own website, last year the company held a four-day Black Friday event where customers could score a free gift card with select Apple products. Shoppers can also flock to third-party retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy for record-low prices on older version products of AirPods, iPads, MacBooks and the Apple Watch.

No matter where you are headed to make your techy holiday wishes come true, using the right credit card can save you big this shopping season. Here are the details of the benefits you should know about before you buy that next Apple product.

Apple Black Friday sales: Here's how to pay

Apple purchases can be made using a credit card, debit card, Apple gift card or through Apple's special 0% APR financing program. Credit cards have a big advantage, however, as cardholders can get rewarded for their purchases and can be eligible for benefits like return and purchase protection.

Here is a handful of the best cards to use when shopping Apple's Black Friday sales:

Best card to use for cash back and flexible financing

Apple Card

Information about the Apple Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties) on Uber and UberEats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on Walgreens.com, in T-Mobile stores, at Nike, at Exxon and Mobil stations and at Panera Bread, 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

     19.24% to 29.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    N/A

Terms apply.

The Apple Card is a go-to for Apple loyalists because of its cash-back program and flexible financing option.

Cardholders using the card to do their holiday shopping will earn 3% cash back (Apple calls it "Daily Cash") on goods or services purchased directly from Apple, including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties. This means you can quickly cut 3% from the full cost of new AirPods for your significant other or an iPad for your parents, if you purchase the products directly from Apple. The card also rewards you by offering 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases made online or in-store at participating merchants.

Most Apple products are big-ticket purchases, but the good news is cardholders can spread out the costs over two years with Apple Card Monthly Installments (ACMI). Choosing this payment option at checkout lets cardholders pay with equal payments over 24 months with no interest, and they'll receive 3% cash back on the purchase price of their new Apple product up front. You can read more about the Apple Card in Select's full review.

Best card to use for a high cash-back rate

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Information about the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose, 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center, 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations/EV charging stations, grocery stores or restaurants, 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and balances transferred within 60 days from account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 29.74% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

See rates and fees, terms apply.

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card offers a higher cash-back rate than the Apple Card. Cardholders can earn 5% cash back in two categories of their choosing, on up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases a quarter. Categories consist of "electronic stores," which includes Apple in-store and online purchases, as well as "TV, internet and streaming services," including most purchases made through the App Store, Apple Music and iTunes.

Best card to use for travel rewards and a high welcome bonus

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

If you want to use your holiday shopping as a way to help offset the cost of a future vacation, using The Platinum Card® from American Express for all your spending can help.

New cardholders earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Purchasing a few of Apple's costly items can take care of a good portion of that spending requirement, making it not too hard to reach within six months.

Cardholders can then cash in their Membership Rewards Points for a much-needed getaway. For the best redemption value, use your points for travel. You can book flights through Amex Travel or to upgrade your flight. In both cases, Amex cardholders can redeem points at 1 cent per point. Points can also be transferred to Amex's 21 airline and hotel partners — you can receive significantly more value this way.

This luxury travel card also comes with perks like TSA PreCheck®/Global Entry credits, airport lounge access, travel credits and more.

Best card to use if buying Apple products from Amazon

Prime Visa

  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership, unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 10% back or more on a rotating selection of products and categories at Amazon.com, unlimited 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members

  • Annual fee

    $0 (but Prime membership is required)

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

Third-party retailers can be a good option for finding Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals on Apple products.

Those doing all their holiday shopping online may want to consider getting the Prime Visa. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on all purchases at Amazon.com, and the card comes with a unique welcome bonus: Earn a $200 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.

Though you must be an Amazon Prime member to get this card, Prime delivery is arguably worth it this year with all the anticipated delays ahead of us. Prime membership includes free shipping (sometimes as fast as same-day delivery), access to Prime video and music, as well as to exclusive Amazon Prime deals.

Best card to use if buying Apple products from Target

Target RedCard™

  • Rewards

    5% discount at checkout on most purchases in-store and at Target.com

  • Welcome bonus

    Save $50 on a future qualifying purchase of $50 or more redeemable through Target Circle™. Offer available through Dec. 9, 2023

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    27.15% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    N/A

  • Credit needed

    N/A

See rates and fees. Terms apply.

Target often has a cult-like following, especially when it comes to finding good holiday steals. If you are planning on getting to your local Target store early on Black Friday for Apple deals, make sure you have the Target RedCard™ in your wallet.

This store card offers a 5% discount on every purchase made, excluding some items like prescriptions and Target Optical™ eye exams. (Read Select's full review of the Target RedCard for the complete list of exclusions.) Cardholders shopping at Target.com will receive free two-day shipping without the $35 minimum purchase amount required for non-cardholders, but upgraded shipping methods will have fees apply. 

Best card to use if buying Apple products from Walmart

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®

Information about the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery; 2% cash back on purchases in Walmart® stores, Murphy USA and Walmart® fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel purchases; 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart® stores for the first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    18.99% or 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 3% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fee

    N/A

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Opting for a nearby Walmart instead of a Target on Black Friday? The Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® is a good payment option. There is currently an introductory offer where new cardholders earn 5% cash back in Walmart® stores for the first 12 months after approval when they use their card with Walmart Pay, which is a quick and contactless way to pay with your phone at Walmart (after, earn 2%).

Otherwise, those using the card when shopping online whenever at Walmart.com will receive 5% cash back. This means that those signing up for the card for the first time can get 5% cash back on a new Apple product from Walmart whether they shop in-store or online this holiday season.

Shopping benefits to consider for Apple Black Friday sales

As you consider which credit card to use to make your Apple gift purchases, keep in mind these strategies to help you save when shopping.

Shopping portals

A shopping portal is offered by affiliates of a company to encourage customers to shop by offering them cash back, points or airline miles. With shopping portals, you typically need to visit a website, download a browser extension or use an app to earn rewards on your purchases. It's usually as easy as clicking through the shopping portal's website or app, which will redirect you to the retailer's respective website where you do your shopping as normal.

Rakuten, for example, is both an app and a browser extension that can help you earn cash back when shopping online or in person. To get started, connect your debit or credit card(s) to the app. Then, when you make a purchase from a brand within Rakuten's network (there are hundreds to choose from), you'll receive a certain percentage in cash back. The cash back gets paid out quarterly and can be a great way to make up for holiday spending.

You can use a service like Cashback Monitor to find a shopping portal that offers the rewards you want most (i.e. cash back, points or miles) and helps you find the best rates.

Credit card shopping benefits

After spending all that time and money holiday shopping, the last thing you want is your packages arriving damaged or, even worse, stolen from the doorstep.

Credit cards are a great payment choice because some offer purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty. A few credit cards that offer these benefits are The Platinum Card from American Express (which we mention above as the best card to use for travel rewards and a high welcome bonus), the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

BNPL with Apple

When you choose to shop directly at Apple with the Apple Card, you can pay off your purchases monthly at 0% APR by choosing the Apple Card Monthly Installments (ACMI) option at checkout. This payment option lets cardholders pay with equal payments over 24 months with no interest, and they'll receive 3% cash back on the purchase price of their new Apple product up front.

If you're getting an Apple product deal from a third-party retailer, many these days typically offer a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option for flexible repayment through services like Affirm and Sezzle. With BNPL loans, be sure to read the terms and conditions closely. You'll want to check the interest rate, when the payments are due and whether the service will report your loan to the credit bureaus so you'll know if it could affect your credit score.

Bottom line

If an Apple product is on the holiday wish list of someone you know, make sure you use the right credit card when shopping around. Tech products can be on the pricier end, but credit cards that offer cash back, flexible financing, travel rewards and large welcome bonuses can make them worth splurging on.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

For rates and fees of the Platinum card from American Express, click here

Information about Prime Visa has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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