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The best credit cards for Apple purchases

The tech giant’s new card offers 3 percent cash back on Apple products, but Apple shoppers have many other options

Summary

Whether you’ve been an Apple loyalist since the first generation Macintosh computer or you’ve been unable to resist the bandwagon and recently made the switch from PC or Android, these are the best credit cards for Apple purchases.

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The cult-like devotion to all things Apple is unwavering.

Line-ups for the newest generation of iPhone still round the block on release day and the faithful attend the company’s annual conference by the hundreds at the mere suggestion of a groundbreaking product announcement.

Whether you’ve been an Apple loyalist since the first generation Macintosh computer or you’ve been unable to resist the bandwagon and recently made the switch from PC or Android, these are the best credit cards for Apple purchases.

Apple Card

Obviously, you have to start with the namesake credit card. But this isn’t just your standard corporate branding. Apple seems set on changing credit cards in the same way it changed phones and personal computers. The card has features that may actually change the way people pay for things, while making their financial lives easier and more freeing.

Whether you get the actual titanium card or it just lives virtually on your phone and you use Apple Pay, the card’s whole infrastructure is inside an app and nowhere else. The cash back feature, known as Apple Pay Daily Cash, is very flexible. Redemption isn’t limited to a statement credit or a certain type of purchase, like travel, as it is with other cards. Instead, cash back functions like virtual cash that can be put towards any kind of purchase, including your bill, at any time you decide to use it.

Interest is estimated in real-time on the payment amount you’re making and the more you put towards your bill the less interest you pay. This allows cardholders to make more informed decisions about how much of their balance to pay down. Finally, anything spent on the card is organized into a robust spending tracker that color codes your purchases into categories so you always know how much you’re spending and on what.

Here’s a look at all the Apple Card features at a glance:

  • 3 percent cash back on all Apple products.
  • 3 percent cash back on T-Mobile, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Nike and Duane Reade purchases made with Apple Pay.
  • 2 percent cash back on everything else you buy using Apple Pay.
  • 1 percent cash back everywhere else.
  • Detailed spending tracker.
  • Cash back can be spent daily on any purchase, and there are no limits.
  • No fees.

Alternative: U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

One of the knocks against the Apple Card is it has no sign-up bonus. Altitude not only gives you a healthy sign-up bonus, but it also rewards you for using your mobile wallet and you can redeem points as you collect them, just like the Apple Card.

In some respects, it rewards you at a higher rate. While the Apple Card only gives you 2 per cent cash back for using Apple Pay, Altitude Reserve gives you three times the points for using your mobile wallet.

The $400 annual fee is very high, but you can offset it with up to $325 in annual statement credits for eligible travel purchases. However, you do have to be a U.S. Bank account holder to get this card, so it’s not for everyone.

  • 50,000 points ($750 in travel) when you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days.
  • 3X points on travel purchases and mobile wallet spending
  • $325 in annual statement credits from eligible travel purchases
  • 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes per year.
  • $100 TSA Precheck/Global Entry credit.
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access membership.
  • Real-time mobile point redemption.
  • $400 annual fee.

Alternative: Alliant Visa Signature Card

In the first year, the Alliant Signature Visa matches the highest cash back rate on the Apple Card and then gives you almost that much – 2.5 percent – the rest of the time on everything else you buy with no limits on reward redemption.

Meanwhile, for all the Apple products you’ll surely be buying, you get 90 days’ purchase protection and an automatic doubling of manufacturer’s warranties. However, the cash back can only be redeemed as a statement credit or into an Alliant savings account.

Here’s a quick summary of the card’s features:

  • 3 percent cash back on every purchase in the first year.
  • 2.5 percent unlimited cash back on every purchase thereafter.
  • No annual fee in the first year, $99 after that.
  • Purchase protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

American Express® Business Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold Card is the go-to Apple purchases card for the business owner. The welcome offer is generous and you can potentially get four times the points on Apple products if you spend a lot on computer hardware and software as your two bonus categories – that’s even better than Apple Card.

Plus, you can refund any purchase up to 90 days after you get it, and if it’s stolen or accidentally damaged, Amex will replace it up to 180 days after the incident. This is really important for those expensive Apple products.

See more features below:

  • 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 4X points on the two select categories you spend the most each month, including Apple hardware and software, for $150,000 in total purchases per year.
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • 25 percent bonus on points redeemed for eligible purchases through the American Express travel portal.
  • $295 annual fee.

See related: Use these credit cards to earn cash back at department stores

Alternative: Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

If you want flexibility in your business credit card, this is the card for you. It offers 3 percent cash back on a category you choose every month (matching the Apple Card’s highest rate) with one of the potential categories being computer services.

Its 2 percent at restaurants is also equivalent to the Apple Card rate for Apple Pay purchases. Plus, if you become a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member you will get 75 percent more cash back, which is about 5.25 percent per category, 3.5 percent on dining and 1.75 percent everywhere else.

The cash back rates on both the category and dining combined are up to the first $50,000 per year with 1 percent on every purchase after that.

Here are the perks, point by point:

  • $300 bonus statement credit when you make $3,000 in purchases in 90 days.
  • 3 percent cash back in a category you choose every month (gas stations, office supplies, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services or business consulting services).
  • 2 percent cash back on dining.
  • 1 percent cash back all other purchases.
  • Redeem for check, statement credit or direct deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases for nine billing cycles after account opening (then 13.74 percent – 23.74 percent variable APR).

Chase Freedom Unlimited

In the first year, the Chase Freedom Unlimited matches the Apple Card’s highest cash back rate, but does so on all purchases, not just Apple products. There is no annual fee and cash back can be redeemed for Amazon purchases, statement credits, checking and savings account direct deposits, gift cards and travel bookings through Chase Ultimate Rewards. (This offer is no longer available.) 

Meanwhile, your Apple products are protected with an additional year of warranty and it protects you on theft or damage up to $500 for the first 120 days.

Here’s the full breakdown:

  • An unlimited 1.5 percent cash back rate on every purchase
  • An additional 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases up to $20,000 in the first year.
  • No annual fee.
  • No minimum to redeem on cash back. 

See related: Cash in on retail reward programs for your small business

Alternative: American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Though the introductory bonus is modest and the unlimited cash back rate isn’t as high as the Amex Gold for Business, the Cash Magnet carries no annual fee and still protects your Apple products with a two-year extended warranty and 120 days of purchase protection against theft or damage.

Here’s everything it includes at a glance:

  • $150 back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
  • 1.5 percent unlimited cash back.
  • No annual fee.
  • Extended warranty coverage up to two years.
  • 120 days of purchase protection against theft or damage.

The Bank of America content in this post was last updated on Dec. 2, 2019. The information about the American Express Cash Magnet was collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Nov. 25, 2019 to reflect the addition of Nike as a 3 percent bonus category on the Apple Card. 

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Published: September 11, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: January 22nd, 2020
Business
15.01%
Airline
16.91%
Cash Back
17.32%
Reward
17.11%
Student
18.55%

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