2018 Apple Barclaycard Review – WalletHub Editors
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
The Verdict: The Apple logo is a strong signal of quality for many consumers and provides sufficient reason for some to buy anything. But should such logic apply to your choice of credit card?
No, especially since the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards, as the Apple Credit Card is officially known, doesn’t offer much in the way of Apple-specific perks. In other words, the card is more akin to the much-anticipated but less successful Apple Watch than the blockbuster iPod or iMac.
Assuming you have good credit, which is a prerequisite for approval, the best rule of thumb to use is that the more you spend on Apple products each year, including App Store and iTunes purchases, the more rewarding the Apple Barclaycard Visa will be for you. Its best feature, aside from the absence of an annual fee, is the ability to earn the equivalent of 3% cash back on Apple purchases. You will also earn 2% back at restaurants and 1% back everywhere else, but such earning rates are easily obtainable from other cards with better overall terms.
Finally, it’s important to note that people often are drawn to this card by its 0% financing for six to 18 months on Apple purchases, depending on the purchase amount, without realizing that the offer includes a dangerous feature called “deferred interest”. Between that and a regular APR that could be one of the highest on the market, it’s best to look elsewhere if you won’t be able to pay your bill in full every month.
If you’d like to take a closer look at the Apple Credit Card, we’ll break down its best and worst features in more detail below.
Up To 3% Back On Purchases: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on all Apple purchases, including iTunes. If the average person spent his or her entire $2,482 annual entertainment budget with Apple, this would be worth about $74 per year.
Beyond that, you will earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else, the latter of which is slightly below the market average for a rewards credit card, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. Given that you will automatically receive a $25 Apple or iTunes gift card whenever you accrue 25,000 points, those earning rates equate to 3%, 2% and 1% cash back, assuming store credit is as good as cash to you. The downside to this arrangement is that gift cards cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.
- No Annual Fee: Without an annual fee to worry about, you won’t feel pressured into spending more than you ordinarily would or closing your account earlier than you’d like. This could in turn benefit your credit score, considering that account age is a contributing factor.
Deferred-Interest Financing: A 0% introductory financing offer can be quite valuable, enabling you to avoid interest charges and repay your balance sooner than you would with interest adding to what you owe. But it can also be quite dangerous when there’s a deferred-interest clause attached, setting the stage for interest to be retroactively applied to your entire original purchase amount if you pay your bill a day late or fall a dollar short in getting out of debt within the prescribed timeframe.
And the Apple Card’s interest-free offers — 6 months on purchases of up to $498.99; 12 months on purchases of $499 to $998.99; and 18 months on purchases of $999 or more — all include such a clause. That means you must approach them with extreme caution and the assistance of a credit-card payoff calculator.
Potential For An Extremely High Regular APR: Depending on your overall creditworthiness, the interest rate that you’re assigned ranges from a fairly low 15.24% to a very high 28.24%. The lowest of that range is a bit above the 13.98% average for someone with excellent credit while the highest is well above the 25.26% average for store credit cards, which you can typically get with limited credit.
In other words, don’t even touch this offer unless you can pay your bill in full every month.
Other Things To Consider
3% Foreign-Transaction Fee: Although some Apple products may make ideal travel companions, the Apple Credit Card is better left at home if you plan to travel abroad. After all, every purchase that you make in a foreign country — plus those made through international merchants when you’re in the U.S. — will be inflated by 3%.
More and more credit-card issuers are ridding their offers of such fees, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding an alternative.
Compared To The Competition
The Apple Credit Card isn’t the only credit card that can help you save on Apple products. With that in mind, we’ll show you how the Apple Rewards Card compares to some of its stiffest competition in terms of both rewards and financing capabilities. You can find the results in the following table.
Apple Credit Card
Best Buy® Credit Card
Amazon.com Store Card
GameStop Credit Card
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||10% back in rewards||$10 gift card||10,000 points|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 3 points / $1||0.5 - 2.5 points / $1||0 - 5% Cash Back||10 points / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||0% for 6 - 18 months||0% - 11.9% for 6 - 48 months||0% for 6 - 24 months||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Regular APR||15.74% - 28.74% (V)||26.99% (V)||27.49% (V)||28.49% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||3.0 / 5||4.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||1.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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