About Barclaycard Visa With Apple Rewards
The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards is Apple’s store credit card and it offers ways to earn points you can redeem for purchases at Apple stores or at the company’s online store.
In many ways, the card is similar to Best Buy’s store credit cards and, because of that, the two cards should be compared to each other to find out which one offers the better value. We’ll do that later in this review.
As you determine whether or not you want to get the Apple credit card, there are a few things you should consider. First, how does the card’s rewards system work and how would it benefit you? Just because the card is the official Apple credit card doesn’t automatically make it the best choice.
Second, how does this card compare to other store cards and rewards cards? Answering this question gives you a sense of context you can use to find out how to save the most money and earn the most rewards on your Apple purchases.
You should also be concerned about the rates and fees this card has. Getting hundreds of dollars, a year in rewards isn’t such a great perk if you’re paying hundreds of dollars a year in interest, too.
We’re going to cover each of these topics in this review, using our credit card expertise and in-depth research to provide you with the most important information about the Apple credit card.
Rewards of the Barclaycard Visa With Apple Rewards
“Rewards” refers to the points you earn with this credit card whenever you make purchases. Those rewards grow over time and, when you hit 2,500 points, Apple sends you a gift card for $25.
A free gift card is always a nice perk, but what do you have to do to earn those 2,500 points? That’s where the rewards structure for this card comes into play. The card gives you a certain amount of points for each dollar you spend:
- 3 points for every dollar you spend at an Apple Store, apple.com or at iTunes
- 2 points for every dollar you spend at a restaurant
- 1 point for every dollar you spend on everything else
Here’s a typical scenario to help you understand how points work. You head to the Apple Store to pick up a new iPad and you pay with your Apple credit card. Your final bill after tax is $350, so you earn 1,050 points.
On the way home, you stop by Chipotle and spend $10 on lunch, which earns you 20 points. You notice that your car is low on gas, so you stop by the gas station and fill up for $50, which earns you 50 points.
You spent $400 on your afternoon trip to the Apple store. Total points? 1,120.
Over the course of the year, our research into national spending averages tells us that the average household could earn 20,000 points from everyday spending, around 7,200 points from restaurant spending and, if you buy one new iPhone a year, about 3,000 points from Apple purchases.
Based on our calculations, we believe that you could earn around 30,200 points a year with this card. As we mentioned earlier, Apple sends you a $25 gift card as soon as you hit 2,500 points. So, those 30,200 points are good for $300 in gift cards.
As a side note, when you fill out your application you’ll be able to choose which kind of gift card you get: iTunes or Apple Store. Your decision isn’t permanent, though. The application notes you can change your preference at any time.
We’d like to point out that store cards are designed to keep you shopping at their store. In this case, Apple meets that goal by providing you with gift cards that require you to return to their store or websites to make purchases. Many store rewards cards let you apply your rewards balance to your credit card statement, offering a little more redemption flexibility than what you get with the Apple card.
Up-Front Bonuses With the Barclaycard Visa With Apple Rewards
In the non-store-credit-card world, rewards cards will give you a sign-up bonus comprised of a big chunk of points. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great example. You get 50,000 points if you can spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Store cards work differently, though. Instead of giving you a lump of points, the Apple card gives you 0% deferred interest on purchases. How long that 0% period lasts depends on the size of the purchase. Here’s what’s available to you:
- 6 months of 0%: less than $499
- 12 months of 0%: $499 to less than $999
- 18 months of 0%: $999 and over
There are two things you need to know about this offer. First, it only applies to purchases you make within the first 30 days of being approved for the card. The 30-day timer starts the day you’re approved, not the day you get the card in the mail.
Second, the 0% offer is what’s known as deferred interest. Basically, Barclaycard is calculating interest on your purchases every month and, if you don’t pay your balance in full by the end of the 0% period, they’ll add all that interest to your balance.
This is standard practice for store cards; you’ll see the same thing happening with Best Buy cards, too.
The key to using the Apple credit card is self-honesty. Can you pay off the balance before the 0% period ends? If you can honestly say, “Yes,” then the card can work in your favor. If the answer is, “No,” then it may benefit you to use a non-store rewards card, which we’ll talk about in a few minutes.
Pro tip: iTunes purchases made in the first 30 days don’t get the special financing.
The Barclaycard Visa With Apple Rewards’ Rates and Fees
This credit card is similar to other store credit cards in that its highest interest rates are higher than average credit cards:
- APR for purchases and balance transfers: 15.49%, 21.49% or 28.49%
- APR for cash advances: 28.74%
- Annual fee: None
- Balance transfer/cash advance fee: 3%/5%
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $37
The card’s highest APR of 28.49% is at least 2% higher than the average rewards credit card. If your credit scores are below 680, there’s a chance that you’ll get this high APR. And remember, your APR is what’s applied to your promo purchases if you don’t pay them off by the end of the promotional period.
So, if you spend $999 on a new iPhone and you don’t pay off your balance at the end of 12 months, then Barclaycard will add about $285 in interest to that original purchase, making your iPhone cost you nearly $1,300 instead of the original $999.
To the card’s credit, its low APR of 15.49% is below the national average which, at the time of publishing, was just above 17%.
How the Barclaycard Visa With Apple Rewards Compares to Other Credit Cards
As we mentioned earlier, the Apple card is similar to the My Best Buy credit card in that you can use them both – and their 0% offers – to purchase an Apple product. The following chart will compare the two cards and will also include the Discover it cash rewards card.
|Apple Store Card||Best Buy Store Card||Discover it|
|APR||15.49% - 28.49%||26.74%||13.49% - 24.49%|
|0% offer||6, 12 or 18 months||6, 12, 18 or 24 months, depending on what you buy||14 months on purchases and balance transfers|
Taken at their face value, the Discover it card is the best card in this bunch because it offers more rewards, lower interest rates and doesn’t use deferred interest for its 0% offer. You also have the flexibility of using your rewards for your credit card balance; the Apple card limits you to using your rewards for future Apple Store or iTunes purchases.
The final main perk of the Discover card is that you’ll get double rewards your first year. For the average American family, that means a cash-rewards total of around $750 the first year they own the card.
As for the Best Buy card, our research shows that the Apple Card is the better option if for no other reason than the simplicity the card offers. Best Buy has three different credit cards and you won’t know which one you get until you’re approved.
Also, Best Buy has multiple financing options, both in length and in departments. Appliances, for example, get different financing than phones. And, keep in mind that these offers will change.
The Apple Card also has the advantage because consumers with good credit scores (700 and above) will most likely get the middle or low APR, both of which are lower than the Best Buy card’s singular APR of 26.74%.
To the Best Buy card’s credit, it offers 3% cash back on gas purchases. However, at the time of publishing, this was only a temporary offer and not a permanent rewards rate.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards
Based on our research, we believe the Apple credit card’s strengths are the low APR it offers for people with good credit and the fact that you can earn 30,000 points a year that are good for $300 in Apple gift cards.
We believe the card’s downside is that consumers with bad credit are going to get an APR that’s higher than the Best Buy card and one of the highest we’ve seen among store credit cards.
With all these things in mind, it’s our opinion that the Apple store credit card is a good fit for you if you have good credit scores, shop at Apple often, spend at least $3,000 a year at restaurants and have the ability to pay off your promotional balances before the 0% ends.
» See Also: Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2018