The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.
The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card markets itself as every Apple enthusiast’s dream: it can help you finance the purchase of any new stylish and pricy Apple product at 0% interest.
If you’re a tech fan prone to splurging on Apple’s newest must-have unveilings each year, the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card can take you a long way.
The niche card’s biggest draw is it earns you 3 points for every dollar spent at Apple (select partners when you use Apple Pay), with every point worth one cent.You’ll also earn 2% on purchases using Apple Pay and 1% on every other purchase.
Instead of redeeming those points for cash, they’re redeemed in the form of Apple Store or iTunes gift cards, depending on your preference upon signing up. For instance, every 2,500 points gets you a $25 gift card to the Apple Store.
While all of that may sound tempting, the other perks don’t quite add up to card that’s ideal for the general consumer. The card has a variable APR that’s far too high for the majority of customers with broader spending habits, and the seemingly enticing introductory offer is misleading once you dig into the fine print.
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Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Apple Rewards Card – Benefits
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card – and whether or not it’s right for your wallet…
Considering how rarely Apple offers discounts or deals on its products, 3 points for every dollar spent on their products is fairly strong. You’ll also earn 2% on purchases using Apple Pay and 1% on every other purchase.
With retail prices for the new iPhone 11 pro reaching as high as $999, the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card’s rewards system can draw in the repeat Apple customers with relative ease.
Arguably the card’s biggest benefit is its rock-bottom annual fee of $0. That’s extremely competitive compared to other cards tailored toward rewarding specific shopping habits.
The biggest selling point of the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card is the introductory APR offer of 0%. This lets you defer (not waive – more on this in the next section) interest on qualifying Apple Store purchases, depending on how much you actually spend at an Apple Store.
The introductory 0% APR breaks down as follows:
- If less than $499 is spent, you have 180 days (6 months) to pay the balance with no interest.
- If $499 to less than $999 is spent, you have 365 days (1 year) to pay the balance with no interest.
- If $999 or more is spent, you have 540 days (roughly 18 months) to pay the balance with no interest.
However, the card’s introductory 0% APR isn’t exactly what it seems. Its loophole lies in the deferred interest, which could end up losing you a lot of money if you’re not careful.
Here’s why the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card’s deferred interest policy can actually be a drawback instead of a benefit…
Apple Rewards Card – Drawbacks
Here are the most important cons you should consider before applying to the Apple Rewards card:
Because interest is deferred instead of waived, you won’t owe interest on your purchase as long as you pay it off in its entirety during the 180-day, 360-day, or 540-day promotional period.
But if a balance remains after the promotional period expires, you’re retroactively charged interest on everything going back to the date of the purchase. That could end up being a much larger payment than you expected.
For instance, let’s say you buy that new iPhone 11 for $999 and begin the 0% APR period. If you don’t pay off that entire $999 purchase after 18 months, you’ll be stuck paying interest not just on that initial iPhone 11 purchase, but also on every Apple purchase you’ve swiped for going back to that initial iPhone 11 purchase. In other words, that $999 could turn into $1,100 or more, depending on your variable APR after the introductory period.
Speaking of which, the APR after the introductory period for the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card varies from 13.99% to 26.99%.
These variable rates are above the national average credit card rate near 15.96%, not to mention they’re extremely high for the majority of American customers who carry a balance from month to month.
But perhaps the most damaging drawback of the card may also be the most obvious: it’s just not good for everyday spending.
Because the card benefits you the most only when you carry the balance between six and 18 months, using the card for restaurants and other purchases can only end up hurting you.
While 2 points for every dollar spent at a restaurant may sound like a good deal, that $2 in rewards on a $100 restaurant bill could end up costing you $120 over 18 months. At the end of the day, it’s a bad tradeoff.
Alternatives to Apple Rewards Card
For tech lovers, several other cards offer similar rewards to the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card while also providing superior rewards on other spending categories.
One of the best alternatives is the My Best Buy Visa Card. The Best Buy card is a store rewards card that offers great benefits for big Best Buy spenders. This is a Visa card and the card is accepted everywhere Visa is, meaning you do not just have to use it at Best Buy.
Cardholders receive 5% reward for every dollar spent at Best Buy, 2% reward for every dollar spent on dining and groceries and 1% on all other purchases made with this card. For a limited time, Best Buy Visa Card also offers limited-time 3% rewards for every dollar spent on ground and air transportation and gas.
Customers loyal to Apple products can rejoice at the fact that Best Buy sells most Apple products at competitive retail prices, albeit without certain warranties that can only be attained through Apple Store purchases.
The Wells Fargo Propel card boasts a similarly easy and generous rewards program. Customers earn 3% rewards (or 3 points) for every dollar spent across most major purchase categories, including dining, entertainment, flights, hotels, car rentals, gas station purchases, and even media streaming like Hulu and Netflix.
The Wells Fargo Propel card doesn’t have an annual fee it and comes with an 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, your APR will be 13.99% to 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness
It also offers one of the most competitive sign-up bonuses out there: 20,000 bonus points (or $200 in cash back) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred is a cashback card that offers rewards on similar purchase categories. The Blue Cash Preferred Card has a $300 cashback bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
This card offers 6% cash back at grocery stores & streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at gas stations & transit , and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The 6% cash back at grocery stores does have a $6,000 annual spending limit.
This card has an annual fee of $95 and comes with an 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable APR, 12.99% to 23.99%. This card is different in that it is cash back and not points that are earned on spending.
Is Barclaycard Visa® with Apple Rewards Right for You?
Only the most loyal Apple customers may find the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Card worthy of a spot in their wallet.
But even if you’re prone to splurge on the new iPhone or Macbook, the card lacks a strong APR policy and offers very few side benefits, making it a average choice for a general-spending credit card.