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The best credit cards for Apple purchases: Get more rewards and better protection than the Apple Card

If you’re purchasing a new MacBook or iPhone directly from Apple, you may think that the Apple Card is the best card to use on your Apple purchase. But if you use your Apple Card on your purchase directly from Apple, you’re missing out on benefits like extended warranty. You may also be missing out on better rewards or better financing offers.

These cards beat the Apple card for the best card to use on your Apple purchases.

Our quick recommendations: Prioritize extended warranty benefits, and then cash back.

When it comes to Apple purchases, two cards stand above the rest. In most cases, for most people, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card are the best cards to use on Apple purchases directly from Apple.

  • If you’re getting a new card: The current welcome offer on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® means you can get 3% on your Apple purchase, up to $20,000. The card awards 1.5% cash back on general purchases, plus an extra 1.5% back on the first $20,000 of purchases you make in the first 12 months of having the card. Plus you’ll get an extended warranty and purchase protection to boot.
  • The best card for Apple Pay is also the best card for Apple: The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is the best card to use for Apple Pay, thanks to the 3x points it earns (redeemable for 3% cash back or 4.5% travel rewards) on all purchases made using the card with a mobile wallet. That’s better rewards than the Apple Card, plus you’ll get extended warranty and purchase security benefits on the purchases you make with the card. If you use Apple Pay almost everywhere, this is a card that should be in your wallet anyway.

In some cases, our other recommendations might get you better cash back on Apple purchases for smaller purchases or if you have a banking relationship already established. But for most people, the two cards above will be the best cards for Apple purchases.

The best cards for Apple purchases

Maybe you’re looking for even more cash back. Some cards offer up to 6% cash back on Apple purchases. Or perhaps you’re looking for a card that fits into your existing banking relationships better. Here are the cards we like better than the Apple Card for Apple purchases.

Best for rewards and warranty: U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Quick take: Unless you’re buying your first iPhone, you can almost certainly use Apple Pay to pay for your Apple purchase. If you do, you’ll get better rewards (up to 4.5% toward travel) than the Apple Card and an extended warranty, which the Apple card does not offer.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

Annual fee: $400

Read more below.

Pros. Earn 3% cash back or 4.5% toward travel when you use a mobile wallet to pay at any retailer that accepts mobile wallets, including Apple Pay. $325 travel/dining credit. Extensive consumer and travel insurance benefits.

Cons. Annual fee. Maximum rewards require using mobile wallet to pay.

Learn how to apply.

Best for extended warranty and useful rewards everywhere with no annual fee: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Quick take: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an extended warranty and purchase protection, coupled with decent rewards on all purchases. But we like the card for Apple because it’s a good no-annual-fee card that we can use everywhere and the current welcome bonus means that you can earn rewards that match the Apple card for your Apple purchase.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art

Annual fee: $0.

Read more below.

Pros. Earns 1.5% cash back everywhere, plus 3% or greater rewards in select categories. Great welcome bonus. No annual fee. Extended warranty. Purchase protection.

Cons. Lower cash back rates on Apple purchases than some other cards on our list.

Learn how to apply.

Best for 5% cash back if you buy AppleCare: U.S Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Quick take: The U.S Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card can offer the most cash back rewards on your Apple purchase, but be aware that you won’t get an extended warranty with the card. Use this card if you would purchase AppleCare+ anyway.

U.S. Bank Cash+ card lets you select your categories each quarter.

Annual fee: $0

Read more below.

Pros. Earns 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose, including electronics stores. No annual fee.

Cons. No extended warranty benefit.

Learn how to apply.

Best for 6% cash back on Apple purchases: U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card

Quick take: The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card is a flexible alternative that can take the place of two store cards in your wallet—and earn more rewards than most store-specific cards. The card offers an attractive combination of double the rewards of the Apple Card and an extended warranty.

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card card art

$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95/year thereafter)

Read more below.

Pros. Earns 6% cash back on up yo $1,500 of purchases each quarter at two select retailers you choose. Purchase Security. Extended warranty.

Cons. Bonus rewards are capped. Annual fee.

Learn how to apply.

Best for Bank of America customers: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Quick take: If you have Bank of America Preferred Rewards at the Platinum Honors level, this card can earn you 5.25% cash back on online shopping with extended warranty benefits, possibly the highest rate of cash back you can get on Apple purchase.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card art

Annual fee: $0

Read more below.

Pros. Earn up to 5.25% cash back on online shopping or similar rewards in a different category you choose. (3% base rewards, plus 1.75x relationship banking multiplier.)

Cons. Earning maximum cash back requires keeping $100k on deposit with Bank of America to get Platinum Honors status in BofA Preferred Rewards.

Learn how to apply.

You’ll earn 3% base cash back on your chosen category, plus a 1.75x rewards multiplier if you have Preferred Rewards with Platinum Honors. The 3% and 2% rewards on this card are capped at a combined $2,500 of spending each quarter

Picking the best credit card for Apple: What to look for

Although the Apple Card offers an attractive 3% cash back rewards on Apple purchases, you can get better cash back, better consumer insurance protection, and even better financing with another card. Here’s what you should consider.

  • Extended warranty. The Apple Card doesn’t offer an extended warranty, making it a poor credit card to use for Apple purchases or, frankly, any electronics purchases. Many common rewards credit cards offer an extra year of warranty coverage just for using your card for your Apple purchase. Even if you forego rewards completely, you’re missing out on only $30 of rewards on a $1,000 Apple purchase to get another year of warranty coverage. Of course, Apple will happily sell you AppleCare+ for a few hundred dollars, which probably has something to do with the Apple Card not including this coverage.
  • Purchase protection. Theft and damage happen and can be especially expensive when it happens to something you just bought. If your new MacBook is stolen or your shatter your new iPhone’s screen, credit card purchase protection benefits can cover the cost to repair or replace your gear within 90-120 days of purchase. You won’t get this benefit with the Apple Card.
  • Rewards. Yes, you can get 3% cash back rewards on your Apple purchases with the Apple Card. Several cards with annual fees offer more rewards while providing extended warranty coverage. And some cards with no annual fee can give you 5% cash back or more on your purchase. Either way, you can easily earn better rewards than you will using the Apple Card.
  • Financing. Apple promotes 0% financing as a reason to get the Apple Card, but the length of the 0% APR promotional period varies by product and is 12 months or less on most products. You can get a better financing deal by opening a new card that offers an introductory APR on all purchases for 12 months or longer.

More on the best credit cards for Apple purchases

Here’s a bit more on the cards we like better than the Apple Card for Apple purchases.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card: Up to 4.5% travel rewards anywhere you check out with Apple Pay.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

What’s better than the Apple Card’s 2% cash back when you use Apple Pay? The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card offers 3x points, redeemable for 3% cash back or 4.5% toward travel redemptions when you check out with any mobile wallet. Even on purchases directly with Apple, you’ll earn rewards at least as good as what you’ll earn with the Apple Card.

If you use your points for travel, the Altitude Reserve is 50% more rewarding than using the Apple Card for Apple purchases, plus you’ll benefit from the card’s extended warranty coverage and purchase security benefits. Sure, AppleCare+ covers more things, but if you’re already getting damage and theft protection for free for 90 days and an extended warranty for another year for free from your credit card, paying the extra for AppleCare+ may not be worth it.

Learn more about the card in our review of the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $400

This is a direct bank link. All information about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card sign-up bonus

Earn 50,000 bonus points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can get a bigger welcome bonus with several other competing cards with similar annual fees.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
$325 in annual statement credits for travel and dining purchases.
Primary auto rental collision damage waiver.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Trip delay reimbursement.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Extended warranty.
Purchase security.
Return protection.

Rewards:
5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked with the Altitude Rewards Center.
3x on eligible travel purchases.
3x on mobile wallet purchases made with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay.
1x on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as points which can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent apiece, or toward travel at 1.5 cents each.

Learn more:
Learn more about in our review of the Altitude Reserve.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: 1.5% cash back rewards with extended warranty and no annual fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a good choice for Apple purchases thanks to its extended warranty and purchase protection benefits. And if you get the card under the welcome bonus that was available when this article was published, you could a total of 3% on your Apple purchase, thanks to the card’s a bonus 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 of purchases your first year.

But after you buy your new iPhone, you’ll find that the Freedom Unlimited is a useful card that you can use everywhere. We like it both as a single card to use everywhere or as an “everywhere else” card if you carry cards offering bonus rewards in categories. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee.

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in our guide to the card or read about the Ultimate Rewards® points you’ll earn with the card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer: Extra 1.5% cash back on $20,000 spent in the first year. (Annual fee: $0)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Better than the $200 after $500 bonus once you spend $13,334 in your first year. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. 3% at drugstores and on dining. 1.5% on other purchases. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

U.S Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: Up to 5% at electronics stores

U.S. Bank Cash+ card lets you select your categories each quarter.

If you plan to purchase AppleCare+, then an extended warranty benefit probably matters less to you. In that case, the U.S Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card can get you the most cash back on moderately-pricy Apple purchases.

With the Cash+, you can select two categories in which you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 you spend in combined purchases each calendar quarter. Selecting “Electronics Stores” as one of your categories is the key to getting 5% cash back at Apple. While U.S. Bank doesn’t publish a list of which merchants qualify as electronics stores, several reports from Reddit users indicate that Apple purchases are recognized as electronics stores.

Learn more about the U.S. Bank Cash+ card in our complete guide to the card.

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card: 6% rewards at select retailers you choose, including Apple

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card card art
U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card‘s signature feature is that it offers 6% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending at two select retailers you choose. And Apple is one of the retailers you can select.

The highest credit card cash back rewards available on purchases from Apple, coupled with purchase security, return protection, and extended warranty makes this the best credit card to use for Apple purchases under $1,500. You’ll earn double the cash back of the Apple Card and get essential protections for your gear.

While the card offers great rewards at Apple, we like that you can switch the select retailers where you earn 6% cash back. Target, Walmart, Amazon, and several home improvement stores are on the list of eligible retailers, so the card is quite useful even after purchasing your new Apple gear.

Learn more about the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card.

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee in the first year, then $95.

This is a direct bank link. All information about U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card sign-up bonus

Get a $250 bonus after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. And enjoy $0 annual fee the first year ($95/year thereafter).

The welcome bonus requires more spending than the best easy cash back welcome bonuses, but having 120 days to earn the bonus is nice.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
Extended warranty protection.
Return protection.
Purchase security.

Rewards:
6% on your first $1,500 of combined eligible purchases at two select retailers you choose.
3% on your first $1,500 of eligible purchases in one select everyday category you choose.
1.5% on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as cash back.

Learn more:
Learn more about the Shopper Cash Rewards in our review of the card.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Up to 5.25% cash back on online purchases with banking relationship status

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card art
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card can get you 3% cash back on your online shopping, assuming you select that as the card’s 3% category. If Apple.com purchases code as online shopping, you’ll get 3% cash back plus extended warranty coverage on your purchase. The Customized Cash has no annual fee.

But the card gets better if you hold $100,000 of assets with Bank of America, thanks to the 1.75x multiplier you’ll get on your rewards with the Preferred Rewards program. That multiplier can boost the card’s 3% rewards up to 5.25% cash back.

Be aware that the card’s base 2% and 3% categories’ increased rewards are capped at $2,500 in spending each quarter, so you get great rewards on most purchases. If you’re buying the most expensive Mac Pro, you’ll probably want to put the purchase on another card.

If you have Bank of America Preferred Rewards with Platinum Honors, it can be worth checking out our review of the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. But if you don’t hold a large amount of assets with Bank of America, the other cards on this list will be better choices.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $0

This is a direct bank link. All information about the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card sign-up bonus

$200 Online Bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

The bonus is about average for a card with no annual fee.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
Extended warranty.

Rewards:
3% cash back in a select category of your choice: gas and EV charging stations, online shopping/cable/streaming/internet/phone plan, dining, travel, drug store/pharmacy, or home improvement/furnishings.
2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
Bonus rewards in 2% and 3% categories are limited to the first $2,500 in spending each quarter. Additional purchases earn 1% cash back
1% cash back on all other purchases.
Rewards get multiplied by up to 1.75x depending on your Bank of America Preferred Rewards status.

Learn more:
Learn more about the card in our review of the Customized Cash.
Read more about the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best credit card to purchase an iPhone?

The best credit card to purchase your iPhone depends on where you are purchasing it. Use of the best credit cards for Apple purchases if purchasing directly from Apple. If you’re buying on Amazon, look at the best cards for Amazon purchases. Likewise, if you’re buying from Target or Walmart, credit cards that offer more rewards and benefits at those stores are likely to be your best bet.

How do I choose which card to use on Apple?

Picking which credit card to use on Apple is a matter of balancing your priorities. But the Apple Card is rarely the best card to use on Apple purchases. If you want rewards and extended warranty protection, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve or a new Chase Freedom Unlimited® are your best bet. If you need financing, you can likely find a card that offers a 0% introductory rate on purchases that is longer than what Apple offers through the Apple Card.

Is an Apple Card even worth it?

The Apple Card isn’t a great product. In most cases, you can find better rewards, better benefits, and better financing easily.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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