In 2019 Apple released its own credit card, known as the Apple Card, in response to an increasing number of people having difficulty paying for large purchases (such as a new Macbook Pro or iPhone). Rather than losing customers, Apple instead decided to take advantage of the “buy now, pay later” trend and launch its own version of credit.
The Apple Card has many perks that make it an attractive card, especially since it’s accepted at merchants other than Apple. When comparing it to an personal loan apr option, it’s typically more competitive, too, meaning it’s possible to get a better interest rate than standard loan rates, depending on your credit score.
Now, the Apple Card is offering a 3% cashback rate for customers who use it to purchase the upcoming iPhone 14, potentially saving you a lot of money. But what are the terms, and how can you qualify? Here’s what you need to know.
A primer on how your credit score works
Your credit score is a number that reflects your borrowing and repayment history, as well as other factors such as your debt-to-income ratio. It can determine whether you’re approved for a personal loan or mortgage and can impact your ability to get a car or house loan.
Three different bureaus monitor and score your credit: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. They each have their own ranking system, but your score will generally be between 500 and 850.
Generally speaking, the higher your score, the better. However, there are exceptions – for example, if you have a high amount of outstanding debt but a low credit utilization percentage (meaning you’re using less than 30% of your available credit), your score may be lower but not low enough that it deters lenders from offering you credit.
Credit requirements to get approved for an Apple Card
Luckily, Goldman Sachs (the bank backing the Apple Card) isn’t requiring applicants to have excessively high scores or income. The average credit score for Americans is typically around the 716 mark, so if you can get your score above 716, you’ll have an above-average likelihood of getting approved and utilizing the 3% cashback offer for your new iPhone.
What to do if your credit score isn’t high enough
If your credit score is below the 700 mark, you may want to consider taking steps to improve it. You can do this by paying your bills on time, avoiding any costly credit card debts, and maintaining a good utilization percentage on your available credit.
If you have a low or bad credit score, you may not be approved for the Apple Card even if you meet all other eligibility requirements. In this case, you’ll need to look into different credit options that better suit your needs and budget.
There is, however, one final option: the Path to Apple Card program.
How the Path to Apple Card Program works
The Path to Apple Card program is available to anyone whose application was denied for an Apple Card. The program offers customized steps to improve your credit score enough to help you get approved the next time you apply. If you successfully complete the program, you’ll receive an invitation from Apple to reapply for the Apple Card and have 14 days from the invitation to accept.
The bottom line
With the new iPhone 14 coming in around $1,300, it’s essential to save a few bucks where you can. Using the Apple Card can get you 3% off your new phone, saving you a lot of money, but you need to have good enough credit to get approved for the Card. Make sure you have a score over 716 to ensure your chances of getting approved.