Only diehard Apple fans should consider the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards.
Are you one of those Apple aficionados who lives for waiting in those long lines to get the latest iPad or iPhone?
Are you in the market to make a large Apple purchase?
If you've ever worried about how much your next trip to the Apple Store will bite into your budget, then you might consider the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards.
But if you've got room for the purchase on an existing credit card and have the funds to fully pay it off in a few months, a different card is probably the better way to go.
The Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards competes with the My Best Buy Visa Card
While many loyal customers head right to the Apple Store's Genius Bar for help with their Apple products, some may prefer the know-how of Best Buy's Geek Squad.
That's why the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards competes with My Best Buy Visa Card.
Both stores offer a full range of Apple products, but Best Buy also has a boatload of other tech products and accessories, not to mention a robust home theater department and a full inventory of home appliances.
So if your idea of an awesome shopping spree includes a handful of Blu-Rays, a smart TV, or maybe a new washing machine, then the My Best Buy Visa is the better option for your wallet.
How Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards compares to its top competitor
|Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards||My Best Buy Visa Card|
|How high of credit score do you need?||>600||>600|
|Average APR||14.99%, 20.99% or 27.99% variable APR, depending on creditworthiness||25.24% APR|
|How big of sign-up bonus do you get?||
$25 gift card for every 2500 points
6 months: less than $499
12 months: $499 to less than $999
18 months: $999 to less than $1499
24 months: $1499 and over
Special financing on certain purchases for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months, depending on purchase total
18 to 24 months on appliances and home theater
|How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?||A $833+ purchase will get you the $25 gift card. Plus, the more you buy, the longer you have to pay it off.||The more you buy, the longer you have to pay it off|
|How many points do you get for every dollar?||
3 points for every dollar spent at Apple
2 points for every dollar at restaurants
1 point per dollar for all other purchases
5% (2.5 points per dollar) for Best Buy purchases
3% (1.5 points per dollar) on gas and travel
1% (0.5 points per dollar) on all other purchases
|Any restrictions?||Purchases must be made within the first 30 days of opening card to reap no-interest benefits.||None|
|How much is a point worth in real dollars?||
Spend $100 on Apple purchases, and you'll earn $3 toward a $25 Apple gift card
Spend $100 on qualifying restaurant purchases, and you'll earn $2 toward your reward
Spend $100 on everyday purchases, and you'll earn $1 toward gift card
Spend $100 on Best Buy purchases, and you'll earn 250 points, or $5 in rewards (50 points=$1).
Spend $100 on qualifying gas and travel purchases, and you'll earn 150 points or $3 in rewards.
Spend $100 on everyday purchases, and you'll earn 50 points or $1 in rewards.
Another credit card to consider
It's important to note that although the Apple Store is a draw for many consumers, it's not the only place to buy Apple products or get special financing options on them.
Buy Apple—and everything else—on Amazon. Amazon lives up to the hype of allowing shoppers to buy virtually everything on its mega-site—including Apple products.
So it makes sense that techies would strongly consider applying for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card.
Unlike with the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards card, the Amazon Visa is one you might enjoy keeping in your wallet for the long term.
That's because you get:
- 5% back on Amazon purchases
- 2% on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% on all other purchases
You certainly can't do any of that with an Apple card, so this one is a no-brainer if you are an Amazon fan.
The Question Everyone Is Asking
Is the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards good for other purchases?
In a word, no.
Here's why: While you can use your card to make double-point restaurant purchases, keep in mind that the reward is a $25 Apple gift card once you hit the 2,500-point threshold.
That means you would have to spend $1,250 on restaurants to get a $25 gift card at Apple.
Now, if you happen to be a really disciplined Apple fan, you can save up all your gift cards to make a dent in the purchase price of your next big Apple product.
But when it comes down to it, $25 is just not enough to do much damage at the Apple Store (though you can get a haul at the iTunes store).
Brendan Harkness of the Credit Card Insider takes a harder approach on how to use the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards:
"Don't use this card to buy anything else! Just put it away in a safe spot (not your wallet or purse)."
He's got a point.
Don't forget that while interest is kicked to the curb with your new Apple purchase, it will be patiently waiting for you with any new purchases.
When it comes to carrying a balance, Brian Karimzad of the Magnify Money blog is less than impressed with the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards.
He says, "It's actually awful. That 2x points will earn you $2 in rewards on a $100 restaurant bill but will cost you $120 over 18 months. A terrible trade."
To be fair, few cards are kind to your wallet IF you carry a balance.
The Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards is strong because of its long no-interest period.
This is the one and only reason we encourage you to get this card: to take advantage of the super-sweet 0% financing deal for big Apple purchases.
First-time cardholders can save big thanks to no-interest financing for up to 24 months, depending on the purchase total.
Yes, you read that right:
If you qualify for this Barclay credit card, you will have plenty of time to pay off the bill for your Apple purchase without getting hit with any interest.
Keep in mind, we mean big purchases—not the newest iPod, but the newest iPad or iMac.
If you want to upgrade your home office, now's the time to do it:
The bigger your initial purchase, the longer you'll have to pay it off (up to 24 months).
But there's a rather huge catch, so read the next section carefully.
The Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards is weak if you can't pay off your purchase in the allotted time.
What would a credit card be without its fine print?
You'll want to sit down for this one.
Pay off more than the minimum. While the minimum payment is all you need to keep current with your 0% financing, make sure you pay off the entire balance within that time period.
Your best bet?
Take the purchase price and divide it by the number of months you have for special financing.
Don't miss a payment. Should you skip a month, pay late, or have a balance at the end of the special financing period, you'll get charged on the entire amount of your purchase, regardless of how much you've already paid off.
It's called deferred interest, and it's a doozy.
That's right—if you can't pay off the balance of your big tech purchase in the time allotted, you'll get charged the double-figured APR on whatever the initial purchase price was.
For example, let's say you go hog wild and upgrade your iMac purchase with a larger screen, more memory, and a new printer.
Your purchase price is about $3,000.
You diligently pay off the minimum each month for 24 months, but by that 24th billing cycle, you've got $500 left.
Unless you've got the money for a balloon payment at the end to pay off the balance, you will get charged interest on the full $3,000 until you are able to pay it off the leftover balance.
That's not what happens with a regular credit card, so if you opt for the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards, avoid the deferred interest trap at all costs.
Who It's Made For
You should get the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards only if you plan to make a major Apple purchase.
Technology is expensive.
If you're looking to add a shiny new desktop or laptop to your setup, it'll set you back over $1,000. (Heck, so will the newest version of the iPhone.)
Add to that accessories, upgrades, and extended warranties, and you're in for some sticker shock at the Apple store.
That's what makes the 0% financing on the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards so appealing.
As you might expect, with this kind of promotional financing, you must have good credit in order to win approval.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if the Apple card by Barclaycards is right for you:
- Do you have a FICO score in the low 600s or higher? If so, then you could be free to take a big bite of Apple.
- Do you like the idea of being able to upgrade your new iMac or iPhone because of no-interest financing? Yes? Well, it's basically the only perk of this card. Just be sure you have a plan to pay it off before the 0% interest financing fee runs out.
- Do you have the willpower to use this card for its biggest strength, pay it off, and then stick it in a drawer to never be used again? Then, give this card a shot.
The Card and the Company's History
Even if you prefer a PC, chances are very good that you've at least heard of the Steves—that's Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—behind that famous Apple icon.
But did you know there was a third man named Mike Markkula who was an investor and the company's second CEO?
Without him, Apple might not have been as big as it is today.
And Apple is pretty big.
For a tiny startup that launched in 1976, Apple has grown far beyond its days of the original Apple and Macintosh desktops.
Apple invented smartphones and apps.
The Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards will work best at Apple Stores and online at Apple.com.
You can order Apple products and iTunes music and apps online, so it makes sense that you can use your Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards credit card anywhere with a good internet connection.
But if you're in the market to test-drive your potential purchase—and want to have access to the Genius Bar when you need assistance—then make sure you've got an Apple store in or near your neighborhood.
Good news: There's an Apple Store in every state.
And if you live in one that has many retail outlets, such as California, New York, Texas, or Florida, then you probably have already found your local store.
How the Card Works
Whether you punch in your credit card number online to download iTunes or swipe away for that new iPhone at the store, you are just seconds away from special financing with your brand new Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards card.
Here's how the special financing works:
Depending on your creditworthiness and the size of your purchase, you'll have more time—up to 24 months—to pay it all off.
It's important to note that while the minimum payment is enough to keep you up to date with your special financing, it's NOT enough to pay off the entire balance in the time period.
So be sure to pay off more than the minimum balance each month, or set aside cash so that you can pay off the rest of the balance when the last month of the term rolls around.
Here's what else you can expect as a credit-card-carrying Apple fan:
Earn unlimited $25 gift cards with your first purchase. Every time you earn 2,500 points, Apple sends you a $25 gift card.
You can get one with your very first purchase—just ring up $833 or more, and you'll have 25 reasons to go back to the Apple store.
Save interest on a big purchase. Even the most expensive Apple product suddenly seems more manageable when you're given more time to pay it off.
The higher your bill, the more time you'll have—up to 24 months—to get that balance down to zero.
Avoid liability on fraudulent purchases. Should someone steal your card and go on an Apple spree of his or her own, you won't be held responsible.
Skip up two years of interest when you sign up. The more you purchase, the longer you have to pay it off, up to 24 months.
So go ahead and get the bigger screen!
Get 3 points for every $1 spent at Apple. Indulge your inner geek and get rewarded with 3 points per dollar spent at Apple.
So if you buy a new iPad Pro for around $700, that'll earn you 2,100 points.
That'll put you just 400 points shy of your next $25 Apple gift card.
Get 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants. You can take a break from the gadgets and get rewarded when you dine out.
Interest Rates & APR
Show off your FICO.Your chances of approval and qualifying for the lowest APR for this card are good if you've got a score in the low 600s and higher.
Honor the no-interest period. As we discussed earlier, you have to pay off your balance in time.
If you skip a payment or still have a balance after the time period is over, you'll get hit with deferred interest on the entire original purchase price—to the tune of 14.99%, 20.99%, or 27.99% based on your creditworthiness.
Choose another card for balance transfers. As of the publication of this article, there were no 0% balance transfer deals available.
You can still transfer a balance, but you'll do so at the mercy of a variable APR of 14.99%, 20.99%, or 27.99%.
Skip the cash advance. Use your debit card or ask a friend for a loan—unless you like paying a fee plus a 28.24% variable APR on that cash.
Be free from the fee. There's no annual fee—yet one more reason to love Apple.
Use your debit card for cash instead. Do not use this card at the ATM.
Cash advances carry a $10 or 5% fee, whichever is greater, plus a 28.24% variable APR. (Ouch!)
Pick another card for a balance transfer. There's no 0% interest option for any balance transfer, so don't even bother.
Don't miss a payment. You'll not only damage your credit score but also get socked with a $37 penalty fee. (Think about all the iTunes music you could buy!)
Ditch this card for international travel. This card will charge you 3% on transactions made abroad, so pack another.
Other fine print
Pay off other purchases. If you're using this card for purchases while paying off the big purchase, know that you'll get charged interest on those additional new purchases—at a rate of either 14.99%, 20.99%, or even 27.99%.
What People Love About It
People love this card because of the financing.
If you're tempted by the newest version of the iMac, iPad, iPhone, or other Apple product, then this card can give your bank account some breathing room while you pay it off.
So if you were worried about how to pay off that new iMac, you have up to 24 months to pay it off at no interest provided you pay at least the minimum each month.
You've got 30 days from opening your account to make the no-interest purchase, so no worries if you've got to wait for something that's on backorder.
Also, if you decide you want to add something else to your order, you're also covered.
Biggest Consumer Complaints
High-interest rates top the list of biggest consumer complaints about the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards.
We know what you're thinking: "Didn't they just say that this card comes with no interest?"
Yes, the card does indeed come with no interest for two full years.
But that's only if you pay your minimum payment every month on time, every time.
And you need to pay it all off within the time allotted, otherwise, you'll get socked with double-digit interest until you get to a zero balance—that's 14.99%, 20.99%, or 27.99% based on your creditworthiness.
As we said earlier, it's important that you do NOT miss a payment.
And also that you do your best to pay more than the minimum amount required each billing cycle so that you can pay off the entire balance by the end of the special financing term.
A good idea is to divide your full payment by 24 (if you're on the two-year payment plan) and pay off that amount each month until you're done.
Key Digital Services
The Barclaycard app keeps you on top of your Apple credit card activity.
You can always log on directly to the Barclay website, but for a tech-savvy person such as yourself, the Barclaycard app is the way to go.
You download it to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple watch.
You can also download the app to your Android.
We won't tell Apple, we promise!
The app allows you to keep an eye on your account while on the go:
- Check your balance
- Pay your bill
- Review transactions
- See your latest FICO score
- Set up account alerts
How To Sign Up
Apply online if you want the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards.
Visit the website, where you'll fill out an application and get a near-instant decision. If you have trouble with your application, call 866-371-4787.
Remember, you should be ready within 30 days to make your purchase at Apple, otherwise, you can kiss the 0% financing options goodbye.
How to Close Your Account
While you need to be mindful about the impact closing down a card can have on your credit score, unless you really love iTunes and want to use your card at restaurants and for everyday purchases to rack up those $25 gift cards, then we suggest you close the card as soon as it's paid off (or stick it in a drawer never to be used again).
To cancel, call 866-928-8590 and speak to a customer service representative.
Remember, there's no annual fee with the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards, so if you prefer, it's OK to keep it open until you pay down your balance.
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards
How can I cancel my card?
Call the number on the back of your card. If you no longer have your card, call 866-928-8590 for customer service.
What can I use my Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards for?
Though you'll probably use it most often for Apple purchases, you can use it for everyday purchases, too.
Where and what stores can I use my Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards?
You can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
How long does it take Barclay to refund my credit card?
It depends on the merchant's refund policy. If you don't receive one in due time, you can call the number on the back of your card to dispute a payment.
How can I check my Barclay credit card balance?
Log on to the website or the app.
How do I withdraw money from the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards credit card?
You can create a PIN for this card by calling customer service. Your PIN will allow you to use the card at ATMs.
Can I get a cash advance and are there any related fees?
The APR for cash advances is 28.24%, plus a charge of 3% or $5, whichever is higher.
Can I pay for my Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards credit card with a gift card, a different credit card, or PayPal?
No. You can pay your card with a check or direct debit from your checking account.
Can I use my Barclay credit card without the physical card?
Yes. If you're not in the store to swipe, simply keep your 16-digit number and your 3-digit security code handy for online purchases.
How do I add an authorized user to the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards?
Call 877-523-0478 to add a user.
Are there any upgrades on the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards credit card?
Yes. Upon approval, you will receive either a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature. It's not something you can opt for—it depends on your creditworthiness. The Visa Signature is for those with better credit.
How soon can I use my Barclay credit card once I receive it?
As soon as you call the number on the card or go online to confirm receipt of your card, you can start booking travel and shopping.
How do I contact Barclay credit card services?
How do I report a stolen Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards?
Can someone co-sign for a Barclay credit card?
What credit score do I need to get approval for the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards?
600 or higher.
What credit score do I have to maintain so my account is not closed?
While no score is required to maintain the card, some users have reported that Barclaycard has lowered their credit limit when other new credit cards are opened within six months.
If you keep your credit utilization low on all of your other cards, you should be fine with Barclaycard.
Will my credit score drop when my account gets closed?
Yes, so be sure you've got minimal debt on other cards because losing this credit line will lower your debt ceiling.
Which credit bureaus does Barclay credit card report to?
For credit card applications, Barclaycard pulls mainly from TransUnion.
Can I build my credit with the Barclay credit card?
Yes. This is a Visa that can be used anytime you want to charge a purchase, so you'll build credit every time you swipe.
Is there an expiry date on the card?
Yes, just as there is on any other Visa.
Is there a credit insurance program, and how will it cover me if I lose my job?
There is no credit insurance plan offered.
Should you have trouble making minimum payments, contact customer service before your payment is due to inquire about the possibility of a modified payment plan.
Can I have two credit cards from Barclay at the same time?
Yes. There are various other Barclaycards with bonuses and perks to choose from.
Can I transfer money from my Barclay credit card to another?
No. You cannot initiate a balance transfer from one Barclaycard to another.
Is it hard to get a Barclay's credit card?
Some Barclaycards require good to excellent credit, while other cards are ideal if you are establishing or reestablishing credit.
You can call the customer service number and discuss with an agent which Barclaycard is right for your credit history.
How long does it take to receive the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards once I have been approved for it?
You'll receive your card in about 7 to 10 business days.
Avoid a headache and skip the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards
This credit card review was written using a MacBook Air.
So it pains us a little bit to say that we're going to pass on this card.
Yes, it does offer double restaurant points and no annual fee, but the $25 gift cards are just not enough of a lure.
We'd spend at least that amount on iTunes without even thinking about it—and we'd much prefer to use a cash-back or travel rewards card to do it.
And yes, there is the 0% financing.
But the threat of deferred interest, where we have to pay interest on the entire Apple purchase regardless of how much we paid off, is going to keep us up at night.
We'd much rather put our purchase on a credit card with a higher interest rate and rest easier knowing that if we're late with a payment, we'll get charged on just the balance and not the entire purchase.
Sorry, Apple fans.
There are other, better cards out there—including ones with 0% balance transfer offers—for funding your next Apple purchase.
Since you're interested in Barclay cards, then you may want to check out these reviews and articles.
Do you use the Barclay Visa with Apple Rewards?
How has the card worked out for you?
Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below.