Apple Card Monthly Payments make it that much easier to buy an iPhone you can't afford

Plus you’ll get double cash back through Dec. 31.

iPhone 11 Pro
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

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Apple really wants you to buy a new iPhone 11 for Christmas. Aside from the usual trade-in discounts that knock up to $400 off the price, Apple is now offering interest-free payments with Daily Cash rewards for eligible Apple Card users.

It’s somewhat like an iPhone Upgrade Program for Apple Card. Like the previous program, which will still be offered for users who don’t want to apply for an Apple Card, monthly installments will spread the price of your iPhone purchase over 24 months. You can also opt to add AppleCare+ at the time of purchase. So if the thousand-dollar-plus price of a new iPhone 11 Pro Max is too much to bear, you can whittle it down to just $25 a month.

It’s unclear how upgrading will work once the iPhone 12 arrives, however. Under the Upgrade Program, users can opt for a new model once 12 payments have been made, but Apple doesn’t specifically spell out those terms here. Also, AppleCare+ isn’t a requirement like it is with the Upgrade Program, so there could be more scrutiny when handsets are exchanged. At any rate, you’ll at least be able to trade in your old model when the new one arrives.

However, there are some excellent benefits to the program. For one, the Apple Card interface makes it easy to see remaining payments but more importantly, you’ll get 3 percent back immediately on the full price of the iPhone. And if you buy before December 31, you’ll get 6 percent back. That’s as much as $87 back depending on which model you buy. Mind you, that’s not a huge savings, but it’s better than you’ll get with any other card and one of the rare iPhone deals you can get without signing up for a carrier plan.

While the monthly installments are currently limited to the iPhone, it seems likely that Apple will roll it out to other devices as well, such as the mega-expensive Mac Pro that’s launching this month.

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