The company announced during its quarterly earnings call today (Oct. 30) that Apple Card owners who buy an iPhone from Apple using their flashy white credit cards will get 3% cash-back on that purchase and won't have to pay interest on their new phones for two years.
The benefits are essentially same as those offered as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program offered by Apple, but that requires financing through a third-party loan company, Citizens One. Every time you upgrade, Citizens One does a hard pull on your credit, which can be problematic for those trying to avoid hits to their scores. If you already own an Apple Card, that's the only hit your score will take. And just like the Citizens One loan, the iPhone charge on your Apple Card won't accrue interest for two years.
Buying the phone directly from Apple and putting the charge on your Apple Card simply eliminates the middle man. It also makes it easier to see how much you've paid off in the Wallet app since Apple will let you manage your monthly payments from there. And you'll get cash back — although 3% of $1,000 isn't much, it'll cover most of one month's payment.
Apple Card owners get 3% back on any purchase made in an Apple store, but the iPhone is the only product excluded from interest, which can exceed 20% APR for some credit card users.
Apple hasn't given an exact date for when the new offer will take effect, but if you've already waited this long to upgrade, there's no harm in waiting a little longer to take advantage of a good deal. Just be sure to check out our rankings of the best iPhones to help you decide which model to buy.