It's about the perks

Apple Card Monthly Installments

Standard plan

Apple iPhone Payments

Through the Apple Card Monthly Installments plan, you have more flexibility when it comes to carriers. At any time, you can change carriers even if the phone isn't paid in full. You can also buy the device SIM-free.

From $29.12/month at Apple

Pros

  • No interest
  • 3% Daily Cash
  • No credit check if you already have an Apple Card
  • Can change carriers at any time

Cons

  • Limited to the US only
  • 24 monthly installments, can't upgrade until paid-in-full

The Apple iPhone Payments Plan allows you to purchase a new iPhone with 0% financing over 24 months. At your time of purchase, you designate the carrier you want. You can only upgrade or change your carrier if the phone is paid in full

From $29.12/month at Apple

Pros

  • Ideal if you don't want to upgrade each year
  • No interest
  • Still available: 3% Daily Cashback with Apple Card, when applicable

Cons

  • Can't switch carriers for the life of the loan
  • Requires a credit check
  • Available only in the US

Ultimately, the choice between using the Apple Card iPhone Installation program or traditional Apple iPhone financing is flexibility. The former gives you the flexibility of not being tied to a carrier. Additionally, if you already have an Apple Card, there's no further credit check required. The more traditional option is like any other loan, which requires completing all payments before you can change carriers. It also requires a credit check like other loans.

Nearly the same

iPhone SE 2020Source: Apple

If you already have an Apple Card, your best choice is to buy your new phone with the card and take advantage of the installment plan option. With this selection, you also aren't tied to a carrier and can switch at any time. The more traditional Apple iPhone payment option limits you to one carrier for the life of the loan.

Regardless, the price is the same.

Apple Card Monthly Installments iPhone Payment Plans
Cost Starting at $29.12/mo for iPhone 11 Starting at $29.12/mo for iPhone 11
Credit check No (unless you're new to Apple Card) Yes
Interest Zero, same as cash Zero, same as cash
Late fees charged No Yes
Loan length Not a loan; 24 equal installments 24 months
Upgrade time After 24 payments (unless paid off early) After 24 payments (unless paid off early)
Bank Goldman Sachs Bank USA Citizens One
Availability US only US only
Minimum age 18 18
AppleCare+ Optional Optional
Carrier Not locked to carrier at any time Locked to carrier
Eligible for Apple Card 3% Daily Cash Yes Yes
Devices you can buy with iPhone XR
iPhone SE (2020)
iPhone 11
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone XR
iPhone SE (2020)
iPhone 11
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max

Using Apple Card installments to pay for your phone means you are committing to paying 1/24 of your phone each month using your card. To do so, you must have enough spending ability in any given month to make the installment payment. The traditional payment plan shows up as a regular loan on your credit report. Each month, you make a payment, which brings down the total amount due. Neither program requires interest payments.

Carrier flexibility

Apple Card Monthly Installments

A great solution solution

In the US only, you can elect to by your new iPhone through Apple Card Monthly Payments. When you do, you don't need to select a carrier right away, and you can change carriers at any time. Still, you can't upgrade unless to make 24 equal payments.

A traditional plan

Apple iPhone Payments

Two years, one iPhone

The iPhone Payment Plan allows you to purchase a new handset using a traditional banking loan. Once the loan is paid, you can keep or sell it, and switch carriers.

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