Apple Watch Series 5 white ceramic

Apple Watch Series 5 hits store shelves on September 20. You can still preorder online or within supported apps, though shipping time has slipped to a few weeks in some cases. There are a few options for getting Apple Watch ASAP and here are the best ways available right now.

Best all around

Apple Store App

If the credit card you have set up with Apple Pay is the one you want to use to buy Apple Watch, the Apple Store app has a very convenient way of moving through the preorder process. You can quickly find the product you are looking for and add it to your bag with one tap. When you are ready to check out, if all of the information looks correct, You can simply tap Buy with  Pay and your order will begin processing. No fuss. No muss.

With the Series 5, you can customize your case material and size, and pick which band you want to go with it from the Apple Store app in the Apple Watch Studio. Just tap "Pick your style" and select from the available options. You don't have to buy the Sport band if you want the Sport Loop instead!

Bottom line: Use the Apple Store app if you are set up with Apple Pay and want to use that credit card to pay for your Apple Watch.

Get it in the App Store

Best for flexibility

Apple Online Store

Preordering through the Apple Online store offers the most versatile of payment options. Even if you have a credit card on file through your Apple ID, you can change it quickly if you have Safari Keychain enabled to auto-fill your information. The filter option user interface is a nice design upgrade, making it easy for you to see your selections at a glance.

Depending on what your local Apple Retail Store will have in stock, you might actually be able to pick yours up on launch day (there will be in-store pickup available in select Apple Retail Stores).

Bottom line: Because you can pay with an Apple gift card and change your credit card information without having to jump through hoops ahead of time, ordering online at apple.com is the best way to get your Apple Watch.

Shop Apple Watch

If you missed the preorder

In-person at Apple Retail Store

If you missed your chance to get your Apple Watch delivered to your doorstep on September 20, you still have a chance to put one on your wrist on release day, but it will cost you a bit of your time and a minor level of stress. You can take your chances that your local Apple Retail Store will have the Apple Watch of your choice in supply.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing ahead of time what each Apple Retail Store will have in stock. There will probably be a lot of each model, case size, and band style, but other Apple Watch fans might be a little more dedicated than you are to standing in line.

If you are willing to take this route, I recommend arriving a few hours before your local Apple Retail Store opens. First, find out whether the store will have special hours on September 20. Then, grab a blanket and a chair and be prepared to stand in line for a long time.

Although you will have a chance to get your favorite style Apple Watch by showing up in person, you should also have a second option in mind, in case your first choice is already sold out by the time you get into the store.

Bottom line: This is kind of a last-ditch-effort for getting your Apple Watch on launch day if you weren't able to get it preordered for delivery on September 20. It's worth it if you experience severe FOMO (fear of missing out).

Best third-party seller

Target

Target is accepting pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 5 right now. They currently only offer the Aluminum GPS-only, Aluminum GPS + Cellular, and Stainless Steel GPS + Cellular models, all in the 40mm/44mm sizes and their appropriate colors (Silver/Gold/Space Gray Aluminum or Gold/Stainless Steel/Space Black Stainless Steel).

Order from Target

Best Buy

Best Buy is also taking Apple Watch Series 5 pre-orders for the Aluminum GPS-only, Nike GPS-only, and Aluminum and Stainless Steel GPS + Cellular models.

Order from Best Buy

Bottom line: If you've exhausted your preorder options and don't want to wait in line at an Apple retail store, check with one of these third-party sellers, just in case. If you still have to wait to get your Apple Watch, you can, at least, use any store gift cards (or store credit cards) to help cover the cost.

Carrier options for Series 5 Cellular + GPS

If you're looking for a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch Series 5, you can always go to your carrier to get one as well. Here's what you need to know about ordering your Apple Watch through them.

AT&T

You can preorder the Apple Watch Cellular + GPS from AT&T paid in full, or pay it off in installments with 0% APR on a 30-month plan. Here are the models available and monthly installments for each.

  • 40mm Nike Series 5 with Sport Band for $16.67 a month
  • 44mm Nike Series 5 with Sport Band for $17.67 a month
  • 40 mm Series 5 Aluminum with Sport Band for $16.67 a month
  • 40mm Series 5 Stainless Steel with Sport Band for $23.34 a month
  • 40mm Series 5 Gold Stainless Steel with Gold Milanese Loop for $25 a month
  • 44mm Series 5 Aluminum with Sport Band for $17.67 a month
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel with Sport Band for $25 a month
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel with Milanese Loop for $26.67 a month

Order from AT&T

Verizon

You can preorder the Apple Watch Cellular + GPS from Verizon paid in full, or pay it off in installments with 0% APR on a 24-month payment plan. Here are the models available and monthly installments for each.

  • 40mm Series 5 Nike Space Gray Aluminum with Nike Sport Band for $20.83/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Nike Space Gray Aluminum with Nike Sport Band for $22.08/mo
  • 40mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Space Black with Milanese Loop for $31.24/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Space Black with Milanese Loop for $33.33/mo
  • 40mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Silver with Milanese Loop for $31.24/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Silver with Milanese Loop for $799 full price
  • 40mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Space Black with Sport Band for $29.16/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Space Black with Sport Band for $31.24/mo
  • 40mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Gold with Milanese Loop for $31.24/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel Gold with Milanese Loop for $33.33/mo
  • 40mm Series 5 Aluminum Silver with Sport Band for $20.83/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Aluminum Silver with Sport Band for $22.08/mo
  • 40mm Series 5 Aluminum Gold with Sport Band for $20.83/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Aluminum Gold with Sport Band for $22.08/mo

Order from Verizon

Sprint

Sprint now offers 24-month payment plans for Apple Watches. Here is what they offer.

  • 40mm Series 5 Aluminum with Sport Band for $10.42/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Aluminum with Sport Band for $11.04/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Nike for $11.04/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel for $33.34/mo

Order from Sprint

T-Mobile

T-Mobile is known for trying to help people with poor credit get a leg up. The company has two tiers of 24-month payment plans for the 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 Cellular + GPS (there doesn't appear to be a payment plan option for the 44mm model, but T-Mobile does sell it): good credit and average credit. Here are the models available and monthly installments for each.

  • 40mm Series 5 Aluminum for $20.84/mo
  • 40mm Series 5 Stainless Steel for $22/mo with $172 down payment
  • 44mm Series 5 Aluminum for $22.09/mo
  • 44mm Series 5 Stainless Steel for $22/mo with $222 down payment

Order from T-Mobile

Any questions?

Do you already have your first (and second) choice of Apple Watch picked out? How are you ordering? Let us know about your experience.

Updated Sept. 2019: Updated for Apple Watch Series 5

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