Should you get AppleCare+ for your Apple Watch?

Do you need AppleCare+ for your Apple Watch or is standard AppleCare enough? Here's the deal!

For Apple Watch and Apple Watch Nike+, the free level of AppleCare includes a one-year limited warranty on hardware repairs and 90 days of free technical support. AppleCare+ extends the hardware warranty and technical support to two years and adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage — though there's an additional service fee for those. Apple Watch Hermès and Apple Watch Edition come with two years standard but can be extended to three years with the same two incidents. But is it worth it?

AppleCare vs. AppleCare+

Anyone and everyone who buys an Apple Watch or Apple Watch Nike+ from Apple automatically gets the standard level of AppleCare for free, which includes:

  • 1 year limited hardware warranty
  • 90 days of free technical support

Anyone and everyone who buys an Apple Watch Hermès or Apple Watch Edition from Apple also automatically gets the standard level of AppleCare for free, though it lasts much longer:

  • 2 years limited hardware warranty
  • 2 years of free technical support

That means, if you run into problems setting up or using your Apple Watch during the first three months of ownership (two years for Apple Watch Hermès or Edition), you can call 1-800-APL-CARE and they'll help you troubleshoot. If any part of the device fails during the first year (two years for Apple Watch Hermès or Edition), and it's not due to accidental or intentional damage, Apple will likewise replace it.

For example, if the digital crown stops spinning or the screen won't come on, you're covered. If you drop it and break it or take it in the swimming pool and short it out, you're on your own.

Unless you have AppleCare+.

AppleCare+ extensions

For an additional fee, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Nike+ provides the following:

  • 2 years limited hardware warranty
  • 2 years of free technical support
  • 2 incidents of accidental damage (subject to a $69 service fee)

Apple Watch Hermès and Apple Watch Edition get:

  • 3 years limited hardware warranty
  • 3 years of free technical support
  • 2 incidents of accidental damage (subject to a $79 service fee)

This way, you get technical support from 1-800-APL-CARE for two full years (three years for Apple Watch Hermès or Edition), and if the strap mechanism gets stuck or the side button gets loose, and it's not due to accidental or deliberate damage, Apple will likewise replace it for two years (three years for Apple Watch Hermès or Edition).

But if it is due to accidental damage, like dropping and cracking the screen or soaking and shorting the electronics, Apple will still replace it, up to twice, for the cost of the service charge.

AppleCare+ service fee

If you use either of the two accidental damage incidents that come with AppleCare+, there's an additional charge. Currently, that charge is:

  • $69 for Apple Watch or Apple Watch Nike+
  • $79 for Apple Watch Hermès or Apple Watch Edition

Perhaps Hermès bands and ceramic are slightly more expensive to service?

AppleCare+ vs. credit card benefits

Some credit cards offer warranty extensions as an incentive to use them for major electronic purchases. For example, some cards will offer an additional year of coverage — provided by the credit card company, not the vendor — on any purchase made on that card. Some will even cover loss or theft, which is not covered by AppleCare+.

If you don't want to pay extra for AppleCare+ and don't mind how the credit card companies handle the extra year of coverage, it's something to consider. Just check your policy carefully and make sure you're fully informed about not only what they cover but how they cover it.

Who shouldn't get AppleCare+?

If you're tight on cash and simply can't afford it, if you consider yourself exceptionally lucky and have never had a new device fail or get damaged, if you have added protection from your credit card company or another source, or if you plan to buy additional or updated Apple Watches so frequently you doubt anything bad will ever have time to happen, then you might not want to get AppleCare+.

Who should get AppleCare+?

If you don't mind paying for peace of mind, if you often find devices fail on you or you're always dropping or otherwise damaging them, if you don't have or don't trust credit card company protection, or if you plan to keep your Apple Watch for more than a year, then you might want to get AppleCare+.

See at Apple

Still undecided about AppleCare+?

If you're still not sure whether you need AppleCare+, dive into our Apple Watch help and discussion forums. Once you decide, let me know what you decided and why!