Mac mini 2018

If you've got your eye on the brand new Mac mini (that's an exciting thing to get to say), you might be wondering if the standard Apple warranty will be enough for your needs. If you're not sure about Apple's standard warranty, there's always AppleCare+, which offers discounts on accidental damage repairs and extended service availability.

After all, whether you just got the base configuration of Mac mini ($799) or went all out on the hardware ($4,199), you've likely just spent not an insignificant amount of money on this machine. Apple's standard warranty is free, but limited, while AppleCare+ is another $99 on top of your purchase, but you enjoy extended support.

So which option is right for you? This guide holds the answer.

What is Apple's standard warranty?

Like every Mac, the Mac mini comes with a standard warranty that offers limited coverage:

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

If something isn't working right or your Mac's built-in apps aren't running as they're supposed to within the first three months that you own your Mac mini, you can call 1-800-APL-CARE and get help troubleshooting your issue over the phone.

If any part of your Mac mini fails in some way other than purposeful or accidental damage, including the RAM, storage, or power cord, Apple will repair or replace it.

For example, if the internal hard drive just fails in the first year, Apple will cover the cost to repair or replace it. If, however, you manage to step on the power cord of your Mac mini and send it flying hard into the wall, you're out of luck unless you have AppleCare+.

AppleCare+ extension

AppleCare+

For an additional cost, you can add AppleCare+ and get additional coverage for longer. AppleCare+ for Mac mini includes:

  • Three years limited hardware warranty
  • Three years technical support
  • Coverage for two incidents of accidental damage (subject to a service fee of $99 for exterior enclosure damage or $299 for other damage)

You'll get technical support over the phone, over text chat, and in-store at your local Apple retail store for three full years. If you're having software issues with any built-in apps on your Mac, or the operating system itself, you can call 1-800-APL-CARE for assistance.

If your SSD just fails after two-and-a-half years, AppleCare+ will have you covered.

So if you somehow launch your Mac mini off of your desk, and then later spill a lot of water on it, Apple will charge you either $99 or $299 for each of those incidents, depending on the type of damage the Mac mini sustained.

AppleCare+ service fee

If you go all-in with AppleCare+, your Mac mini is covered for two instances of damages caused by accidents, but there will be a fee, a hefty one in some cases. The standard service fee for accidents is:

  • $99 for external enclosure damage
  • $299 for other damage

How much does AppleCare+ cost?

If you want to purchase AppleCare+ protection for your Mac mini, you'll need to shell out an additional $99 on top of your purchase.

AppleCare+ vs. credit card benefits

Some credit card companies provide additional warranty protection when you make your purchase using their card. For example, American Express Gold has a decent warranty extension for up to five years in most U.S. states. Each credit card company is different and has different warranty benefits for some states.

If you like the warranty that your credit card company provides, it might be the alternative you need. Keep in mind, however, that credit card companies can't offer technical support, which is usually what Mac mini owners end up needing the most.

Check out your credit card company's warranty policy, and make sure you fully understand its benefits, before choosing it over AppleCare+

Who shouldn't get AppleCare+

  • If you're big into fixing your own computer problems, whether it's troubleshooting software or getting great deals on replacement parts. Keep in mind any modifications not done by an Apple certified technician will void any warranty (standard or AppleCare+) you have.
  • If you purchased your Mac mini with a credit card that has an extended warranty policy and you can take care of software issues on your Mac mini (your credit card company won't provide technical support), you can probably get away with not having AppleCare+.

Who should get AppleCare+?

  • If you feel better knowing that your Mac mini has coverage and that you can get support whenever you need it, you should get AppleCare+.
  • If "accident prone" is a kind way to describe how you move through the world, get AppleCare+. The repair fees are a lot less expensive than they would be outside of a warranty.
  • Your credit card company doesn't offer an extended warranty for purchases made with your card, or you don't trust that your credit card company can or will follow through on any coverage promises, choose AppleCare+.

See at Apple

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