Apple charges a premium for everything, so if you’re looking to save on Apple products, I’ll show you how to do it with these shopping tips most people don’t know about.
Or, you can look out for deals like free AirPods with a brand new MacBook Pro purchase. Otherwise, strategies like Apple price matching or getting a discounted price on older phones is your best bet.
Download the KCL app for more money-saving deals, tips, and coupons.
1. Check MacRumors Buyer’s Guides to save on Apple products.
Apple follows a product release schedule, which directly influences the prices of current and old generation Apple products.
If you’re not keeping tabs on Apple’s product calendar (and why would you be?), then check out MacRumors Buyer’s Guides to tell you if you should wait to buy a new iPad or grab it now.
Look for the color tab next to an item to determine if it’s the right time to buy:
- Gray: Neutral (not a bad buy now, but if you hold off you may see a discount in the future)
- Green: Buy Now
- Yellow: Caution (wait to buy as prices may drop on older versions)
- Red: Don’t Buy (item is going to be discontinued or replaced)
TIP: Bookmark the KCL Apple Deals page to keep track of all the Apple and iPhone deals
2. Does Apple price match? Not exactly.
When I say “price match” I mean that a store will match another store’s price to keep your business. Apple, however, doesn’t “price match” in a traditional sense, but they “price haggle” a little.
Here is how it works: If you find an Apple product at Target, Walmart, or Best Buy that’s cheaper than the product in the Apple store, show a salesperson in the Apple store. Apple will knock up to 10% off their retail price to attempt to get closer. (Don’t believe me? Check out this Reddit thread). They don’t “price haggle” with Costco or Amazon, though.
The downside is that while Apple will give you up to 10% off their own list price, they won’t match the competitor’s price and give a 10% discount like some retailers do in order to get your business. They throw you a disinterested crumb. But a crumb is better than nothing, I always say.
So if you’re looking at a MacBook Pro at the Apple store that sells for $1,799 and you find the identical model at Best Buy on sale for $1,499, Apple will give you 10% off $1,799, bringing the price down to $1,620. Still not as good as Best Buy.
3. Buy previous generation Apple products during Black Friday, after new generations are released.
Stores like Walmart, Costco, Target, and Best Buy offer older generation iPhones and iPads for a discount when Apple’s latest generation hits the shelves.
Look for the best deals in November, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In 2020, Walmart offered gift cards with an iPhone purchase, Target offered 24% savings on iPads and $200 gift cards with an iPhone X Pro Max purchase, and Best Buy offered up to 23% savings on an iPad Pro.
4. Use your Target RedCard and save 5%.
Create your own discount anytime you use your Target RedCard to buy Apple products that Target sells like iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
5. Purchase your Apple products through TigerDirect.
TigerDirect (MacMall ) is an Apple Authorized Reseller (AAR) which means you can get the same Apple warranties for your Apple products, plus you can save a few hundred dollars. Look for Open Box and refurbished items. Here’s a deal I recently found:
- TigerDirect: Apple Open Box 27″ iMac w/ Retina 5K Display – 10th Gen Intel Core i5 6C 3.1GHz, 8GB RAM, (reg. $1663.32)
- Apple: 27″ iMac w/Retina 5K Display, 3.1GHz 6-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM (reg. $1799)
6. Trade in your old Apple device for credit towards a new one.
Apple’s trade-in program gives you credit towards a new Apple purchase (or you can get an Apple gift card) when you trade in your old device.
For example, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to get when you trade in your old iPhone:
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: up to $500
- iPhone 11 Pro: up to $450
- iPhone 11: up to $340
- iPhone XS Max: up to $320
- iPhone XS: up to $240
- iPhone XR: up to $230
- iPhone X: up to $200
- iPhone 8 Plus: up to $180
- iPhone 8: up to $110
- iPhone 7 Plus: up to $110
- iPhone 7: up to $50
- iPhone 6s Plus: up to $60
- iPhone 6s: up to $30
If you want to trade in a laptop, desktop, iPad, or Apple Watch, just select your device from a list to see how much you can expect to receive.
7. Save up to 10% at the Apple Education Store with your student or teacher discount.
College students and their parents, educators, school staff, and faculty (even homeschool teachers!) can get up to 10% savings on a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro.
To get the Apple student discount, shop the Apple Education store. When you shop online, you might not have to provide proof that you’re in college, but in the Apple store, you will need to.
Apple says to be prepared to present proof that you qualify (like a transcript) when you’re shopping online.
PRO TIP: Active duty military and veterans can get a 10% Apple military discount as well!
8. If you’re a government employee, get an Apple government discount.
The discounts aren’t steep on Apple’s government store, but still worthwhile. For example, I recently found a deal on the iPhone 12:
Final price: $587
9. Buy refurbished Apple products at Apple.com and save up to 15%.
Refurbished Apple products are used, but when you buy them from the Apple store, they’re tested and certified with a one-year warranty.
In theory, a refurb could end up being more reliable than a brand-new product because it’s been exposed to extra testing, making that refurb discount a great bargain.
10. Get 3% cash back when you use your Apple Card.
If you use Apple Card to pay for products at select merchants, like Exxon, T-Mobile, or UberEats just to name a few, you get 2% cash back for your purchase.
Plus, you’ll also get 3% off anything you purchase from Apple when using your Apple Card.
11. Look for a deal on iPads, MacBooks, and more at Apple Insider.
You can get up to 10% off Apple Products when you shop the deals section on Apple Insider.
These are coupons for new Apple devices offered by third-party sellers. Many come with Apple Care guarantees.
Be sure to sign up for the Apple Insider newsletter to get alerts when there’s a new Apple deal available.
12. Save 50% on AppleMusic if you’re a student, and get Apple TV+ free for a limited time.
Plus, you can enjoy Apple TV+ for free for a limited time with your new music subscription.
13. Get three months of Apple TV+ for free when you buy a new Apple product.
For a total of almost $15 in savings (it’s $4.99/mo). Check your eligibility to see if you qualify.
14. Grab free items during back-to-school promotions.
Students can scoop up a free item during back-to-school shopping when they buy an eligible item like an iPad or Mac. In previous years, Apple offered students Beats by Dre headphones; in 2021, students can receive a free set of AirPods with charging case, which regularly cost $159.99 through Sept. 27. Thanks to Dylan, a KCL reader for this tip. Don’t forget to use your 10% student discount!
15. Skip sales tax when you shop for your Apple computer during tax-free days.
Thanks to KCL reader Dylan for this tip as well. Shop for your Apple computer during a tax-free holiday and save some bucks. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has these special shopping days, take advantage of the savings. Here’s a list of states that held a tax-free holiday in 2021 for back-to-school shopping:
- Arkansas: Aug. 7-8
- Florida: July 31- Aug. 9
- Massachusetts: Aug. 14-15
- Missouri: Aug. 6-8
- New Mexico: Aug. 6-8
- South Carolina: Aug. 6-8
While Apple products aren’t cheap, plenty of savings options exist that can help take some of the sting out of their price tags.