There are plenty of online discount shopping sites that offer cashback rewards at Apple, and even a percentage of your referrals’ rewards (BigCrumbs offers 1.6% cashback at the Apple Store and Mr. Rebates offers 1% – read their special conditions). But one discount site that’s often overlooked is hosted at our credit cards’ sites. Whether it be points, miles, or cash back, it’s an easy way to earn on everyday purchases, not just large purchases.
After comparing different “shops,” I found that ShopDiscover (Discover Card’s shopping site) had the highest cashback rate for buying Apple products (5% cashback). Since I’m using my Open Road Discover card, I also get 1% cash back on all purchases, bringing the cashback discount to 6%. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you buy an $1,800 laptop, it’s a nice bonus. Plus, in your birthday month, you can get double cashback bonus on up to $500 of purchases (so you’ll get 2% for that $500 portion instead of 1%). Make sure you sign up for the Birthday Double CashBack Bonus promotion on the website or call Discover.
So here’s how I saved 15% on my new MacBook Pro…
- Log into your DiscoverCard account.
- Click on “ShopDiscover” and choose “Apple Store” from the drop-down box. Click “Go.”
- Choose “Start Shopping” and a new window will automatically open, taking you to the Apple Store’s website. Don’t close this window. If you browse away from the site, log back into your Discover account and start at Step 2 again, otherwise you might not get the 5% cash back.
- After ShopDiscover redirects you to Apple.com, click “Education Store” on the left-hand side of the page.
- You’ll be asked for a school name, but not for a student ID number or other personal info (I went to “University of Southern California”, zipcode “90089”).
- When you’ve entered your school name, you’ll be directed back to the Apple store. Click on MacBook Pro and the prices will now indicate a $200 discount for the two top-of-the-line MacBook Pro laptops and a $100 discount for the other three models. Select the model you want (note that other laptops and desktops also have discounted education pricing).
- If you’re not adding any custom options to the laptop, scroll down and take a look at the printers. Even if you don’t need a printer. It should state that there’s a $100 rebate on the printer. I chose the Epson NX420, which is listed at $99.95. And although you’re paying taxes on it, remember that you’re getting 6% cashback and can sell it for half price on Craigslist or eBay. Or give it to your ex so she can stick shots of your mug on her wall and throw darts at them.
- Check if there’s a free iPod Touch after rebate as well (or any other promotion). While you’ll have to front the money and pay tax on these items, you’ll get most of it back in the form of a cash rebate and what you make selling them afterwards will more than cover the other negligible costs.
- Click “Add to Cart” on the right and look for the Apple Care package (three years of service). The educational discount will get you $66 off this as well, and anyone who’s had to deal with Apple computer problems will swear by it.
- Click “Check Out Now.” Purchases of $50 and up qualify for Free Shipping but taxes still have to be added.
- Type in your iTunes or Apple ID and you’ll be taken to the checkout page (you can click “Guest Checkout” if you recently got out of the pen and don’t know what iTunes is). Once you’ve filled in your shipping info, the total should be displayed including taxes. So close…!
- Now, fill out your payment/shipping information. Use the same card that you logged into your Discover account with. In order to get the cashback, you have to pay with that card (sounds like a no-brainer, but then again, someone thought the world was flat not too long ago…).
- You’ll get your payment confirmation right away and your cashback bonus could take up to 8 weeks to appear in your Discover account. You can either apply your bonus as a statement credit in denominations of $50, or withdraw it in denominations of $50. You can also use it to buy gift cards (some at a 20%-50% discount).
- Fill out the online form for the printer and iPod Touch rebate (no more cutting off the box flap and mailing it in!). My laptop arrived the very next day, my rebate check about 30 days later, and the DiscoverCard cash bonus for shopping at the Apple Store showed up on my next statement.
$1,499.00 (Full Price)
$1,399.00 (Education Discount)
$249.00 (Full Price)
$183.00 (Education Discount)
Taxes (9.25% in CA)
$170.94 (On Full Price: $1,499+$99.95+$249)
$155.58 (On Discounted Price: $1,399+$99.95+$183)
Cashback (5% from ShopDiscover + 1% on all purchases with Discover Open Road)
Printer Rebate (From Apple)
Printer Sale (On Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.)
$1868.89 (Full Price)
$1586.61 (Discounted Price)
$282.28 (approximately 15.1% of the full $1868.89 price)
- If you don’t use Discover, make sure your card’s shopping site is for the Apple Store, not Apple iTunes.
- Make sure to read the terms and conditions before shopping – mine says it doesn’t apply to iPads (1 or 2, new or used), iTunes, gift cards/certificates, tutorial services, gift-wrapping, etc.
- To get the printer rebate (and iPod Touch rebate, if it’s available), you must buy a Mac and the printer on the same invoice.
- If you don’t have a student ID but you have a business or are thinking about starting a business, you can apply to Apple for a business owner’s discount. The discount is 10% off for life but you have to either call to place an order or go into the store, so while you’ll get the 1% cashback (or whatever your card gives you on purchases), you’ll forego the 5% you’d get from ShopDiscover or whatever site you would’ve used.