MacBook financing: 5 ways to pay for your next Apple computer

A woman seated at a table with a notepad and a calculator uses her new MacBook to take an online course.Image: A woman seated at a table with a notepad and a calculator uses her new MacBook to take an online course.

In a Nutshell

If you’re looking to finance a MacBook purchase, you may have a few options — from credit cards to personal loans to buy-now, pay-later services. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, including varying interest rates and fees.
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MacBook computers aren’t cheap, with retail prices from $1,000 to $2,000 or more for new models.

But if you can get MacBook financing, you don’t need that much cash on hand to bring home a new Apple laptop. You can pay for your computer over time.

Let’s look at some of the most common ways to finance your Apple MacBook, and when you might choose to use them.

1. Apple Card

If you’re a big fan of Apple and you have multiple Apple products, the Apple Card is worth considering. That’s because Apple Card offers up to 3% cash back on Apple purchases.

The annual fee is $0, and you can receive 2% cash back on other purchases if you use Apple Pay. (All other purchases earn 1% back.)

Under a special offer, you may be able to use an Apple Card to pay for your MacBook without being charged interest — but be sure to shop around before committing.

2. Traditional credit cards

More than eight in 10 Americans already have a credit card in their wallets, making this a convenient way to pay for a MacBook. When you swipe your card, you’re borrowing money to pay for your purchase — and you repay the balance over time, typically with interest.

There’s no set time frame for paying off your card — as long as you’re making the minimum payment required by your credit card company.

Credit cards can be a good option for MacBook financing if you think you can pay off your balance quickly. And if you use a card you already hold, you also won’t face the drop in credit scores that can come with applying for a new form of credit.

But interest rates on credit cards can be steep, and the longer you carry the balance, the more interest can pile up. You’ll also want to make sure you don’t risk going past your credit limit, or the maximum amount you’re allowed to borrow.

3. Store credit cards

Store credit cards are credit cards issued by department stores and other large retail stores. They  often have special promotions like interest-free periods and discounts for shopping in-store. Sometimes you can only use a store credit card in-store or at an affiliate of that store. In other cases, you can use store credit cards to buy things elsewhere.

If your credit isn’t great, store credit cards are often easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards. And if you make on-time payments on your store credit card consistently, that can help you build your credit scores.

But store credit cards can have higher interest rates than other options, and once promotions end, you may end up paying much more in interest than you were expecting.

A store credit card might be a good option for financing a MacBook if it’ll help you get a significant discount — and if you’re confident you can pay off your balance before any deferred-interest promotion ends.

Some store credit cards you might want to consider.

  • Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard: If you’re a fan of this big box store, keep in mind that you can earn 5% cash back on purchases made through
  • My Best Buy Visa® Card: If you’ve already got this card in your wallet or shop a lot at Best Buy, this card is worth considering since you’ll also get at least 5% cash back for purchases there.
  • Target RedCard™: If you’re a regular Target shopper and already have this card — or if you’ve been contemplating applying for it — financing your MacBook with it will save you 5%.

4. Buy-now, pay-later services

Buy-now, pay-later services essentially offer short-term installment loans, allowing those who qualify to buy an item online or in a store and then pay off the full amount over time. You can typically finance purchases up to several thousand dollars, which might be enough for the MacBook you want.

You may be able to qualify with only a soft credit inquiry. And you may not have to pay interest or fees if you make your payments on time, which can save you a lot of money.

Many large retailers, including Amazon, Target and Walmart, offer buy-now, pay-later plans, so you may have several choices for where to purchase your new MacBook with this financing option. Some common buy-now, pay-later services you may encounter are Afterpay, Affirm and Klarna.

Just don’t let the ease of buy-now, pay-later plans trick you into spending beyond your budget and buying more than you can truly afford.

5. Personal loans

With personal loans, you’ll borrow a fixed amount and pay it back within a certain period of time, making a series of set payments. Personal loans can be used for many purposes, and amounts usually range from around $1,000 to $100,000.

Your credit will be a big factor in the interest rate you might get for a personal loan. Keep in mind that some personal loans come with origination fees that eat into the amount you get.

Some personal loan lenders you might consider:

  • Upgrade: Upgrade may be a good option if you’re self-employed.
  • Discover: Discover may be worth considering if you want a lender that doesn’t charge an origination fee.

Next steps: Shop around to find your best option

Before committing to any MacBook financing, you’ll want to shop around to find the best deal.

Compare the interest rates, fees and terms you’re offered on credit cards, personal loans and buy-now, pay-later services in particular. You may qualify for several options, and spending a little time to review them might save you a significant amount of money.

About the author: Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations, including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington. In those roles,… Read more.