Why The Apple Store Black Friday Gift Card Offer Is Not A Great Offer


The Apple Store will again offer gift cards with certain purchases, but the exact values ​​will vary.


This story is a part of Christmas Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you find the perfect gift.

There is lots of discounts to get on Apple devices this Black Friday weekend, but the Apple Store is probably not the best place to find them. On Wednesday, the company unveiled its offerings for “The Apple Shopping Event,” which runs Black Friday for Cyber ​​Monday. As always, the Apple Store does not offer much in the way of discount prices on iPhones, iPads, Macs and AirPods – but it does offer gift cards.

The exact gift card amount each product will receive will vary, however Apple’s preview page is a bit misleading. As opposed to publishing the exact details, Apple has decided to hide specifications for certain parts of its product line by grouping them into categories. For example, AirPods can “get up to a $ 75 Apple gift card” if you buy a set of AirPods (second or third generation), AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max. The key phrase is “up to.”

Read more: The best Apple deals so far

When you look through it in small print, Apple has a handy table that reveals the actual offer details. If you buy regular second- or third-generation AirPods, you only get a $ 25 gift card, and AirPods Pro gets a $ 50 gift card. Only $ 549 AirPods Max qualifies for the full $ 75 gift card.

It’s even harder with accessories like the AirTags fire-pack. Usually sold for $ 99, Apple has this product placed in the “up to $ 50” gift card category. A quick look at it in small print shows that you are actually getting a $ 25 gift card.

While this is actually a pretty good deal on the 4-pack – which is not really discounted anywhere else at the time of writing – it’s not quite as good as Apple’s teaser makes it look.

Do you want an appointment? It pays to look elsewhere

Apple rarely ever gives a direct discount on its products. If you are instead looking for an offer on Apple products, it is better to shop at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Walmart or countless other retailers.

That Apple Watch SE is $ 60 off Best Buy while Apple only offers a $ 50 gift card. AirPods Pro has been regularly reduced to $ 159 over the last few days at Amazon and Walmart – Apple charges $ 249 and will only include a $ 50 gift card this weekend.

Even if you buy on an Apple card, which gives you 3% extra through cashback, you can still fall behind, depending on the product you buy.

Apple Store versus other retail savings


Gift card offers

Current savings

Apple Store “penalty”

MacBook Air M1 512GB

100 USD

$ 150

– $ 50

Apple Watch SE

50 USD

$ 60

– $ 10

Beats Studio Buds

25 USD

50 USD

– $ 25

AirPods Pro

50 USD

$ 90

– $ 40

Where Apple’s gift card deal might make sense

It’s worth noting that there’s a potential scenario where you can make the most of Apple’s holiday generosity: swap. Although the company does not always have the best exchange offers, its process is among the easiest and simplest ways when it comes to handing over old equipment and getting credit for it.

If you’re looking for an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac, you can swap your device, get credit for the purchase, and still get the gift card. The latter should be used for a future purchase, but all that said, this can quickly run up into a nice saving.

If you use the company’s education store (especially useful for finding official discounts on Macs and iPads) and the Apple Card, you may end up with some solid savings while disposing of your older machine properly.

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