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As you have likely heard, Apple has announced details surrounding the new 5C and 5S iPhones. The lower-end 5C will cost around $99 for the 16GB version and $199 for the 32GB version (with wireless contracts). The higher-end 5S will cost around $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB version (with wireless contracts). Both versions will cost more if you are getting it without a wireless contract. The 5C comes in bright colors and the 5S will come with a better camera, faster processor, and fingerprint scanner, so I am sure a few Apple fans will “have to have it” as soon as it goes on sale September 20th (pre-sale for the 5C starts today). With that said, if you do decide to pull the trigger on one of these phones and are reading this site, obviously you want to earn as many miles or points as possible for your purchase.
Use a credit card that pays more than 1x:
An easy way to earn extra points on the iPhone purchase is to simply use a card that is going to give you more than 1x for the purchase. My favorite way to do this when buying new phones from my wireless service provider is to pay with my Ink Plus® Business Card or Ink Bold® Business Card and earn 5x Ultimate Reward points since cell phone charges are a bonus category on this card. Note that this may or may not work with your provider based on how the purchase is coded. It worked fine for me when I ordered online with AT&T in the past. Another option is to buy directly from Apple using the The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN that recently added Apple as a 2x bonus category effective on September 16th.
Shop via a shopping portal:
If you are buying direct from Apple, it seems to be currently stuck at 1x on the major shopping portals, but it is showing as 5% back via ShopDiscover. Of course, you can buy Apple products from several retailers other than Apple (Best Buy, Walmart, etc), so it pays to search for the shopping portal payouts of those other retailers as well. In fact, Walmart is advertizing they will even have lower prices for the iPhones! Be aware that pre-orders are often disqualified from many stores on portals, so double check the fine-print. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the 2,000 miles bonus mile offer from American AAdvantage shopping for spending $35 by 9/30, this could be a good chance to do so.
Buy gift cards with a card that pays a bonus:
Another option is to buy gift cards to the store where you plan to buy the iPhone at a grocery store, office supply store, gas station, etc. with a credit card that will pay a bonus at that retailer. For example, if you plan to buy your iPhone at Best Buy, then you could use a credit card that pays out a bonus at grocery stores to buy your Best Buy gift card at a grocery store. You could choose to use the Amex Blue Cash Preferred that gives 6% cash-back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
Ideally you will be using a combination of either a card that earns a bonus for your purchase (or earned a bonus when you purchased the gift card) in addition to going through an online shopping portal to maximize this purchase that I know many folks will be making.
I’ll be siting on my iPhone 5 for a while since I just got it a few months ago, but congrats to anyone who is getting a fresh new piece of technology!