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Apple Pay Later: 2024 Review

Updated on Jan. 9, 2024
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At a glance

4.4
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down
Availability
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
3.7
Affordability
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
5.0
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

About Bankrate Score

Apple now features a buy now, pay later (BNPL) function. Apple Pay Later breaks up a purchase from a partner retailer into four equal installments. Unlike some BNPL apps, Apple Pay Later reports your loan details — including repayment history —  to the credit bureaus. 

Moneybag
Loan amount $75-$1,000
Clock Wait
Term lengths 6 weeks

This buy now, pay later option is best for users who are comfortable with Apple Pay and are able to comfortably make the assigned monthly payments. 

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Apple Pay Later pros and cons 

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • No fees
  • Ease of use
  • Reports payment history to credit bureaus
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Only works with Apple devices
  • Unavailable in some states
  • Only available for online purchases

Best for Apple users

Apple Pay Later can be an easy process if you're familiar with Apple Pay and Apple Wallet functionality. Your total loan amount and details will be housed within your Apple Wallet and the entire payment process is similar to using Apple Pay. 

Do I qualify?

Apple conducts a soft credit check when evaluating your application and will look at a number of factors to determine approval. Among others, it says on its website that it'll consider your credit score, credit report and any past Apply Pay Later purchase history when determining your maximum loan amount. 

While financial minimums aren't explicitly stated, you must meet the following requirements to qualify for Apple Pay Later:

  • Be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Be a U.S. citizen with verifiable residency information and a valid address.
  • Have an Apple product (iPhone or iPad).
  • Have two-factor authentication set up for your Apple ID.
  • Update your Apple product with the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  • Have an eligible debit card connected to your Apple Pay account.
  • Be ready to verify your identity with a government-issued photo ID.

If your application is denied, it could be because you: 

  • Live in a state or U.S. territory where Apple Pay Later is unavailable. 
  • Are past due on a debt.
  • Have nonmedical debt in collections.
  • Have a recent bankruptcy.
  • Have recently had property repossessed.
  • Have a FICO 9 score lower than 610.
  • Have a Lift Premium score lower than 580.

How this lender compares

Apple Pay Later vs. Klarna

Klarna is similar to Apple Pay Later in several ways. However, Apple Pay Later streamlines the purchase process online, while Klarna allows you to pay-in-four while shopping in store. Klarna may be better if you're heading to a brick-and-mortar store, while Apple Pay Later is better for shopping from your iPhone or iPad.

Apple Pay Later vs. PayPal 

PayPal's pay-in-four option is a similar financing option that breaks up purchases up to $1,500 into four fixed installments. PayPal, like Apple Pay Later, doesn't charge interest for its pay-in-four option, and has a term length of six weeks. However, PayPal offers an extended repayment term of up to 24 months for purchases over $400. 

Earnest: In the details

What we like and what we don’t like

What we like

  • No fees: Apple doesn't charge any fees to use Apple Pay Later, including late fees.
  • Ease of use: Because Apple Pay Later is already built-in functionality, you won't have to navigate to a new site for several minutes to complete your purchase.
  • Reports payment history to credit bureaus: A history of on-time and in-full payments can potentially positively affect your credit score.

What we don’t like

  • Only works with Apple devices: You will only be able to use Apple Pay Later if you have an iPhone or iPad.
  • Unavailable in some states: Apple Pay Later is currently not supported in Hawaii, New Mexico or Wisconsin. It's also not available in the U.S. territories.
  • Only available for online purchases: Several BNPL providers have opted to integrate a digital card or a way to use pay-in-four at stores in person, but Apple is limited to just partner merchants online.

How to contact Apple

You can contact Apple at any time from your device. Once you are signed in to your Apple account, you can obtain support by phone, email or chat. Without signing in, you can also request a call immediately or schedule one at a later date.

Phone support is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET.

How to take out a loan with Apple Pay Later

For users familiar with Apple's interface, especially Apple Cash and the Apple Wallet feature, the process of applying for an Apple Pay Later installment plan is fairly simple.

Here's how to apply for payment installments through a partnering merchant's website:

You can also apply for a loan directly within your Apple Wallet, even if it's your first Apple Pay Later application. 

Apple Pay Later features and perks

Its mobile-friendly setup makes the app convenient for Apple users who regularly use their Apple Wallet. Plus, it's affordable when compared to its competitors that charge interest. It also doesn't charge any fees, although your bank may if you have insufficient funds to make a payment. 

As an added perk, Apple Pay Later includes a calendar tool that you can use to automatically track your payments, including one's you've made and your upcoming schedule. It breaks up the cost of your loan per day and alerts you when payments are due, making it easier to track multiple loan payments. 

Apple Pay Later frequently asked questions 

How Bankrate rates Apple Pay Later 

Overall Score 4.4
Availability 3.7 Apple Pay Later has a higher minimum financing amount than similar BNPL services, and it only offers one installment option.
Affordability 5.0 No APRs or fees are charged by Apple for using its BNPL service.
Customer Experience 4.6 Customer support is available by phone, email and chat, but Apple had several complaints filed against it with the CFPB over the past three years.

Methodology

The Bankrate team did a complete analysis of the features and services offered by the most well-known buy now, pay later apps in the industry. Then our experts developed a scoring system to rate these apps, focusing on three main areas:

  • Availability: We look at the minimum and maximum loan amounts offered by the apps, as well as the number of interest-free plans they offer. Apps offering more than one interest-free plan and those with the most flexible loan amounts rank higher in this category.
  • Affordability: We evaluate the APR ranges apps assess on purchases once the interest-free period ends. Additional fees, exclusive perks and discounts are also rated. Apps with the lowest APRs, fewer fees and more perks obtain the highest scores in this category.
  • Customer experience: Purchasing flexibility, as well as return, exchange and refund policies are vetted in this section. Mobile app rating, number of consumer complaints with the CFPB and customer support are also taken into account. Apps with more flexibility and lower complaints rate higher in this category.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.