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Kiplinger
Kiplinger
Business
Ellen Kennedy

Score a Free iPhone with Chase Credit Card Rewards Points

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Are you craving a free iPhone, MacBook, iMac or AirPods? If you have a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, you can purchase select Apple products using your points with an added value boost. This limited-time offer expires on May 31, 2024, while supplies last.

So, is the iPhone genuinely free? Technically, no, because you had to pay an annual fee for your Chase Sapphire Preferred® ($99) or Sapphire Reserve® credit card ($550). Still, this is as close to free as possible, especially if you snagged a sweet sign-up bonus on your card.

How to score a free iPhone

Here's how the program works. 

Chase's Ultimate Rewards points are typically worth one cent each for cash back. So, if you wanted to buy an iPhone worth $999 (not through the rewards program), you could redeem 99,000 points and then use that $999 cash redemption to purchase your phone.

If you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder, your Ultimate Rewards points are worth an additional 50% under the promotion. So, for example, instead of "buying" a $999 iPhone for 99,000 points, you could get that phone for 66,000 points when redeemed on the Chase rewards portal. 

If you are a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder or a Chase Ink Preferred or Chase Ink Plus Business cardholder, your Ultimate Rewards points are worth an additional 25%. So, a $999 iPhone 15 Pro would only require 79,920 points instead of 99,000 points.

Log in to the Ultimate Rewards portal through Chase's app or website to participate in this promotion. Click on the "benefits & travel" icon, and then under "more," find the Apple® Ultimate Rewards Store®. Select the product you wish to purchase, ensuring you have sufficient points in your account, and finalize the transaction.

Source: Chase Bank, The Points Guy. Not all participating cards are listed. *Chase Ink Business Preferred and Chase Ink Business Plus cardholders are also eligible for the 25% boost.

Other Apple products

The program extends beyond the iPhone to AirPods, iMacs and other popular Apple products. The table below lists some examples. To see the full list of products, log in to the Ultimate Rewards portal. 

Source: Chase Bank. Not all participating cards are listed. *Chase Ink Business Preferred and Chase Ink Business Plus cardholders are also eligible for the 25% boost.

Is this really a good deal?

There are three potential downsides to this promotion.

First, you might be able to get more for your Ultimate Rewards points in other ways. For example, when you transfer your points to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program, you may get more than the 1.5 or 1.25 cents offered in this promotion. Some transfers will deliver over two cents per point, according to Bankrate. If you have a big trip coming up, you might pass on this promotion.

On the other hand, if you have accrued a lot of Ultimate Rewards points and don't plan to travel, this may be a great opportunity to spend your points on a tech gift for you or your family.

Second, could you purchase these new Apple products elsewhere for less? In some cases, you can come close. For example, the $29 AirTag is a helpful travel accessory that keeps track of your luggage. The AirTag one-pack is on sale at Target for $24.99. The "price" of an AirTag is still cheaper with the Chase deal; you pay the equivalent of $19.23 with a Reserve card and $23.20 with a Preferred card. 

However, you can't beat these Chase card deals for an unlocked iPhone or laptop. 

Finally, some customers have complained anecdotally that Chase uses a third party to finalize these sales, with poor customer service. There is no indication that this is a consistent problem, but it makes sense to purchase Apple Care with your product to be sure you are covered in case your product needs repair.

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