The world has come to expect amazing things from Apple. After all, this company has given us the iPod, iPad, Macbook Air, and reinvented half a dozen industries along the way. Apple’s stock continues to skyrocket, fueled by people buying millions of products every year.
Many of the products sold through the Apple website are financed through the Financing Visa offered by Apple and Barclays bank.
Apple and Barclays make money from this offer by essentially tricking their customers into hundreds of thousands of dollars interest on purchases through a series of hidden fees and trap doors that are only mentioned deep within the fine print.
The biggest catch with Apple’s “Special Financing” is the deferred interest promotion. Apple advertises 6 months of no interest for purchases under $999 and 12 months interest free for purchases over $999. Why pay now when you can just pay in a year and keep that money in the bank, right? Wrong.
What both Apple and Barclays fail to make apparent is that if you don’t pay your balance off in full by the end of this interest free period (or if you make a late payment), you are then charged interest on the full amount of your purchase from the date at which you opened up your account.
This means that if you were to finance a $2500 Macbook Pro, and failed to pay off your balance in full by the end of the 12 month intro period you be on the hook for almost $575 in interest (at a 22.99% APR) after just one year!
This MAJOR catch is only apparent for those who read the terms and conditions which are presented in small, greyed out font at the bottom of the page. It is pretty clear that Barclays and Apple are intentionally setting their customers up for this trap.
The lesson to be learned is that whenever you sign up for any financial offer, you should ALWAYS read the fine print – regardless of how much you “trust” the company you are doing business with.
This offer has been around for quite awhile and is far from what we’ve come to expect from Apple. At the premium that people are already paying for Apple products there needs to be a better option for those who want to finance their purchases.
This dirty little secret has run its course – now it’s time for Apple to step up and provide a more transparent solution for financing a new Mac.
==== About the Author ====
Kevin Fleming is a technology enthusiast and the founder of CreditShout.com. He is fascinated by the mobile payment revolution and enjoys writing about the impact that these new technologies are having on our society.