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Maximizing points, miles and coverage with Apple’s iPhone 13

[The Points Guy] Maximizing points, miles and coverage with Apple?s iPhone 13: Tuesday, Sept. 14, marked the annual “iPhone day,” with Apple introducing its latest products, including the iPhone 13 lineup, redesigned entry-level iPads and the Apple Watch Series 7.
For a recap, be sure to check out seven of the top reasons why you might want to upgrade to the latest iPhone. With battery boosts, camera upgrades and expanded 5G availability, the latest devices should appeal to many, especially to those who are always on the road, including myself and our flight review team.
There are four new iPhones you might be considering for an upgrade:

iPhone 13 Mini, starting at $699
iPhone 13, starting at $799
iPhone 13 Pro, starting at $999
iPhone 13 Pro Max, starting at $1,099

Preorders and in-store purchases
All four iPhones will be available to purchase on Sept. 24, but you can preorder your device directly through Apple as of 8 a.m. ET this Friday, Sept. 17. Preordering gives you a better chance of receiving your device on launch day.
Beginning on Sept. 24, you?ll be able to make your purchase at an Apple Store, through your carrier of choice (AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile) or through third-party resellers such as Best Buy.
Trade-in options
The new iPhones certainly aren?t cheap, but they can be far more affordable if you?re willing to trade in your current phone. Credits range from $30 for the iPhone 6S (2015) to as much as $790 if you hand over last year?s iPhone 12 Pro Max.
You?ll need to make your purchase directly through Apple to take advantage of that particular offer, though third-party sellers may have similar promotions available.
Shopping portal bonuses
Typically, iPhones aren?t eligible for shopping portal bonuses shortly after launch, though that?s something to consider if you decide to make your purchase at a later date. It can also make sense to use a shopping portal aggregator like CashBack Monitor to easily identify the largest return.
Which cards to use
A number of Apple enthusiasts will almost certainly end up making their purchase with the Apple Card ? it?s not the worst option since you?ll be able to take advantage of introductory APR financing and earn 3% back if you purchase directly through Apple. But it?s not your best pick, either.
Historically, I’ve made my Apple purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Though you’ll earn just one Membership Rewards point per dollar spent, worth two cents each according to TPG’s valuations, the card’s included purchase protection is a great insurance policy if I end up breaking or losing my iPhone.
Plus, as you’ll see below, Amex recently added ongoing cell phone protection to the Platinum card, making this card my top pick for iPhone purchases.
Ultimately, given the high cost of Apple?s latest smartphones, I?d focus on cards that offer purchase protection and extended-warranty benefits rather than those that offer the greatest return ? with one exception, which I?ll dig into below. Other top purchase-protection picks include:



 
Protect your investment
These days, some credit cards don’t just include purchase protection during the first few months after getting your shiny new phone. A number of cards now offer ongoing cell phone protection, so long as you pay your carrier bill with an eligible card that offers loss and damage protection.
Personally, I’d recommend using either The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Freedom Flex, both of which offer both purchase protection and cell phone protection benefits.

*On the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year in the categories of travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
Meeting minimum spend
It could make sense to time your large Apple purchase with the opening of a new card. This way, you’d be much closer to meeting the minimum spend requirement to earn a significant sign-up bonus. One of our top picks at the moment is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which is offering 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
I?ll run through some other top contenders below, and you can find a full list of top offers here. Just note that not all of these cards include purchase protection and extended-warranty perks, so if you?re looking to prioritize coverage over points, refer to the chart above.


Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best starter travel credit card

American Express® Gold Card: Best for dining at restaurants

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for travel credits

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best for small business travel

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for lounge access

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for earning miles at a flat rate

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Best premium hotel card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Best for airline rewards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Best mid-tier hotel card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card: Best for Alaska Airlines miles

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for American Airlines flyers

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card, and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
For more on this latest round of Apple products, see our story on the seven reasons why you might want to consider upgrading to Apple’s latest iPhones.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here
Featured photo courtesy of Apple. Contributing Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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