With sleek designs, powerful performance, and an ever-expanding app ecosystem, it’s no wonder iPads remain one of the most popular tablets around. But with some models selling for $799 or more, the cost can be prohibitive for many buyers.
This leads some to consider monthly payment plans which break up the cost into more manageable chunks. But is this really the best approach? Let’s take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of paying monthly for an iPad.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Paying monthly for an iPad through financing plans like the Apple Card can make an expensive device more affordable. However, you’ll end up paying more overall with interest charges.
Monthly plans only make sense if you need flexibility or can’t afford the upfront cost.
The Benefits of Paying Monthly for an iPad
More Manageable Upfront Cost
One of the key benefits of paying monthly for an iPad is that it allows you to spread out the cost over time, making it more affordable upfront. Instead of shelling out a large sum of money all at once, you can make smaller monthly payments that fit within your budget.
This can be particularly advantageous if you’re on a tight budget and don’t have the means to pay for the iPad in full upfront.
Flexibility to Upgrade Frequently
When you pay monthly for an iPad, you have the flexibility to upgrade to a newer model more frequently. Technology is constantly evolving, and new features and improvements are introduced regularly. By opting for a monthly payment plan, you can easily trade in your current iPad for a newer version without breaking the bank.
This allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology and enjoy the newest features and functionalities.
Can Opt for Cellular Models
Paying monthly for an iPad also gives you the option to choose a cellular model. Cellular models allow you to access the internet and use various apps even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. This can be particularly useful when you’re on the go or traveling.
By selecting a monthly payment plan, you can choose a cellular model without having to pay the full price upfront. This gives you the convenience and flexibility of staying connected wherever you are.
Simpler to Budget For
Another advantage of paying monthly for an iPad is that it makes budgeting easier. With a fixed monthly payment, you can plan your finances more effectively. This allows you to allocate a specific amount towards your iPad each month, making it simpler to manage your expenses.
By knowing exactly how much you need to set aside for your iPad payment, you can better plan and prioritize your other financial obligations.
Drawbacks of Paying Monthly
While paying for an iPad in monthly installments may seem like an attractive option, it is important to consider the drawbacks that come with this payment method. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Pay More Over Time with Interest
One of the main drawbacks of paying monthly for an iPad is that you will end up paying more in the long run due to interest charges. When you opt for a monthly payment plan, the total cost of the device is usually spread out over a specific period, typically with an added interest rate.
This means that by the time you finish paying off the device, you may have paid significantly more than its original price. It’s important to carefully calculate the total cost of the iPad, including any interest charges, before deciding to pay monthly.
Never Truly Own the Device
Another downside of paying monthly for an iPad is that you never truly own the device until you have made all the payments. Until the final payment is made, the iPad is technically owned by the financing company or the retailer.
This means that you might not have the freedom to sell or trade-in the device until the payment plan is complete. If you prefer the flexibility of owning your devices outright, paying for an iPad in full upfront might be a better option for you.
Monthly Payments Add Up
While spreading the cost of an iPad over monthly payments can make it more affordable in the short term, it’s important to consider the cumulative effect of these payments. Monthly payments can add up quickly, especially if you have multiple devices or other monthly expenses.
Before committing to a monthly payment plan for an iPad, consider your overall financial situation and whether you can comfortably afford the monthly payments without compromising on other essential expenses.
Tips for Deciding if Monthly Payments Make Sense
When considering whether to pay monthly for an iPad, there are several factors to take into account. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:
Consider Total ‘True’ Cost
Before committing to monthly payments, it’s important to consider the total cost of the iPad over time. While spreading out payments may seem convenient, it can result in paying more in the long run. Take into account the interest rates, fees, and any additional costs associated with the financing option.
Calculate the total amount you would pay if you were to purchase the iPad outright versus the total cost of monthly payments.
Weigh if Flexibility is Worth the Extra Cost
One of the advantages of monthly payments is the flexibility it offers. Instead of paying a large upfront cost, you can spread the payments over a period of time. This can be beneficial if you prefer to manage your finances more easily or if you have other expenses to consider.
However, keep in mind that this flexibility often comes with a higher overall cost due to interest charges.
Look for Promotional Financing Offers
When considering monthly payments, it’s worth exploring if there are any promotional financing offers available. Some retailers or credit card companies may offer low or zero-interest financing for a certain period. This can significantly reduce the cost of the iPad over time.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, as there may be hidden fees or penalties if you don’t adhere to the terms of the offer.
Buy Used or Refurbished to Reduce Upfront Cost
If the high upfront cost of purchasing a new iPad is a concern, an alternative option is to buy a used or refurbished device. These devices are typically sold at a lower price point and can be a cost-effective way to own an iPad without the need for monthly payments.
Just make sure to purchase from a reputable seller and check for any warranty or return policies.
Ultimately, the decision to pay monthly for an iPad depends on your personal financial situation and preferences. Consider the total cost, weigh the benefits of flexibility against the extra cost, explore promotional financing offers, and evaluate the option of buying used or refurbished.
By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs.
Other Ways to Pay for an iPad
While paying for an iPad monthly might seem convenient, there are alternative methods to consider. Here are some other ways to pay for an iPad:
Use a Credit Card with Rewards
If you have a credit card with rewards, this could be a great opportunity to earn some points or cashback while purchasing your iPad. Many credit card companies offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points for every dollar you spend.
By using a credit card to purchase your iPad, you can take advantage of these rewards and potentially save money in the long run. Just make sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
Take Advantage of Trade-In Programs
Some electronic retailers and manufacturers have trade-in programs that allow you to exchange your old devices for store credit or a discount on a new purchase. If you have an older iPad or other electronic devices lying around, you may be able to trade them in and put the value towards your new iPad.
This can be a great way to offset the cost and get rid of old devices that you no longer use.
Save up to Pay Cash
If you’re not in a hurry to get an iPad, consider saving up the money to pay for it in cash. This can be a more financially responsible approach, as you won’t have to worry about monthly payments or interest charges.
Set aside a certain amount each month until you have saved enough to make the purchase outright. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and financial independence.
Split Costs by Sharing Device
If you don’t need your iPad all to yourself, consider sharing the cost with a family member or friend. This can be a great way to split the expenses and make the purchase more affordable for both parties. Just make sure to establish clear boundaries and agreements on usage and ownership.
Sharing an iPad can also be a fun way to bond and collaborate with others.
By considering these alternative payment methods, you can weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision on how to purchase your iPad. Remember to choose the option that best fits your financial situation and personal preferences.
Ultimately, whether or not it makes sense to pay monthly for an iPad depends largely on your financial situation. If you need the flexibility of spreading costs over time and upgrading frequently, it can be worth it. But it’s important to factor in the total costs paid over time.
For many buyers who plan to keep their iPad for several years, saving up to pay cash outright is often the better option. But monthly plans do offer a way to get an iPad now even if you can’t afford the lump sum all at once.
By weighing the pros and cons carefully, you can determine if monthly payments fit your needs and budget.