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Tymbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
273
146
How is one supposed to save up for an $8,000 Mac Pro if there is a $2,000 limit? I like buying Apple gift cards at a discount, but there is a limit of 8 gift cards per order, so I would theoretically need x8 $750 gift cards ($6,000) to complete the rest of the transaction, but I don’t feel comfortable buying gift cards that high in value.

My initial plan was to stack the Apple Account Balance with smaller denomination gift cards until I reached the desired $8,000 needed to make the purchase. My backup plan upon discovering the $2k balance limit was to ask Apple to convert the $2k balance to a $2k gift card, which depletes the Apple Account balance and allows me to continue stacking to create a second $2k gift card.

I have tried requesting an increase through multiple departments to no avail (it’s strictly $2k for everyone). I’ve tried making a purchase and returning it for a gift card, but am told the funds have to go back j to the Apple Account Balance. I’ve ask to convert the $2k Apple Account Balance into a separate digital gift card, but that won’t work. I’ve gotten close to cashing out the Apple Account Balance, but am told I’m not eligible. I know if I switch countries, I can then be eligible for a cash out, but I am not sure of the repercussions of “lying” about that, or if nobody would care.

I’m not doing anything illegal, I’m just trying to be savvy in getting a nice discount off a mid-2023 purchase by paying in full with gift cards.

Any advice on how to continue my saving adventure would be much appreciated. Perhaps I need to ask the correct question to the correct department, but it’s a combination maze trying to figure that out.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,625
2,053
UK
Although you have an honest and valid reason for your saving.
I imagine the 2k limit is in place to counter money laundering etc.

i.e. Someone could 'pay' you (not YOU personally...;)) for work with a $500 gift card, and no taxes would be paid.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
6,007
4,621
^^This. "If you do not want the IRS to arrest you today, go to Walmart and buy four $500 gift cards and read the numbers to me" scams.

I know if I switch countries, I can then be eligible for a cash out, but I am not sure of the repercussions of “lying” about that, or if nobody would care.

I would not assume about the ability to cash out as that is country/region specific.
 
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Gymnut

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2003
1,887
28
I'm not familiar with purchasing Apple gift cards at a discount, but just how much are you really saving to jump through hoops for?

I did purchase my 2009 Mac Pro with a $5000 gift card that I paid for in cash at an Apple Store; The Mac Pro was BTO option so it had to be ordered on-line and I didn't want to use a credit card, having accumulated the cash from a few local camera/lens sales.
 
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Tymbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
273
146
I'm not familiar with purchasing Apple gift cards at a discount, but just how much are you really saving to jump through hoops for?

I did purchase my 2009 Mac Pro with a $5000 gift card that I paid for in cash at an Apple Store; The Mac Pro was BTO option so it had to be ordered on-line and I didn't want to use a credit card, having accumulated the cash from a few local camera/lens sales.
About 5-20%.

Christmas has come and gone and there are a lot of people who received Apple Gift cards that they would much rather have cash for. For example, one sold me a $15 gift card for $14 (7% savings). Another sold a $25 for $20 (20% savings). Not to mention the Amazon and Target offers that give a bonus $10 credit for purchase of a $100 card (10%). It all truly adds up.
 
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Gymnut

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2003
1,887
28
Ah gotcha; I was familiar with the discounts that retailers provided but I hadn't considered the factor of buying gift cards from individuals that preferred to have cash. I can see how'd that would add up, but that'd probably involve too much patience for me to work up to $8k.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,717
but I don’t feel comfortable buying gift cards that high in value.
Why are you not comfortable? You seem fairly comfortable trying to buy lots of low denominations that work up to 6k, why not large ones?

As others stated, there are restrictions to stop people from gaming the system and/or money laundering. No offense, but you seem to be trying to game the system to your benefit - is it wrong? I don't know, but its in place to stop certain behaviors.

I've not really seen or understood is how much money are you looking to save if you could do what you originally tried to do? It sounds like you want to buy an 8,000 dollar Mac, you have 2,000 dollars worth of rewards, so you'll only need to spend 6k to get your mac - am I correct on that? That's a pretty good savings as it stands or what am I missing?

I don't have an apple credit card, so I'm surer I'm missing something
 
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Tymbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
273
146
Why are you not comfortable? You seem fairly comfortable trying to buy lots of low denominations that work up to 6k, why not large ones?

As others stated, there are restrictions to stop people from gaming the system and/or money laundering. No offense, but you seem to be trying to game the system to your benefit - is it wrong? I don't know, but its in place to stop certain behaviors.

I've not really seen or understood is how much money are you looking to save if you could do what you originally tried to do? It sounds like you want to buy an 8,000 dollar Mac, you have 2,000 dollars worth of rewards, so you'll only need to spend 6k to get your mac - am I correct on that? That's a pretty good savings as it stands or what am I missing?

I don't have an apple credit card, so I'm surer I'm missing something
It’s the money launderers that sell $500 gift cards that I want to avoid. I’ve saved about 12.5% on my first $2k that’s in my Apple Account Balance, which is $200 in savings. To be able to add $6k more with be an additional $600 off would be great. I can’t just buy a gift card code off of someone and store it in an excel spreadsheet because I have no guarantee nor trust that the stranger I bought it from won’t attempt to resell it to another person between now and Spring/Fall.

As I’ve continued to do research on the topic, I‘ve developed paranoia that if any gift cards I purchase are deemed fraudulent/stolen, then I would be at risk of having my entire Apple ID deactivated and lose access to the balance I have legitimately acquired.

Therefore, I may resort to relying on 5.25% cash back on my credit card with purchase of x8 $500 gift cards. It’s less than 12.5%, but better than nothing.
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,717
I can’t just buy a gift card code off of someone
So you're looking to buy gift cards off of people, and not through a store, like Best Buy (that sometimes sells them for less then dollar amount). Ok, that makes sense and so I can see Apple keeping things fairly locked down then and I see why you don't want to risk getting larger denominations. You're buying it from people who could very well turn out to be scammers.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,625
2,053
UK
Not meaning to belittle the savings.
But for all the hassle to save $600 in $8000, is it worth it.
If the OP wants a saving, you could buy from the refurb store.
 

cthompson94

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2022
810
1,164
SoCal
Pretty unique situation IMO, have you tried putting a ticket in with the sales or similar department and pushing that ticket as long as possible? As everyone has mentioned I am sure that limit is put to help prevent massive fraud, the only thing I can think of is if a high enough position to say raise that limit, I am sure they would have to answer to someone and without actually knowing you and viewing all the receipts I don't know if someone will basically put their job on the line for you saving $600. Like I said though a ticket and pushing it as high as possible may help, hopefully it can get to someone that maybe knows a workaround that isn't commonly known or really communicated at the lower level because they don't want it done frequently
 

Tymbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
273
146
Not meaning to belittle the savings.
But for all the hassle to save $600 in $8000, is it worth it.
If the OP wants a saving, you could buy from the refurb store.
I like to go all out when I buy something, then ride it til it dies. My late 2015 iMac is getting just a little slow. I want to buy directly from Apple so that when there is a problem with it, I can take it to Apple.

Because the purchase is months away, it allows me the time to grab those tiny discounts at no cost. I just can’t anymore due to reaching the limit. One advisor I spoke with mentioned her theory that when the iTunes Store and Apple store were separate, $2,000 was a valid limit because who in their right mind would spend more than $2,000 on music? The two stores have since merged, but somebody forgot to increase the limit, she believes. Maybe I sparked an investigation, I don’t know.
 

Tymbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
273
146
Pretty unique situation IMO, have you tried putting a ticket in with the sales or similar department and pushing that ticket as long as possible? As everyone has mentioned I am sure that limit is put to help prevent massive fraud, the only thing I can think of is if a high enough position to say raise that limit, I am sure they would have to answer to someone and without actually knowing you and viewing all the receipts I don't know if someone will basically put their job on the line for you saving $600. Like I said though a ticket and pushing it as high as possible may help, hopefully it can get to someone that maybe knows a workaround that isn't commonly known or really communicated at the lower level because they don't want it done frequently

Yes, I have spent hours on end both speaking and chatting with people from sales, Apple ID, iTunes, Returns, and Billing. I would get transferred and have to reexplain everything. The last person I spoke with was Customer Service, and they put in a request for me to follow up in 48 hours.

The two things I have not tried yet are:
1. an email chain
2. emailing Tim Cook

if the limits are valid, I get that and understand… I just think it might be an oversight worth addressing, otherwise I should have been told the limits are intentional instead of “that is weird, let’s see what we can do”.
 

Gymnut

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2003
1,887
28
I am shocked that they took 5k in cash, but that was 13+ years ago.....
The store associate didn't seem shocked at all; He obviously counted it out and ran the counterfeit pen on all of the bills that directly came from my bank. I'm sure there are a number of people who'll pay cash for big ticket items, but I suspect not many do so for a gift card.

This use case was an outlier for me for a number of reasons:
1. I was a student
2. Didn't want to use a CC and I can't remember what my limit was
3. The model I wanted was a BTO option only so the gift card seemed like the simplest option.
 
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MacCheetah3

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,201
1,151
Central MN
I also support considering the Apple refurbished method.

Some savings examples at the $8k price point:

Currently listed at $7,729.00

As configured new: $8,899.00


Currently listed at $8,499.00

As configured new:$10,199.00 ($9,999*)
* The base storage is now 512GB, so let’s subtract $200.

Going Apple refurbished does have its own limitation/struggle/hassle: availability.

For example, only the base configuration Mac Studio is currently posted (providing a $200 savings).


Therefore, it’s necessary to routinely check the available/posted configurations.

I should have been told the limits are intentional instead of “that is weird, let’s see what we can do”.
Sadly/annoyingly — including the person trying to help you — not everyone in the company hierarchy is properly informed of all relevant information (e.g., policies).
 
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bcollett

macrumors member
May 5, 2015
70
57
I'm guessing the issue is a combination things mentioned here.

One thing I found now that they've added Apple Accounts to the Wallet app and reading it with Flipper Zero, is they essentially made the Apple Accounts as a gift card on their own, but are reloadable. So it would appear Apple might have taken a shortcut and built the Apple Account system off of the normal gift card system, which has the $2000 limit.

IMG_4236.jpeg
 
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richard13

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2008
863
288
Odessa, FL
How is one supposed to save up for an $8,000 Mac Pro if there is a $2,000 limit? I like buying Apple gift cards at a discount, but there is a limit of 8 gift cards per order, so I would theoretically need x8 $750 gift cards ($6,000) to complete the rest of the transaction, but I don’t feel comfortable buying gift cards that high in value.

My initial plan was to stack the Apple Account Balance with smaller denomination gift cards until I reached the desired $8,000 needed to make the purchase. My backup plan upon discovering the $2k balance limit was to ask Apple to convert the $2k balance to a $2k gift card, which depletes the Apple Account balance and allows me to continue stacking to create a second $2k gift card.

I have tried requesting an increase through multiple departments to no avail (it’s strictly $2k for everyone). I’ve tried making a purchase and returning it for a gift card, but am told the funds have to go back j to the Apple Account Balance. I’ve ask to convert the $2k Apple Account Balance into a separate digital gift card, but that won’t work. I’ve gotten close to cashing out the Apple Account Balance, but am told I’m not eligible. I know if I switch countries, I can then be eligible for a cash out, but I am not sure of the repercussions of “lying” about that, or if nobody would care.

I’m not doing anything illegal, I’m just trying to be savvy in getting a nice discount off a mid-2023 purchase by paying in full with gift cards.

Any advice on how to continue my saving adventure would be much appreciated. Perhaps I need to ask the correct question to the correct department, but it’s a combination maze trying to figure that out.
I ran into similar problems recently. My story is that I got discounted Apple Gift Cards from my credit card points to purchase a new iMac. I wasn't comfortable with keeping the cards lying around so I redeemed them into my Apple Account for safe keeping. This turned out to be a BIG MISTAKE.

I decided to wait because the currently available iMac is kind of old now. But I found that the Apple Account is where all subscriptions go as the primary method for payment (and there's no way to make my Apple Credit Card primary over it). So my Apple One subscription fees slowly eroded my Apple Account balance over the next several months.

I eventually bought that a new Mac (got tired of waiting on the iMac and opted for an MBA 15") and my Apple Account was finally emptied. But since Apple credits trade-ins to the account used for purchase I now have a balance again in my Apple Account that will, once again, be eroded by my Apple One subscription. No way to get the money back out or converted to an Apple Gift Card.

So... my advice is unless you are 100% sure of an immediate purchase, don't use your Apple Account as a way of saving up for a purchase. Just acquire, verify, and put your gift cards in a safe place until you are ready.
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,984
2,959
I‘ve developed paranoia that if any gift cards I purchase are deemed fraudulent/stolen, then I would be at risk of having my entire Apple ID deactivated and lose access to the balance I have legitimately acquired.
Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

(I.e. your paranoia in this case is healthy & warranted)
 

Expos of 1969

Suspended
Aug 25, 2013
4,741
9,259
I ran into similar problems recently. My story is that I got discounted Apple Gift Cards from my credit card points to purchase a new iMac. I wasn't comfortable with keeping the cards lying around so I redeemed them into my Apple Account for safe keeping. This turned out to be a BIG MISTAKE.

I decided to wait because the currently available iMac is kind of old now. But I found that the Apple Account is where all subscriptions go as the primary method for payment (and there's no way to make my Apple Credit Card primary over it). So my Apple One subscription fees slowly eroded my Apple Account balance over the next several months.

I eventually bought that a new Mac (got tired of waiting on the iMac and opted for an MBA 15") and my Apple Account was finally emptied. But since Apple credits trade-ins to the account used for purchase I now have a balance again in my Apple Account that will, once again, be eroded by my Apple One subscription. No way to get the money back out or converted to an Apple Gift Card.

So... my advice is unless you are 100% sure of an immediate purchase, don't use your Apple Account as a way of saving up for a purchase. Just acquire, verify, and put your gift cards in a safe place until you are ready.
You have to pay for your Apple One subscription somehow. You have not lost one cent if I understand your message. How this is a BIG MISTAKE is beyond me.
 
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richard13

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2008
863
288
Odessa, FL
You have to pay for your Apple One subscription somehow. You have not lost one cent if I understand your message. How this is a BIG MISTAKE is beyond me.
Three reasons: 1) I should be in control of how I pay for my services. I don't like that Apple unilaterally decided how I'm going to pay them. 2) The erosion of my balance potentially caused me to have to "refill" if my purchase was going to exceed the diminished balance. 3) Yes, I do lose money with it done this way because the charges are being paid in cash instead of my Apple Card, which would have given me 3% back otherwise.
 

Expos of 1969

Suspended
Aug 25, 2013
4,741
9,259
Three reasons: 1) I should be in control of how I pay for my services. I don't like that Apple unilaterally decided how I'm going to pay them. 2) The erosion of my balance potentially caused me to have to "refill" if my purchase was going to exceed the diminished balance. 3) Yes, I do lose money with it done this way because the charges are being paid in cash instead of my Apple Card, which would have given me 3% back otherwise.
Having an Apple Card is part of the problem. I would certainly never have an Apple Card or Apple/GS savings account. They are having enough problems producing working software these days. Using them for financial services is a bad decision. Strictly my opinion of course.
 
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