Any tips on the cheapest way to buy directly from Apple? Let's assume most of us aren't Apple employees or students, and we want to do everything above board. So far the best I've found is using a credit card that gives 6% cash back at grocery stores, and buying Apple Store (not iTunes/App Store!) gift cards with that. Safeway also gives double points for a discount at their gas station with gift card purchases, and I confirmed the Apple Store gift cards are eligible. That gives me a net cost of $455 for each $500 gift card. This is with a 6% cash-back grocery card ($30 back) and then using the Safeway gas discount on a 15 gallon tank ($15 off). The net savings is then 9% for the portion paid for with Apple Store gift cards.