iPhone X and Chase Ultimate Reward points

  Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27

Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27

Overnight Thursday, I joined the throngs of people on the East Coast of the United States who rose at 3A to pre-order an iPhone X. While I did not snag one of the units to be delivered next week, I did receive a delivery date prior to Thanksgiving. I initially tried to access the AT&T pre-order page via the myAT&T app on my iPhone 7 Plus. When it opened at 3:01A, the queue was already at 9 minutes. While waiting, I decided to check whether there were any points or miles available by going through the Apple website. (In case, you ask why I did not check on portal rewards for AT&T, previous experience pre-ordering Apple products was that apps are generally faster than going through a web browser.) 

Using Cashback Monitor, I discovered that the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal was offering two Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at the Apple Store. Because I am currently under an AT&T Next plan for my iPhone 7 Plus and planned to use a similar plan for my iPhone X, I did not expect to earn any points for my pre-order because I would have no rewardable out-of-pocket charge for the new phone. (I would have to pay for taxes but these are generally not rewarded by portals.) So, going through the portal would be more of a "might as well" move. (Note: I did not read the fine print at the time since I was focused on getting my pre-order placed. The Chase portal has the following exception: "Rewards are issued by this site, not Apple. iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K are not eligible. Newly released products may not be eligible.")

My wait in queue via the myAT&T app was ticking toward zero so I expected that I would be able to pre-order through AT&T before Apple. When I clicked through to the Apple Store, I was surprised that I was immediately able to start the pre-order process. I proceeded through the screens, picking out the model I wanted. At the end, I did opt for the AppleCare+ warranty which cost $200 at the time of order. What is not clear is whether I will receive 400 Ultimate Rewards points on the warranty or if that is covered by the iPhone X exclusion. 

While I used the portal thinking I would be no worse off by clicking through the Apple site via Chase, I completely forgot that I could have accessed the Apple Store via my company's discount login for Apple. Had I used my employee discount, I would have saved $20 on the warranty which would have been more valuable than whatever Chase points I may earn. Oh well. Let that serve as a reminder to be sure there are not other available discounts that are more valuable than points and miles. At least I should have my sparkly new phone by the time I am eating my Thanksgiving turkey!