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The word “iPad” has been synonymous with tablet since the original model, and for good reason. Over time Apple’s tablets have become slim, powerful machines with all-day battery life, great speakers, and a big beautiful screen.
If you’re thinking of picking one up, there are a few ways to avoid paying full price without jumping through a lot of hoops. Apple itself doesn’t hold sales, but you can save money by shopping smartly.
Better still, these tips can help you save money on other Apple gear. If you’re having trouble figuring out which iPad to get, we have a guide that lays out the pros and cons of each model, so you can find the right fit for your needs.
1. Shop Sales At Other Retailers
Apple may not discount the iPad, but other retailers like Amazon, Walmart, B&H, Adorama, and Best Buy do. These discounts are sometimes part of a larger deals event like Black Friday, but many times they drop the iPad’s price discreetly, so check back often.
The best deal we could find right now is a $40 discount on the 2019 iPad Air, which is Apple’s mid-tier iPad. It has a 10.9-inch high-resolution display, 32GB of storage, Touch-ID fingerprint sensor, and comes in an assortment of fun colors. This is the iPad we recommend to students, artists, and anyone who doesn’t rely on a tablet as their sole computer.
It typically goes for $599, but you can get it for $559 by shopping at Amazon right now. This deal is especially significant because it’s the first time Apple has discounted this tablet. It came out in October of 2020, and it’s rare to see any deal on an iPad that was released this recently. The only issue with shopping for an iPad while it’s on sale is waiting too long. Stock is always limited, demand is always high, and the deal could end at any time.
If you see the iPad you want is on sale right now, take advantage of the deal while you can.
2. Get A Target RedCard
Target recently announced an agreement with Apple, which increases the brand’s presence in-store and on its website.
This new partnership also includes a big perk for shoppers who use Target’s “RedCard.” If you buy a qualifying Apple product, you’ll receive a 5% discount by using the store’s Debit or Credit card. Most Apple gear qualifies for this deal, and it’s the easiest way to get a discount without having to wait for a sale or deal.
If you sign up for a Target RedCard, be sure to read all of the fine print concerning the qualification requirements, interest rates, and penalties. Consult this information again if you’re approved and want to make a major purchase.
If you want more information about how Apple and Target’s new relationship will impact how you shop, our FAQ has you covered.
3. Buy Refurbished
Getting refurbished tech online — especially a high-end gadget like the iPad — used to be hit or miss, but it’s a lot easier now that major retailers have legitimized the process.
For instance, an iPad purchased from Amazon’s Warehouse section would have undergone a thorough inspection to determine its exact condition. It’d ship quickly (especially for Prime members), and come with the same return policy as a “new” item sold directly from Amazon.
The discount you’ll receive by buying an iPad refurbished will be based on its condition, but consider this. A new iPad Air on Amazon costs $559; That same iPad Air from Amazon’s Warehouse section in “Very Good” condition is available for $514. That’s an additional $45 discount.
Most stores will list an item’s refurbished price somewhere on its product page. If you don’t see it, there’s a good chance no refurbished stock is available.
4. Check for Digital Coupons on Amazon
If you’re shopping for an iPad on Amazon, check to see if the store is offering a coupon. These coupons — available to all shoppers, not just Prime members — only require you to click a single checkbox to redeem them. You’ll find coupons just below an item’s price on its product page. Other times, Amazon will offer an automatic discount at checkout, which you’ll find in the same spot.
These deals aren’t advertised, so it’s up to you to bookmark the product page of the iPad you want, and keep an eye on it. Amazon isn’t offering a coupon or automatic discount on any iPads right now, but you can save $19 on Apple’s AirPods Pro using this hack.
5. Get An Educational Discount From Apple
Apple typically promotes its educational discount for students and teachers around the beginning of the school year, but it’s actually available year-round. To qualify, you’ll need to provide proof (in-store or online) that you’re currently teaching, or enrolled at a four-year university.
Apple’s educational discount brings the iPad (8th Gen) down to $309 (originally $329), the iPad Mini down to $379 (originally $399) the iPad Air down to $549 (originally $599), and the iPad Pro down to $749 (originally $799). While this is the best deal you’ll find on a new iPad, it’s only available to folks who meet its qualifications.
One reason to wait until the beginning of the school year to take advantage of this deal is that Apple typically sweetens the pot a little further. Last year it included a free pair of AirPods with the purchase of a Mac or iPad Pro. Still, if you need an iPad right now, and qualify for this promotional pricing, it’s a great deal.