So is AppleCare for MacBook worth it? It may seem like a paradox. If you don’t have it you will regret it and if you do have it, you may not need it.
The answer depends on the person, what MacBook you have and if you can afford it or not. In this article I will explain all the important information to help you decide if you should get AppleCare, AppleCare+ or nothing at all.
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What is AppleCare?
AppleCare is an extended warranty with extra benefits that you can purchase during checkout or at the Apple store as an addition to your new device.
The price of this extended warranty depends if you get the annual subscription or the three year subscription.
It also varies in price depending on the MacBook you get. However, AppleCare will cost the same amount for a base model MacBook M1 compared to a maxed out MacBook M1 with all the upgrades. If you were to buy a decked out MacBook Pro it would make sense to get AppleCare, but not so much if you just get a base model MacBook Air.
With this warranty Apple takes care of any manufacture defects, screen problems, component problems so you don’t have to pay any out of pocket expense.
If you are someone like me who really takes care of their tech and does not expose it to the elements, I would personally only recommend getting it for the first 6 months to a year to cover the manufacture defects which take a long time to develop.
Other people don’t find much value in the AppleCare upsell and believe premium products should have longer than a 1 year manufacturer warranty.
You can get your AppleCare when adding your device to your bag and the price varies depending on the device. You can also buy it at the Apple store when you pick it up too.
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Is AppleCare For MacBook Worth It Long Term?
Most likely you will have to replace the battery within the first 3 years which is $200 and the display within 5-7 years. So AppleCare+ might be around the same cost as if you were to get it repaired yourself.
AC+ may cost you around $500-800 over the course of 5-7 years. The main argument for getting this warranty is if you travel a lot. It is also very worth it if your time is money and your work life depends on your MacBook. In that case you can’t afford weeks of waiting around for a repair. It can also be a tax write off.
Sometimes there are 20% discounts for students who purchase AppleCare and if you can get this offer then it is absolutely worth it long term.
I think if you purchase a maxed-out MacBook M1 or M2 it could be worth it because it’s the same price as if it was a base model, so you are getting more value. Another reason is that you have already spent a large amount on the expensive tier of MacBooks that adding $100-$200 could be feasible.
If you are someone who needs peace of mind, then this warranty will have more value for you. It will make you not have to worry about using the device as much and you won’t have to find yourself babying it all the time.
If you can afford to live without it or replace it yourself then don’t get it because statistically you will save more money over time.
Apple has done the math and determined the cost of AppleCare to be more than the average cost of damage or repair. This means if you are someone with an above average chance of damage then you have a reason to consider it.
Some people have really gotten their worth from AppleCare. This one person had their motherboard fail three times because of faulty soldering on the GPU and they also had their battery replaced.
Each of these replacements were over $600. People have also had their damages repaired a short time after their AppleCare expired because of a gesture from the staff and because of reoccuring faults.
Depending on who you are, AppleCare can pay for itself many times over.
People have also had damages fixed that were not known issues under warranty, Apple really stand behind their products better than most companies.
If you have kids around 6-12 who love to break stuff, this is probably a good option for you. Lots of people get their MacBooks smashed or broken because of their children.
If this sounds like you then I would get AppleCare+ asap because your standard warranty won’t cover water spills and damages. You don’t want to be too late.
AppleCare+ is around 5-7% the price of a decked out MacBook for the first 3 years. But for a base model it’s around 10-15%.
If you were to drop and crack your screen you would pay $200 with AppleCare to replace it, however, you would have to pay around $600-$1000 to get it repaired yourself.
Families that have 10 or more Apple products would be paying a considerable amount in AppleCare fees if they were to get it on everything. You could expect $2500-$3000 every 3 years just to cover your products. You can actually get these covered by home and contents insurance, so don’t pay double.
People have spent over $10-12,000 on AppleCare over the course of 10 years because they have over 12 devices in the one family. Personally I don’t think there is much value in paying that much.
It would be better to lower your costs by only choosing the most important products to cover.
Some people have had 20-30 Apple devices over the years with zero issues and claims. With that many devices you are looking at $1000-$2000 per year in coverage which is the same cost as a new MacBook.
In the UK a MacBook Pro 14 or 16 inch is only 90 pounds a year. In the US that means you pay $150 annually for 14 or 16 inch MacBook. The three year option comes in at $399 which saves you around $50 instead of using the yearly subscription.
Some people are more inclined to pay for this extended warranty on cheaper devices such as an iPhone to protect their investment without breaking the bank. Other people refuse any sort of extra warranty because they think Apple should have more courtesy, coverage and service after spending that much money.
With something like an iPhone you can invest in good case instead which will protect against any drop damages, but this isnt so easy on a MacBook.
I think a good rule of thumb would be to reconsider buying AppleCare worth over 20% of your product’s value and consider buying AppleCare under 15% of your product’s value per year.
Here is a table with the cost of AppleCare+ on MacBook models.
|13-inch MacBook Pro||$249|
|14-inch MacBook Pro||$279|
|16-inch MacBook Pro||$379|
This warranty is available for all devices that have screens and some others like the Apple Watch or AirPods. The original terms and conditions had coverage of 2 instances of accidental damages every 12 months, this has changed just recently.
AppleCare+ now comes with unlimited repairs for accidental damage protection as stated on their website. This is a lot better than other warranties. For example my Samsung care warranty does not cover accidental damage for some reason.
If you do end up damaging it accidently you will have to co-pay which means you will be charged a fee around $100 or something for the repair.
Here is a table with an estimate of co-pay fees if you have AppleCare+ and need a repair for your MacBook.
|Model||Cracked Screen||Enclosure Damage||Battery Service||Other Damage|
If your battery drops below optimal conditions of 80% they will take care of this for you as well.
This warranty can be super valuable for people that travel a lot as it covers you worldwide. All you have to do is send it to the closest Apple repair shop. If needed they will pay priority shipping both ways for you. Sometimes they will even cross-ship a refurbished MacBook for you.
AppleCare+ is like an extended warranty with benefits. It goes over your existing 1-year warranty. This means if something breaks within the first year then it will be covered by the standard warranty.
The benefits are things like protection against liquid spills, dust build-up in your fans, accidental drops, and things like cables fraying and deterioration of battery.
I would only get AppleCare+ with a 1st gen device not a 2nd or 3rd gen.
Some people say that Apple can cancel your warranty and AppleCare warranty for any reason at any time.
At the end of the three year subscription you have a 60 day period where you can renew, from that point forward it is not a lumpsum but an annual subscription.
If you sell your MacBook during the three-year subscription, the new owner will have access to Apple Care+ for the remainder of the period. This is not available with the regular AppleCare warranty.
You don’t want to go to regular repair shops, instead, you want to drop by the Apple store and they will give you a replacement laptop while they repair your MacBook.
Sometimes appointments to get repairs can be difficult, but if you have the + version of AppleCare then you can mail it in for free and get it back within a week at the fastest.
This is a lot better than waiting 2-3weeks for a repair like most other shops. Some people have had 6 week waits due to covid delays when mailing their MacBook into a regular repair shop. No way I would risk that with a maxed out MacBook Pro.
Unfortunately in some countries like Italy, people have said that liquid damages are not covered. Basically everything else a part from liquid spills are covered. If you drop your MacBook it would be covered and repaired.
The cost to repair a broken screen yourself is crazy expensive, especially if you get a newer MacBook model. Newer releases don’t have their components on aftermarket yet, you may have to wait 6 months before a repairshop can help you. That’s why it’s best to use AppleCare on new products because they can repair it for you.
Very few technicians that are not authorized by Apple can actually repair your stuff and you can end up losing things like two tone after the repair. They can’t actually repair the chip itself which can cause other things to malfunction.
It’s definitely worth the peace of mind if you have a new model MacBook.
How To Check If You Have AppleCare
This is how to check if you have AppleCare on a MacBook:
- Click on the Mac menu bar Apple logo in the top left hand corner.
- Click on about this Mac
- Click on “service” from menu in the new window that pops up
- Click on “check my service and support coverage status”
- Click “allow” in the popup window
- A browser will popup with a website.
- Enter your Mac serial number (which you can find on the same screen after following steps 1 and 2. The page in the about this Mac window has your serial number.)
- Press continue
AppleCare and AppleCare+ can be very much worth it for some individuals who buy the most recent and expensive MacBooks. If you are someone who keeps your MacBook strictly at home then you would not need this warranty as much as someone who takes it into public spaces everyday.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does AppleCare+ for Mac last?
AppleCare+ lasts a total of three years for all available devices.
Is it worth it to pay for AppleCare?
For people that travel a lot, have young children, or are at a higher risk of damage to their Apple device AppleCare is worth it. For people that mainly use their MacBook at home and are very careful with their tech then AppleCare is not as valuable.
Is AppleCare good for 1 or 2 years?
AppleCare is good in general for people who have a higher risk of damaging their devices such as people with children or people that travel a lot. Both 1 and 2 years are good options for Apple devices, however, most problems will occur after the 3-year mark.
Does AppleCare cover accidental damage?
AppleCare covers two accidental damages per year and AppleCare+ now covers unlimited accidental damages per year. Every time you send in your device for repair you will have to co-pay a fee ranging from $100-$400 depending on the damage.
Can I buy AppleCare after purchase?
You can purchase AppleCare within 60 days of receiving your device. This includes third party retailers as well as the Apple store.
What’s the difference between AppleCare and AppleCare Plus?
AppleCare is an annual subscription and AppleCare Plus is a three-year plan paid in lump sum. The plus version also offers unlimited accidental damage repairs, however, the regular version only provides two per year.