Apple’s Back to School nets you a free gift card with eligible Mac or iPad purchase

Apple’s Back to School promotion offers college and university students a free gift card when buying eligible Mac and iPad devices.

A Safari screenshot of a landing page on Apple's online educational store announcing the 2022 Back to School promotion which offers a free gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad model
  • Apple has launched its Back to School promotion in the United States, Canada and a few countries in Asia, including India, Singapore and Thailand.
  • The deal offers college and university students up to a $150 gift card from Apple with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad. On top of that, students can get 20 percent off AppleCare+ plans during 2022 Back to School promotion.
  • In previous years, the company gave free AirPods or Beats products when buying eligible hardware, but that’s no longer the case in the US. Elsewhere, the deal does include a free pair of second-generation AirPods.

In the United States and Canada, Apple’s 2022 Back to School launched on Friday, June 24, with the promotion set to end on September 26, 2022.

According to the Back to School terms and conditions on Apple’s website, the company will give a free card when buying any new iPad Pro or iPad Air model. Qualified purchasers, Apple explains, will receive a discount equal to the value of their gift card off the price of the eligible Mac or iPad model, “but will be charged for all items in their cart, including the Apple Gift Card.”

The maximum value you can get on your gift card is $150, which will be required purchasing a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or iMac model. The new 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro is eligible for this offer. As for the newly-announced M2 MacBook Air, that device is also eligible for this promotion but you’ll need to wait until it arrives in July. Read: How to find out your Mac notebook’s battery cycles count

If you prefer iPads over Macs, purchasing any new Pad Pro or iPad Air will net you a $100 gift card from Apple. You can use your gift card credit towards the purchase of Apple products and accessories on the company’s online store, as well as apps, media and subscriptions. Read: How to get receipts for your subscriptions

This offer is available at Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores and on the company’s online education store. Eligible customers include students and their parents, faculty and staff of higher-education institutions, K-12 employees and more.

No more free AirPods for you

This year’s deal is a regression from Apple’s earlier Back to School promotion which awarded free accessories with the purchase of eligible hardware. In 2021, for example, Apple gave a free pair of AirPods. Bloomberg recently warned that 2022’s Back to School promotion would replace free AirPods with free gift cards.

So what, you say, I’ll just redeem my free $150 gift card towards the purchase of a new pair of AirPods. The problem is, that the latest AirPods (the third-generation model) are $179 so you’ll need to pay for the difference out of your own pocket.

In other countries, however, Apple continues to offer free AirPods instead of free gift cards. Macrumors notes that Apple is offering free AirPods 2 with eligible Mac or iPad purchases in India, Singapore, Thailand and a few other Asian countries.