Apple is partnering with a bank in 2021 to allow small businesses to lease new M1 Macs for as low as $30 per month, with easy upgrade options if and when more powerful devices are released. Now that’s no longer offered, and businesses that do sign up must sign up for a separate program from CIT Group, Apple’s partner bank, or go another route to get their computers.
A business that has reached the The Verge shared an email from CIT Group (aka First Citizens Bank) confirming that the Mac Upgrade Program has ended. Now the bank is asking the business to switch to FMV leasing or continue to lease the equipment at the same monthly rate – even if it runs indefinitely without the option to buy. The Verge CIT and Apple were contacted to confirm the status of the program, but there was no response by press time.
The current offer includes “flexible” leasing options, 12 / 24 / 36 month terms, a $4,000 minimum order, financing up to 25 percent of the cost of accessories, and options to buy. The now-defunct program offered low monthly payments starting with the 13-inch MacBook Air for $30, the 13-inch MacBook Pro for $39, the 14-inch MacBook Pro for $60, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro for $75. Upgrades are available immediately if a new MacBook Air or Pro with newer chips is released anytime after the first 90 days of the lease.
Although Apple and CIT Group no longer offer the Mac Upgrade Program, Apple still supports small businesses in the service segment with the Business Essentials IT management package. Businesses (and K-12 / High Ed) can also order hardware directly from Apple’s special Business or Education store site and build POs – but usually for full price.
Apple is also expected to launch its buy now, pay service later this year. Whether it launches or not, individuals – and perhaps individuals who own small businesses – can always use the Apple Card and pay 0 percent financing on new Apple computers.