Apple partnered with a bank in 2021 to let small businesses lease new M1 Macs for as little as $30 a month, with easy options to upgrade as and when more powerful devices are released. Now that’s no longer offered, and companies that signed up now have to sign up for a program other than CIT Group, the bank Apple partnered with, or take a different route to get their computers.
A company that contacted The edge shared an email from CIT Group (aka First Citizens Bank) confirming that the Mac upgrade program has ended. Now the bank is asking the company to move to FMV leasing or continue to lease the equipment at the same monthly rate, though it would run indefinitely without a buyout option. The edge contacted both CIT and Apple to confirm the status of the program, but neither has responded at time of publication.
Current offerings include “flexible” lease options, 12/24/36 month terms, a $4,000 minimum order, financing up to 25 percent of the value of accessories, and buyout options. The now-defunct program offered low monthly payments, starting with the 13-inch MacBook Air for $30, 13-inch MacBook Pro for $39, 14-inch MacBook Pro for $60, and 16-inch MacBook Pro for $75 Instant upgrades were available if a new MacBook Air or Pro with newer chips was released at any time 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 on the services side with the Business Essentials IT management suite. Businesses (and K-12/High Ed) can also still order hardware directly from Apple’s dedicated Business or Education store site and build POs – but normally at full price.
Apple is also expected to launch its buy now, pay later service this year. Whether it launches or not, individuals — and perhaps individuals who own a small business — can always use an Apple Card and pay 0 percent financing on new Apple computers.