Does Harbor Freight Take Apple Pay?

Harbor Freight is a popular American tool and equipment retailer known for its discount prices. With mobile payments like Apple Pay becoming increasingly common, many shoppers wonder if you can use Apple Pay at Harbor Freight. This article provides helpful information on Harbor Freight’s payment options, including whether they accept mobile wallet services like Apple Pay.

Does Harbor Freight Take Apple Pay?

A Breakdown of Harbor Freight’s Payment Methods

When checking out at Harbor Freight, customers have several payment options to choose from:

  • Cash – Harbor Freight accepts cash payments for purchases at all store locations.
  • Credit cards – All major credit cards are accepted, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Credit cards can be processed as chip, tap, or swipe transactions.
  • Debit cards – Debit cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo are also accepted. Both chip and swipe transactions are enabled.
  • Harbor Freight gift cards – Purchased or promotional Harbor Freight gift cards can be used for buying items.
  • Harbor Freight Inside Track Club rewards certificates – Rewards certificates earned through the Inside Track Club rewards program can be redeemed.
  • Coupons – Valid Harbor Freight coupons for percent or dollar-off discounts are redeemable in stores.
  • Checks – Personal paper checks are sometimes accepted, but availability may vary by store location. Checking identification is typically required.

Does Harbor Freight Take Apple Pay?

Unfortunately, Harbor Freight does not currently accept Apple Pay for iPhone or other mobile transactions. So Apple devices cannot be used to tap and pay at checkout.

Harbor Freight also does not take other third-party mobile wallet services like Google Pay or Samsung Pay. Only physical credit cards, debit cards, cash, checks, and Harbor Freight gift cards/rewards certificates are enabled as payment methods.

Why Harbor Freight Doesn’t Take Apple Pay

There are a few possible reasons why Harbor Freight does not accept Apple Pay at this time:

  • Cost of technology – Upgrading point-of-sale systems to enable contactless payments like Apple Pay requires significant hardware and software investments that smaller retailers may not be able to afford.
  • Prevalence of discounts – Since Harbor Freight is a discount retailer that emphasizes low prices, they may be hesitant to take on the transaction fees associated with digital wallet payments.
  • Demographics – Harbor Freight’s target customer base skews toward value-focused shoppers who pay with cash, check, or physical cards rather than mobile services.
  • Rollout plans – Harbor Freight may have future plans to accept Apple Pay and other mobile payments. Large chains often phase technology rollouts across locations.

So in summary, Harbor Freight’s focus on affordability and its budget-conscious shopper base could explain why mobile wallet functionality has not yet been adopted. But with contactless payments rising in popularity, Apple Pay or Google Pay could come eventually.

Tips for Paying Without Apple Pay at Harbor Freight

Since Apple Pay is not enabled, what payment options are best to use during Harbor Freight store visits? Here are some practical tips:

  • Carry cash or cards – Have physical cash, a debit card, credit card, or gift card handy when shopping to make payment easy sans mobile wallet.
  • Use Harbor Freight coupons – Print out or download any available percent-off or dollar-off coupons to save money when paying with other payment types.
  • Apply for an Inside Track Club membership – Sign up for Harbor Freight’s loyalty program to earn rewards certificates on purchases that can be applied to future transaction payments.
  • Ask about checks – Inquire at the customer service desk whether personal checks can be accepted for big-ticket purchases. Present a valid ID.
  • Consider third-party gift cards – As an alternative to Apple Pay, purchase retailer-specific gift cards ahead online that can provide discounts when used for store payment.

So even though Apple Pay is not supported, you still have great options to pay securely and even save money when shopping the Harbor Freight deals.

The Benefits of Apple Pay Over Payment Cards

Using physical credit and debit cards is very convenient, so why would Apple Pay be beneficial? Here are some of the top perks that Apple’s mobile wallet service provides over traditional payment cards:

Greater Security

  • Payment tokens used instead of card numbers
  • Dynamic security codes on each transaction
  • Fingerprint or face ID required to pay

Easy Transactions

  • Simple tap-to-pay at checkout
  • No need to insert or swipe a card
  • Works on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, Mac


  • All cards stored in one Apple Wallet app
  • Can switch between payment methods easily
  • Receipts are saved automatically

Rewards Integration

  • Ability to store and redeem rewards cards
  • Rewards balances visible
  • Points accrued automatically with purchases

So Apple Pay makes completing purchases more secure, quick, organized, and rewarding. These advantages demonstrate why retailers who add support for Apple Pay can improve customer convenience and satisfaction.

Will Harbor Freight Accept Apple Pay in the Future?

Harbor Freight does not currently take Apple Pay or other mobile wallet services, but could contactless payment support come someday?

There are a few signs that Harbor Freight may adopt Apple Pay down the road:

  • Harbor Freight’s main competitors like Home Depot and Lowe’s accept Apple Pay, which puts some pressure on Harbor Freight to offer mobile payments as well.
  • As more shoppers look to pay with iPhones and Apple Watches instead of physical cards, Harbor Freight may implement Apple Pay to satisfy changing consumer preferences.
  • Enabling Apple Pay aligns well with Harbor Freight’s reputation for innovation and would allow them to cater to younger demographics.

However, upgrading point-of-sale systems is an investment, and Harbor Freight places emphasizes affordability for shoppers. Since Apple Pay transactions would come with processing fees, there may be concerns about raising costs.

Realistically, Harbor Freight may take a “wait and see” stance before making Apple Pay available across hundreds of store locations. But in the long term, accepting mobile contactless payments seems imminent.

Be sure to check back for any updates on Harbor Freight’s payment methods that accept innovative services like Apple Pay!

Key Takeaways: Paying at Harbor Freight

  • Harbor Freight currently does NOT accept Apple Pay or other mobile wallets. You cannot use mobile tap-to-pay when shopping there.
  • In-store payment options include: cash, credit/debit cards, Harbor Freight gift cards, checks, and rewards certificates. Make sure to have one of these payment methods on hand.
  • Consider saving money by using paper coupons, joining the loyalty rewards program, or buying discounted gift cards. Take advantage of these alternatives for easy payments.
  • Harbor Freight may support Apple Pay and contactless payments someday, but likely not in the immediate future. As consumer preferences evolve, updated point-of-sale systems could support mobile transactions.

Knowing what to use when paying at Harbor Freight makes checking out easy. And you may be able to save extra money by leveraging coupons, rewards programs, and gift cards since Apple Pay is not supported currently.


In summary, Harbor Freight is a beloved discount tool retailer, but they presently do not accept Apple Pay or other contactless payments when checking out in-stores. At their registers, you can pay with major credit cards, debit cards, cash, checks, and Harbor Freight-specific gift cards/rewards certificates. However, iPhone users cannot tap their devices to pay due to limitations with Harbor Freight’s systems.

Hopefully this breakdown demystifies Harbor Freight’s payment acceptance policies. And the guidance provided on preferred payment types, saving money without Apple Pay, and analyzing the future possibility of mobile wallet integration provides helpful insight. So next time you visit Harbor Freight, leave the iPhone behind and bring a physical payment type instead to check out seamlessly.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Can I use Apple Pay at self-checkout?
    No, unfortunately Apple Pay is not enabled on Harbor Freight’s self-checkout registers either. You’ll need to use one of their accepted payment types when scanning items and completing transactions yourself.

  2. Does Harbor Freight take Google Pay or Samsung Pay?
    Harbor Freight does not currently accept Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or any other third-party mobile wallet services. At this time, they only take physical payment card types when checking out purchases.

  3. Can I use Apple Pay or Google Pay in the Harbor Freight app?
    While Harbor Freight has a helpful smartphone app, it does not support any kind of mobile payments or transactions. The app allows you to browse inventory, save items, access coupons, and more – but cannot be used at checkout.

  4. Will Harbor Freight ever take Apple Pay?
    Harbor Freight may accept Apple Pay in the future as contactless payments gain wider adoption. However, mobile wallet acceptance would require significant investments in POS system upgrades across their 1,000+ locations – so a nationwide rollout may realistically take years if it happens.

  5. Is Apple Pay cheaper than paying normally?
    Apple Pay transactions do not cost less than other payment forms, as they incur standard credit or debit card processing fees. However, shoppers may qualify for certain rewards or perks that provide discounts by adding cards to the Apple Wallet.

  6. Where do I see Apple Pay accepted?
    Turn your iPhone on to check for the Apple Pay/contactless payment symbols showing checkout terminals accept mobile wallet payments. Participating retailers also promote Apple Pay marks online and on store signage. An Apple Pay badge will display on supported websites too during transactions.

  7. Can I set Apple Pay as my default online payment?
    On many ecommerce sites and iOS apps that accept Apple Pay, you can choose to set it as the default payment method so it automatically selects your card when you begin checkout. Look for the “Set as default” link by your Apple Pay payment option.

  8. Is Apple Pay safe to use?
    Yes, Apple Pay provides best-in-class security protections for payments: card details are never shared directly, one-time dynamic security codes are generated, payments require fingerprint/face authentication on your device, and all data transmissions use end-to-end encryption.
  9. Do I need a smartphone to use Apple Pay?
    While Apple Pay originated for mobile payments on iPhone and Apple Watch, you can now use Apple Pay on newer MacBooks with Touch ID for online and in-store checkout. An iPhone is no longer required to access virtual Apple Pay cards if you have compatible Apple laptop hardware.

  10. Where can I see more stores and apps that take Apple Pay?
    Check the full directory of merchants that accept Apple Pay payments in-store, in apps, or on the web. The list contains thousands of retail chains, small businesses, online stores, and more conveniently categorized by shopping category and location.

  11. Will my cards’ rewards programs still work if I pay with Apple Pay?
    Yes, any credit cards you add to Apple Pay will still accrue rewards points, cash back, or other loyalty incentives when using Apple Pay at checkout. Paying via Apple Pay does not impact your ability to redeem or accumulate cardmember rewards.

  12. Can minors setup Apple Pay?
    Teenagers under 18 cannot setup Apple Pay independently or add their own cards. However, parents can add their children’s bank debit cards to Apple Pay by setting up Family Sharing and enabling the Apple Cash Family card option (where available).

  13. Do I need a bank account to use Apple Cash?
    To utilize the funds transfer features of Apple Cash and obtain a virtual Apple Cash card for payments, you need a valid debit card linked to a bank account. Credit cards or prepaid debit cards cannot be used to send/receive Apple Cash payments.

  14. Can Apple Pay work on an Apple Watch without an iPhone?
    Apple Watches with cellular data connectivity can use Apple Pay without having your iPhone nearby. However, setting up Apple Pay still requires an iPhone during initial configuration of the Apple Watch. For non-cellular Apple Watch models, an iPhone connection is mandatory.

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