Is There a Monthly Fee for Apple AirTag?

Apple airtags and caseApple airtags and case

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The Apple AirTag is a small tracking device that fits on your key ring or in a wallet. Using the Find My app on iOS devices, you can track an AirTag’s location. It also has built-in measures to protect your privacy. With so many features, is there a monthly fee to use Apple AirTag?

Apple AirTags do not have a monthly fee. You get full access to all Apple AirTag’s features with a one-time purchase. However, you must install an iOS device with the Find My app to utilize its tracking capabilities.

If you’re prone to misplacing or losing things, Apple’s AirTag can be a lifesaver. It can help you find lost keys and personal items in your house, or track valuables that have traveled far away

Do Apple AirTags Require a Monthly Subscription?

Apple AirTags are small Bluetooth-enabled tracking devices that can be used to find stolen or misplaced items. They are small enough to attach to things like keys or backpacks without being noticeable. Each device has a built-in speaker for audio alerts. 

Unlike tracking tags from other companies, an Apple AirTag does not have a monthly fee. It’s a one-time purchase with no strings attached. You do need to install the Find My app  (which is also free) on your iOS devices.

Apple Air tags are sold individually for around $30 or about $100 for a four-pack. Using the Find My App on an iOS device, you can track all the Apple AirTags you own. If you have multiple items you want to keep an eye on, the 4-pack is a more economical option. 

Are There Other Costs Associated with Apple AirTags?

To get the most out of an AirTag, you may need to spend money on accessories and upkeep. These include accessories, batteries, and an iOS device.

Apple AirTag Accessories

apple airtage keychain accessory

One of the appealing attributes of an Apple AirTag is its ability to provide tracking capability in a small, discrete package. This metallic disc measures a mere 1.26 inches across with a thickness of .31 inches.

Since an AirTag’s effectiveness is proximity-based, accessories may be needed to attach this technology to the monitored item. Here are a few examples:

Most of these objects are inexpensive and, like the AirTags, are typically one-time purchases. 

Even factoring in the additional cost of purchasing accessories, the Apple AirTag remains an economical way to track your personal items.

And you can’t put a dollar value on peace of mind.

Apple AirTag Battery

Apple airtag battery

An Apple AirTag is powered by a CR2032 battery. According to Apple, the AirTag’s battery life is about a year. This figure is based on:

  • Four sound-based location events per day
  • One Precision Finding event per day
  • Normal environment conditions (AirTag is rated to perform in ambient temperatures of −4° to 140° F (−20° to 60° C)

Your AirTag will notify you through a connected iOS device when it is time to replace the battery. Replacing your AirTag battery every year is an additional cost of ownership, albeit a minor one.

Apple AirTag Connectivity – iOS Device Required

It may go without saying, but using an Apple AirTag presumes that you already own an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad. An AirTag can only be tracked and located using Apple’s Find My app. 

Android users who want to use Apple AirTags must choose from several iOS-powered Apple devices, such as an iPhone or iPad. This will drive up the cost of using AirTags significantly.

There are alternatives to Apple’s AirTag. Tile, for example, offers mobile tracking devices that do not require a specific phone operating system. However, you may end up paying more to use the device. 

Tile: The Costlier Alternative to Apple AirTags

Apple airtag on wooden desk

Another tag device that can be used to track locations is Tile. These are known as some of the simplest yet effective trackers on the market. However, there are significant differences in device cost and service fees between AirTag and Tile. Here’s how these two trackers stack up:

Number of modelsOneFour – Pro, Mate, Slim, Sticker
CostAround $30 for one and $100 for a 4-packFrom about $25 to $35 for a single device, depending on the model
Device compatibilityiOS devices onlyApple, Android, desktop and laptop computers, Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant
Free tracking capability?Yes, the full suite of tracking services included in the device purchase priceYes, limited tracking services under the free plan
Subscription required?NoYes, for enhanced tracking services. Premium plan is $2.99/month ($29.99/year). The Premium Protect plan is $99.99/year.
Replaceable battery?YesYes – Pro model onlyNo – Mate, Slim, Sticker models

Unlike Apple AirTags, Tiles can stick to surfaces and objects, so you don’t have to spend extra money buying accessories. Through a network of partners, Tile trackers can also be built into devices like earphones and laptops.

FAQ: Apple AirTag Features

How far can you track an Apple AirTag?

The Find Nearby feature for an AirTag works within Bluetooth range, approximately 15 to 30 feet. 

You can rely on millions of iOS devices on Apple’s Find My network for longer distances to help locate your tracker. Tracking data is uploaded to the cloud and is anonymous and encrypted. You will receive a notification when your AirTag is located by enabling Lost Mode.

How long do Apple AirTags last?

With normal use, you can expect an Apple AirTag’s replaceable battery to last at least one year. 

Regarding durability, each AirTag is splash, water, and dust resistant with an IP67 rating. This means that your Apple AirTag can survive 30 minutes at a water depth of 1 meter.

Do Apple AirTags need service?

Apple AirTags do not require a supporting plan such as cell service or a subscription. As long as you have an iOS device with the Find My app installed, you have everything you need to track items with AirTag.

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