Apple has just launched its first-ever credit card with new features that may make it a compelling choice for you. As Apple re-invented music players with the iPod, smartphones with the iPhone, and tablets with the iPad, the company is looking to re-invent credit cards with the Apple Card.
What Apple Card Is
Apple Card is a virtual and physical MasterCard credit card, issued by Apple jointly with the bank Goldman Sachs. You can use the Apple Card to make purchases as you would any other credit card, but there are significant differences between Apple Card and many other credit cards.
You can decide if Apple Card features work well for you. If you decide it does, you can request to apply for one at the Apple Card page on the Apple Store website. Note that as of this writing, Apple Card is invitation-only.
But it may not be the best credit card choice for you. More on that below…
Features That May Make You Want an Apple Card
If you’re looking to get a new credit card, and want one that gives you worthwhile rebates, has no fees, and is easy to use, you may want to consider the Apple Card. Its unique features may be a great fit for you, if you find these features useful.
Using the Apple Card Is Easy
The Apple Card is both a physical and virtual credit card. The virtual Card lives in the Wallet app on your iPhone and Apple Watch, and can be used with Apple Pay. Make it your preferred card in your Wallet and the Card can be used instantly anywhere that takes Apple Pay.
Double-click the power button on your iPhone or the side button on your Watch to summon the Card and pay for items quickly and easily.
This video from Apple shows how to make a purchase using the Apple Card on Apple Pay:
Virtual and Physical Cards
Shocking as this might seem, there may be times when you’re shopping at places that don’t accept Apple Pay. You can request a physical card to use for those places.
The physical Apple Card is made from titanium and comes in a white high-tech envelope that you use to activate the Card. No need to call a phone number to activate your new Card, hold your iPhone near the envelope and your new Apple Card will be activated and ready to use.
This Apple video shows how to activate the physical Apple Card:
As with some other credit cards, the Apple Card gives rebates when you use it. These rebates, called Daily Cash, are rewards:
- 2% for charges using Apple Pay
- 1% for charges not using Apple Pay
- 3% for charges of Apple products and services
Not surprisingly, Apple wants you to use Apple Pay and buy Apple stuff. If you don’t do either, there are probably better credit card deals for you.
You should know that Daily Cash is neither daily nor cash, but it still can be a useful rebate. From Apple, “Daily Cash is added to your Apple Cash card as soon as a purchase settles. After Daily Cash is added to your Apple Cash card, you can send it in Messages, use it to make purchases, or apply it to your Apple Card balance. The Daily Cash total in your Activity on Apple Card reflects the Daily Cash from transactions that have settled from any given week or month.”
Apple does not charge a fee for the Apple Card. The Card is also free of fees:
- No annual fee
- No late fee
- No balance transfer fee
- No reward redemption fee
- No returned payment fee
- No over-limit fee
- No paper statement fee
- No cash advance fee
- No financing fee
- No credit limit increase fee
- No foreign transaction fee
Apple Card charges interest rates between 12.99% to 23.99% on the unpaid balance on the card. A slider image in the Wallet app shows you how much your accrued interest will be on the Card based on your payment.
Color-Coding to Check Your Spending
Apple Card helps you keep track of your spending easily. In the Wallet app on your iPhone you can see a color-coded chart of your charges, according to how you’ve spent your money. Purple for services, yellow for shopping, green for travel, etc.
You can follow your expenses and easily see where your money is going on a chart that updates when you charge items to your card. Apple even shows you where you spent your money on a map, which could come in handy for charges you don’t recognize.
The virtual Apple Card changes color in the Wallet app, according to spending categories. Take a look at the Card to see how you’re spending money.
What would be really cool is if the physical Apple Card changed color as well. Then again, maybe you don’t want the world seeing what you’re spending money on, as you whip the Card out of your wallet…
The Apple Card looks quite different from other credit cards as you won’t see a number on the card. Neither the virtual card on your iPhone nor the physical card in your wallet displays a credit card number.
The number exists, and can be found in the Wallet app on your iPhone. If you need to change the number you can easily do so from within the Wallet app.
This video from Apple shows how to find your Apple Card number in the Wallet app on your iPhone.
Getting Help Is Easy
Have a problem with the Card? You can request help via the Wallet app on your iPhone and get help from the website, or via a phone call or text message.
This video from Apple demonstrates how to get help with your Apple Card.
I requested help when I was unable to add my Apple Card to the Wallet app on my Apple Watch. A helpful human (and yes, a human not a bot) chatted with me via text message and we figured out that I needed to update my Apple Watch to the latest Watch OS.
After I did that, I was able to add the Card to my Watch and use it with Apple Pay to make purchases.
Reasons Why Not to Get an Apple Card
While the Apple Card features may be compelling, cool, and/or fun, they may not be enough to make the Card the best credit card choice for you.
Other Çredit Card Deals May Be Better for You
You may find credit cards with better deals for you. If you don’t use Apple Pay much or don’t shop for Apple products often, you may get better rebates with other cards. If you travel a lot, you may want an affinity credit card that offers you rebates and amenities for your trips.
Shop around for your credit card as you would for other items you purchase.
Apple isn’t allowing other people to be added to your Apple Card account. You can’t have additional authorized users who get a Card linked to your account, so the information about Card spending in the Wallet app on your iPhone is based solely on what you’ve spent, not anyone else.
Even if you get the physical card, you aren’t given the option to get an additional Apple Card for an authorized user.
Only Apple Fans Need Apply
Don’t have an iPhone? Well then you won’t have an Apple Card. You use Apple Wallet to apply for the Card and activate the Card, so if you don’t have an iPhone, you won’t be able to apply for one.
But if you don’t have an iPhone, you may not be an Apple fan, in which case there are other better credit cards for you anyway.
Having a Credit Card That’s Fun to Use Can Be Dangerous
As fun as it may be to use the Apple Card, and watch the Daily Cash grow, and watch the Card change colors, it may not be so much fun when it’s time to pay the balance. The more Daily Cash you’ve earned, the higher the balance is on your Card.
Fee-free doesn’t mean interest-free. If you miss a payment on your Apple Card, you will accrue interest on the unpaid balance and your credit score may be negatively affected.
As with any credit card, the Apple Card gives you a convenient way to borrow money until the balance is due. Never charge more than you can afford to pay off at the end of the month, unless you enjoy paying a high interest rate…
Are you interested in getting an Apple Card? What are the most compelling features of the Card for you? What features would you like to see with the Apple Card?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!