Apple’s new credit card, called the Apple Card, was announced this spring and isn’t available to everyone just yet – the rollout for the card began this week. While a few (a random draw of people who signed up for the waiting list) begin to use the card, let’s take a look at how it intersects with your other options. Yes sir, Apple card is futuristic and fancy, but is it worth putting your other cards in the back of your wallet?
The good thing about the Apple Card
The application process
- Applying for the card takes a few minutes. You can see your interest rate and credit limit before accepting the card, and Apple says your credit won’t be affected until you accept the card.
- You can use the card on your iOS device anywhere Apple Pay is accepted. Once approved, you can use the Apple Card in the Wallet app right away.
Billing and rewards
- The card automatically categorizes and colors your expenses according to the type of purchase in your wallet app. It also maps your purchases so you can see the physical areas where you have been charging. You can view summaries of your expenses by week, month, day, or by category of expenses.
- Get 3% cashback on purchases from Apple, including games or subscriptions like Apple Music. You earn 2% when you use Apple Pay and 1% on all other purchases. This cashback is granted daily instead of letting you wait until the end of the billing cycle to see the benefits. You can choose to send this money back to your card to lower your balance, pay a friend via iMessage, or send it to your bank account.
- There is no limit to the amount of cashback you can earn, but you must Apple cash Card in your wallet app to receive daily deposits.
- If you’re not paying your entire bill, you can see an estimate of the interest you will pay based on your payment amount.
- Apple Card does not charge an annual fee. There are also no late payment fees, cash advance fees, international transaction fees, overruns fees, or repayment fees.
- It’s just beautiful to look at! The physical map is extensive and every minimalist design fan’s dream. And as Senior Tech Editor at Lifehacker David Murphy pointed out that the virtual card in your Apple Wallet will change color to reflect your spending categories.
Security and privacy
- Fraudulent charges can be flagged from Apple Wallet, and Apple says you’ll get answers to your questions “24/7 by text message” instead of having to call them.
- Apple Card requires Face ID or Touch ID to authorize purchases and pairs a unique security code with your device number with every purchase. The physical card does not contain any numbers or a security code – just your name. Your wallet app stores a virtual card number that you can use for online purchases on websites without Apple Pay.
- Apple says card administrator Goldman Sachs “uses your information to operate Apple Card,” but clearly states, “They will never sell or share your information with anyone else for marketing or promotional purposes.”
What’s not so exciting about Apple Card
Interest and Rewards
- Your floating rate depends on your credit history and can range from 12.99% to 23.99%. It’s competitive with other credit cards, but if you’re looking for a rock-bottom interest rate, you should do better with a credit union.
- If you are not deeply rooted in the Apple universe and you know that you can often get 3% cashback, other cards can give you better rewards. TThe Chase Freedom card, for example, offers 3% cashback on all purchases (for your first $ 20,000 in spend) and the Discover It card offers a rotating quarterly cashback category of 5%.
- From now on your card activity does not sync with budgeting apps that you could be loyal to.
The Apple ecosystem
- Obviously, this card is only useful for iOS users. You need a compatible iPhone model with Face ID or Touch ID and the latest version of iOS. iPhone 5s is excluded.
- If you want to spend less time on your phone, this may not be the best option for you. There is no desktop version of your account and no expense data to look through – just apps.
The conclusion to the Apple Card
If you’re an Apple fan who wants to do less with your physical wallet and more with your phone, it’s well worth applying. If you’re just looking for a different reward card, look elsewhere. A regular cash back card can likely help you get higher rewards for all of your expenses including Apple products and apps. I don’t think you’ll see the Apple Card on a “best cashback card” ranking anytime soon.