Apple Card has been available for several years at this point, and it’s proven to be a very popular credit card. Despite its popularity, however, there are a few things to keep in mind before signing up for Apple Card. Here’s what you need to know.
Apple Card quick facts
- Apply and manage directly in the Wallet app on your iPhone
- Get a free Apple-designed titanium card
- No late fees
- No over-limit fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- Created by Apple with a financial back-end powered by Goldman Sachs
- All payments due on the last day of the month
- Find out if you’re approved with only a soft credit check
Apple Card perks
The Apple Card offers a set of rewards and perks that make it enticing for a few different reasons. The headlining feature is the ability to earn “Unlimited Day Cash back” on every purchase. The amount of that cash back, however, varies by where and how you make that purchase.
- 3% Daily Cash back on every purchase from Apple Stores, Apple’s website, and all digital purchases from the App Store, iTunes, and Apple services like Apple Music and Apple TV+
- 2% Daily Cash back on all purchases made using Apple Pay online and in-store
- 1% Daily Cash back on all other purchases
You can also get 3% Daily Cash back when you buy with Apple Pay at a selection of specific stores and retailers:
- Ace Hardware
- Uber Eats
- Duane Reade
- Panera Bread
Apple Card Monthly Installments
Another of the nice perks of Apple Card is the “Monthly Installments” feature that allows you to finance any purchase of Apple products over time with zero-percent interest.
If you’re an Apple Card user, you’ll see an “Apple Card Monthly Installments” financing option. You can finance pretty much any Apple product using this option, including all of Apple’s primary product categories:
- iPhone: Finance across 24 months
- Mac: Finance across 12 months
- iPad: Finance across 12 months
- Apple Watch: Finance across 24 months
- AirPods: Finance across 6 months
- Apple TV 4K: Finance across 6 months
If you trade in an iPhone towards the purchase of a new iPhone, the value of that trade-in will be instantly deducted from the purchase price of the new iPhone, lowering your monthly installment.
You also earn 3% Daily Cash on all Apple Card Monthly Installment purchases. For instance, if you buy an iPhone 14 for $799, you get the full 3% Daily Cash, or roughly $24, deposited right away, even though you haven’t actually paid for the device yet.
There is no approval process required for Apple Card Monthly Installments. Instead, the balance of your installments counts towards your overall Apple Card credit limit. For instance, if you have a credit limit of $5,000 and you finance an iPhone 14 from Apple, the cost of that iPhone 14 is subtracted from your overall credit limit.
What is Daily Cash?
“Daily Cash” is what Apple calls the cash back that you earn with Apple Card purchases. You earn the Daily Cash right after the purchase posts to your Apple Card balance. This is different than many other cash back cards, which don’t give the cash back until the end of each statement cycle.
By default, Daily Cash is deposited directly to your “Apple Cash” balance. Apple Cash is a separate card in the Wallet app that is effectively Apple’s competitor to other payment services like Venmo and Cash app.
Money in your Apple Cash account can be used for Apple Pay purchases, sent to friends and family via Messages, or transferred to your linked bank account. You can also use your Apple Cash funds to pay down the balance of your Apple Card itself.
Another option available is to have Daily Cash rewards immediately applied to your Apple Card’s balance. This works if you don’t have an Apple Cash account.
Apple Card security and privacy
Apple Card also offers a handful of security and privacy features that can help protect your information and finances to prevent unauthorized transactions.
- Advanced Fraud Protection: The Card Security Code automatically refreshes every day.
- No card number or security code on the physical card itself
- Ability to lock your Apple Card via the Wallet app
- Real-time transaction notifications via the Wallet app
Is the Apple Card worth it?
Now that we’ve run through the benefits and features of Apple Card, we can talk about whether or not it’s worth it.
For a card with no annual fee, the Apple Card has some enticing perks and reward options – especially for people who find themselves spending a decent amount of money with Apple directly.
The Apple Card is worth it if the following things apply to you:
- You aren’t concerned about the potential one-time hit to your credit score.
- Apple Pay is widely accepted as a payment option from the stores and websites you shop.
- You buy products from Apple, the App Store, and Apple Services.
- You can responsibly take advantage of the Apple Card Monthly Installments option for 0% financing on Apple products.
- You value the ability to manage everything via the Wallet app on your iPhone.
- There’s also a web interface for Apple Card, but the Wallet app is the best way to manage Apple Card.
That’s not to say the Apple Card is a must-have credit card, though. There are similarly competitive cash back options from the likes of Chase, Citi, and Discover. You can also check out options from American Express, many of which offer more enticing rewards as long as you know how to best redeem the Membership Rewards points.
I got the chance to talk with Emmanuel Crouvisier, developer of the popular CardPointers app, about the Apple Card. CardPointers is an excellent app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac to help you maximize credit card rewards.
There are so many more advantages to a good rewards card, like a Chase Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Citi Premier, or Amex Gold card. With those cards you can earn transferable points which you can transfer to airlines and hotels to get a lot more value out of the points that you earn — and their points multipliers for most categories are much higher than the Apple Card, too.
With the Apple Card the most you can get is 3% back on your purchase, whereas with the cards I’ve mentioned, you can get 5x back in points on some categories like restaurants, gas stations, etc, and those points are worth even more as you can redeem them for things like business class seats to Europe.
If someone spends $10,000 on their Apple Card in a year they’ll get back at most $300, whereas the same $10k spend on a good rewards card can earn them 50,000 points, and those points can be worth 4c or more with a good redemption, meaning the real value would be $2,000. Literally 7x more value out of using a good rewards card, and that’s what CardPointers helps users do — earn more from every purchase just by paying with the right card.
Even if you just want to focus on cash back, other cards can earn the same cash back as the Apple Card on even more categories and merchants. I’d love to see the Apple Card further improve their earnings categories, and more and more banks are doing deals directly with specific merchants as a form of advertising, so I think we’ll continue to see more of that across all cards as a new source of revenue for them.
9to5Mac readers can save 30% off the normal price of CardPointers and get a $100 Savings Card as a signup bonus.
As always, credit cards are only a wide financial tool if you pay them off every month. Once you start carrying a balance and paying interest, the credit card company is making money off you. The rewards you receive will never outweigh the interest charges.
What are your thoughts on Apple Card? Are you an Apple Card user already or are you considering applying? Let us know down in the comments.
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