Apple products have earned a prominent place in our front pockets. Now, it seems, the electronics company would like to earn a place in our back pockets (and purses!), with the brand new Apple Card!
The new Apple credit card is yet to launch, but should arrive by summer 2019. It will offer a unique Daily Cash rewards program, a suite of impressive security & privacy features, and a slick titanium design. Keep reading for our full Apple Card review.
What Is Apple Card?
Apple Card is a new kind of credit card that combines the features that Apple is best known for: simplicity, security, privacy, and transparency.
The card is designed to work seamlessly with Apple Pay. The digital card will live in the Wallet app on your phone, and will be easy to use for all digital wallet payments.
The primary function of the Apple Card is to serve as a digital wallet card. However, there is of course a physical credit card as well.
And, as you’d expect from Apple, the Apple Credit Card is sleek, stylish and ultra-simplistic. It is made of titanium, with laser-etched design features and no card number.
Instead, a secure card number is issued in the Wallet app. Interestingly, this card number can be changed by you, without even calling in.
The Apple Card rewards you with “Daily Cash” for every transaction. You can redeem these rewards for cashback, statement credits, or use it to make purchases.
The Apple Credit Card also makes it easy to track and analyze your spending, right from your iPhone.
We’ll cover all these features in more detail in our full Apple Card review, below!
Apple Card Review: Features
For an at-a-glance look at our Apple Credit Card review, here’s a brief look at the features of this card:
Daily Rewards – Apple Card rewards are earned daily, after each and every transaction you make. You’ll earn 3% on Apple purchases, 2% on Apple Pay purchases, and 1% on transactions made with the physical card.
Easy to Redeem – Rewards are ultra-simple to redeem, with a huge variety of options. Daily Cash rewards will be stored on a digital Apple Cash card. You can use it to make purchases, transfer to your bank account, send money to friends, or pay off your Apple Card balance.
Digital First – Apple Card is a digital payment card first, and a physical credit card second. This means it’s optimized to work flawlessly with Apple Pay, and that you’ll be able to make purchases all over the world using just your iPhone!
Less Interest – Apple Card actually encourages you to pay less interest, by clearly explaining how your payment amount affects the amount of interest you will pay. Apple will also offer industry-leading APRs (13.24% to 24.24% based on credit worthiness).
Spend Tracking – The Apple Credit Card will help you analyze and track your spending through a built-in feature of the Wallet app. You’ll be able to see your spending breakdown by category, flag transactions, and track spending trends over time.
Quick Support – Have a question? Just text Apple support from your phone. No need to call in, provide your account number, or anything like that! For folks already on the Apple ecosystem, this quick access to support reps will be very helpful.
Advanced Security – Apple Card features industry-leading security features. When used with Apple Pay, a secure card number is to keep each transaction safe from skimming. Features like Touch ID and Face ID mean that only you will be able to use your card. Plus, the physical card has no account number on it, giving you a whole new level of security.
Real-Time Fraud Prevention – If a suspicious transaction is detected, you’ll get a push notification to your phone in real-time. From there you can either approve or deny the transaction. Or, send a quick text to Apple if you have questions.
No Fees – There is no Apple Card annual fee, foreign transaction fee, cash advance fee, late fee, returned payment fee – or any other fee, for that matter!
Backed by Apple & Goldman Sachs – The Apple Card is backed by the technological prowess of Apple, and the banking experience of Goldman Sachs. You can trust in the security features of this card.
Not an Apple fanboy? Check out the Chase Slate Card!
Our Take on Features
It wouldn’t be a true Apple Card review without sharing our opinions about the card!
Overall, this card definitely has some interesting and unique features.
A favorite is the spend tracking feature, which lets you easily see where your money is going every week and month. This, combined with the interest analyzer, could potentially help improve the financial well-being of many people.
The lack of fees is also attractive. There are plenty of no-annual-fee credit cards, but there aren’t many that waive things like cash advance fees and late fees.
The security features are also interesting. The lack of a card number on the physical card could reduce the risk of getting the number skimmed. And of course the digital payments will be ultra-secure, thanks to Apple Pay’s tech. However, Wired points out that most of these security features are built into Apple Pay already – so the Apple Card won’t necessarily add much security to digital payments if you’re already using Apple Pay.
Apple Card Rewards
Like most credit cards, the Apple Card will provide cashback rewards on every purchase. The main difference here is that Apple Card cashback is earned daily, so you don’t have to wait until the end of your statement period in order to get your rewards!
The Apple Card also has the benefit of earning straight cash back. There are no points or miles to deal with, no complicated methods to redeem rewards, and no complex program to figure out. Just cash back!
Earning Apple Card Rewards
- Earn 3% back on Apple purchases, including Apple Store, iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, iCloud subscriptions, etc.
- Earn 2% back on all purchases made using Apple Pay. Whether it’s a restaurant, a book store or an online purchase, all Apple Pay transactions will earn 2% rewards
- Earn 1% back on all purchases made using the physical Apple Card.
As you can see, the rewards are tiered, with 1% on all purchases (using physical card), 2% on Apple Pay purchases, and 3% on Apple purchases.
Rewards are earned daily, and at the end of the day the rewards will be deposited to a digital Apple Cash card. From there you are free to redeem them immediately.
Redeeming Apple Card Rewards
On the redeeming side, you have several options.
Once Daily Cash is on your Apple Cash card, you can use these funds to:
- Pay off your Apple Card balance
- Transfer money to your bank account
- Send money to friends via Messages
- Make a purchase using Apple Pay
This gives you a lot of flexibility to do whatever you want with your rewards. Apple Cash truly is quite similar to actual cash!
Our Take on Rewards
Looking objectively at this card, the rewards are okay, but nothing special. There are plenty of cashback cards that offer better overall rewards rates.
The 2% rate on Apple Pay purchases is good, and matches the 2% rate of many of our favorite cashback cards. However, not everywhere takes Apple Pay.
The 1% rate on purchases made with the physical card is disappointing. We would have liked to see at least 1.5% to make this card competitive.
With all that said, this card really is designed for Apple Pay and to be a “credit card of the future”. So, it’s possible many people won’t use the physical card much.
On the redeeming side, the Apple Card is excellent. We love the Daily Cash feature for fast rewards, and the flexibility offered in redeeming your cash is quite nice as well.
Apple Card APR & Interest Details
The Apple Card claims to offer interest rates that are “among the lowest in the industry”. Currently, the fine print notes a rate of 13.24% to 24.24% based on credit worthiness. Of course, this could change by the time the card launches in summer.
As you can tell, that’s quite a range of APRs. This likely means that the Apple Card will be widely available to people with a wide range of credit scores. It’s possible that folks with FICO scores in the low to mid 600’s may qualify for this card – although they’ll pay significantly more in interest.
For people with excellent credit, the Apple Card APR may be a good deal. At a low range of 13.24%, the Apple Card is significantly under the national average of 17.67%.
On the upper end, APRs will be high but fairly typical for folks with low credit scores. That said, most cards with no annual fee aren’t even available to those with low credit scores, so the Apple Card may end up being a good deal after all.
As mentioned, Apple Card will be transparent in showing you how much interest you’re being charged, and how much you’ll need to pay to avoid interest charges. This feature will be built into the Wallet App, just like the Spend Tracker.
In theory, this feature should help people get a better grasp on how credit card interest actually works. Apple’s slick interface makes it easy to comprehend the interest charges, which is a welcome change from most credit card providers.
Our Take on Interest
Apple Card seems to offer competitive interest rates to people with excellent credit. For everyone else, rates will probably be fairly average. It’s difficult to say for sure before the card actually launches and we have real data-points on the actual APRs that folks are getting.
One thing we do really appreciate about the Apple Card is the built-in interest analyzer. This is an important feature for people who are new to credit cards and those who have struggled with credit card debt in the past.
The feature lets you play around with your payment amount, and easily see how much interest you will be charged. Pay more, and you’ll pay less interest. Pay less, and interest charges will go up.
This is no different than how the average credit card works. The difference is in how the information is presented. By using a simple, well-designed slider feature, the Apple Card’s interest charges should be easier to understand and more transparent than your typical credit card.
Apple Card Review: Pros & Cons
Information overload, anyone? Let’s recap with a quick pros & cons list.
- Daily Cash rewards delivered every day
- Flexible redemption options – statement credit, bank account transfer, etc.
- Competitive 2% cashback when using Apple Pay
- Innovative Spend Tracker to help you budget and analyze spending
- Easy to see how much interest you’re paying, and how payment size affects interest
- Advanced security features
- Easy and fast support via SMS
- Built for Apple Pay and the future of payment tech
- Backed by Apple and Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest banks in America
- No annual fee, foreign transaction fee, late fee, etc. No fees at all (besides interest)
- Competitive APRs
- 1% cashback rate on purchases made with physical card is pretty low
- You can’t add an authorized user
- Many of the toted security benefits already exist with Apple Pay, with any credit card
Apple Card Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, the Apple Card is an interesting new credit card. The physical design is slick and minimalist, and the digital payment features are great. We could see this card becoming somewhat of a status symbol, just like Apple’s smartphones.
Highlights of the card include the spending tracker, interest charge analyzer, daily rewards earning, and the security features.
Downsides include a fairly low rewards rate for purchases made with the physical card, and the fact that authorized users aren’t supported.
From what we can tell so far, this should be a pretty good option for folks who use iPhones and enjoy Apple products. It’s not a card that we’re clambering to get a hold of, but it’s a solid offering.
This Apple Card review will be updated as details emerge, and again when the card launches in Summer 2019. For now, let us know what you think about the card in the comments below. Will you be applying for the Apple Card?