The Apple Credit Card, launched in 2019, has garnered its fair share of attention and opinions from users and experts alike. With innovative security features, no annual fees, and exclusive management tools to help you manage your spending and debt, it promises a unique experience tailored to the needs of Apple enthusiasts.
However, as with any new product, there are pros and cons to consider before diving in. This review takes a closer look at the card’s features, fees, and benefits to determine if it’s the right choice for you. Armed with this information, you’ll be better prepared to decide if the Apple Credit Card deserves a spot in your wallet.
Apple Credit Card Overview
Apple and Goldman Sachs Partnership
The Apple Card is a credit card designed and launched by Apple in partnership with Goldman Sachs. This collaboration combines Apple’s expertise in technology and user experience with Goldman Sachs’ financial services background. The result is a credit card that aims to revolutionize the payment industry while offering a seamless and secure experience for users.
Apple Card Design: Titanium and Mobile Options
The Apple Card is available in both physical and mobile forms. The physical card is made of titanium, and features a unique numberless design that prioritizes security and privacy. It is sleek and minimalistic, with only the Apple logo and cardholder’s name engraved on the card. The mobile option allows cardholders to make payments through their iPhones using Apple Pay, ensuring quick and convenient transactions.
The Apple Card comes with several innovative features, such as:
- Debt and spending management tools: Apple provides a comprehensive suite of tools to help cardholders manage their spending, track purchases, and set budget goals.
- No annual fees: Cardholders won’t have to pay any annual fees, late fees, or foreign transaction fees, making the card more accessible and cost-effective.
- Promise of data privacy: Apple has made a commitment to ensure that users’ data remains private and secure, which includes preventing third-party apps from accessing users’ transactions.
However, the Apple Card also has a few cons, such as:
- Low 1% cashback rate: The card offers a relatively low 1% cashback rate on purchases made without using Apple Pay. This can be a major drawback for users who prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores where Apple Pay is not yet accepted.
In terms of interest rates, Apple Card offers an APR ranging from 12.99% to 23.99%, depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness. Overall, the Apple Card aims to provide excellent customer experience by leveraging advancements in technology, design, and security measures, while still offering useful financial management tools.
Rewards and Benefits
Cash Back Rates for Different Categories
The Apple Credit Card offers varying cash back rates for different spending categories:
- 3% cash back on Apple purchases and certain partners that use Apple Pay, like Nike, T-Mobile, Exxon, Mobil, Panera Bread, and Walgreens.
- 2% cash back on all other purchases when using Apple Pay.
- 1% cash back on purchases made with the physical card.
These rates compare well to other rewards cards like the Amazon Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers higher cash back on U.S. supermarkets and select streaming subscriptions.
Daily Cash and Apple Cash Card
Cash back rewards are provided in the form of Daily Cash, which is accumulated and credited to the user’s Apple Cash Card within the Wallet app. Cash rewards can be earned daily and are available to use immediately. Cardholders can redeem Daily Cash as statement credit, send money to friends in the Wallet app, or use it for purchases on Apple Pay.
Merchant Partners and 3% Cash Back
Apple has partnerships with several merchants, including T-Mobile, Nike, Exxon, Mobil, Walgreens, and Panera Bread, to offer 3% cash back on purchases made using Apple Pay. This additional cash back rate is a great benefit for customers who frequently shop at these partner brands.
However, it’s important to note that not all merchants accept Apple Pay, and therefore, users might not be able to take advantage of the full rewards potential in all situations.
Apple Card Family and Authorized Users
Through the Apple Card Family, participants can add up to five people as authorized account users, allowing them to earn rewards and build credit together. Users can also track and monitor spending for all added members. This feature sets Apple Card apart from some competitors like Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which doesn’t provide authorized user options.
While the Apple Credit Card offers some attractive benefits, it doesn’t currently reward users with travel miles or bonuses for streaming services and TV, unlike other cards such as Blue Cash Preferred® Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Overall, the rewards system offers notable advantages for Apple enthusiasts and those shopping at participating partner merchants, with a simple cash back structure and integration within the Apple ecosystem.
Fees and Interest Rates
The Apple Credit Card comes with a $0 annual fee, making it an attractive option for those looking for a credit card without the burden of yearly costs. When it comes to interest rates, the card’s Regular APR ranges from 15.74% to 26.74% variable, depending on your credit score. This rate is on par with industry standards for credit cards tailored to individuals with good credit standing.
For late payments, Apple has adopted a consumer-friendly approach, as it does not charge a late fee. This is a unique feature when compared to many other credit cards that may impose penalties for delinquent payments. However, late payments can still affect your credit score and result in a higher interest rate, so it is vital to make timely payments to maintain a healthy financial profile.
While the Apple Credit Card does not specifically offer balance transfer promotions or options, cardholders can benefit from special financing on eligible Apple purchases. The card allows users to pay for these purchases with interest-free monthly installments, helping them manage their spending without incurring additional debt.
Notably, the Apple Credit Card has no foreign transaction fees, making it an excellent choice for cardholders who frequently travel internationally. This feature saves users from incurring extra charges when making purchases outside of their home country.
In summary, the fee structure and interest rate range of the Apple Credit Card reflect its focus on providing cardholders with a user-friendly, financially advantageous option. Here’s a quick overview of the crucial fees and rates associated with this card:
- Annual fee: $0
- Regular APR: 15.74% – 26.74% variable (dependent on credit score)
- Late fee: None
- Interest-free monthly installments: Available for eligible Apple purchases
- Foreign transaction fees: None
Managing the Apple Credit Card
Wallet App and iPhone Integration
The Apple Credit Card smoothly integrates with the Wallet app on your iPhone, making it easy to track your spending habits and payments. With the Wallet app, you can view your current balance, credit limit, and transactions instantly. The app also categorizes your expenses, helping you understand where your money is going. Thanks to its compatibility with Mastercard, the Apple Credit Card can be used at a variety of merchants and even added to your Apple Cash Card for convenience.
Monthly Installments and Purchase Management
When using the Apple Credit Card, you have the option to pay for certain expenses in monthly installments. This feature is particularly useful for expensive Apple products and is available at select merchants, like Duane Reade. The Wallet app allows you to manage your installments, track your ongoing balance, and ensure timely payments. However, it is important to note that the Apple Credit Card does not offer a balance transfer fee or a welcome bonus like some other credit cards.
|Monthly Installments||Available at select merchants|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Not available|
Apple Card Family and Authorized Users
The Apple Card Family feature allows you to share your credit card with other members in your family group, like a spouse or children. By adding authorized users, you can help them build credit and manage their spending habits. You can also set spending limits and receive notifications on their transactions. The Apple Credit Card supports this feature across iPhone and iPad devices, ensuring seamless management of your finances.
In terms of security and privacy, the Apple Credit Card offers robust protection measures to keep your information safe. While it doesn’t directly affect your credit report or credit scores, responsible card usage can contribute to building a good credit history.
Remember, though the Apple Credit Card offers several appealing features, it does not come with a sign-up bonus or balance transfer fee. While it may not be the best fit for everyone, the card’s seamless integration with Apple products, monthly installments, and Apple Card Family functionality make it a reliable choice for Apple devotees who prioritize convenience and easy expense management.
Pros and Cons
The Apple Credit Card has some notable features that make it appealing to users who enjoy simplicity and integration with their Apple products. Some of the card’s pros include:
- No annual fees, which can be a significant saving for users who want a cost-effective rewards credit card.
- Innovative security features such as the unique numberless titanium card and Apple’s commitment to data privacy.
- Debt and spending management tools that help users manage their finances more effectively.
In terms of rewards, the Apple Card offers a cash back system on purchases. You can earn:
- 3% cash back on Apple products and purchases at select retailers like Target, gas stations, and transit.
- 2% cash back on purchases made using Apple Pay.
- 1% cash back on all other purchases, including dining and those made at retailers that do not accept Apple Pay.
However, there are certain cons to consider before applying for the Apple Card:
- Its cash back rate of 1% on all other purchases is relatively low compared to other rewards credit cards on the market.
- Lack of a sign-up bonus, which is a feature commonly available with many competing rewards cards.
- No options to earn points for travel or other benefits beyond cash rewards.
Moreover, the Apple Card does not charge foreign transaction fees, which is a plus for users who travel internationally.
In summary, the Apple Credit Card offers some appealing features and rewards, especially for those who frequently purchase Apple products and use Apple Pay. However, the card has limitations in terms of rewards and benefits compared to other credit cards in the market.
Comparing Apple Card to Other Credit Cards
In this section, we will compare the Apple Card to the Citi® Double Cash Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card is a popular cash-back credit card that offers 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay off your balance. It has no annual fee and offers an intro APR of 0% on balance transfers for the first 18 months. However, it does charge a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. While the Apple Card has similar no-fee and cash-back features, it lacks the balance transfer option and offers a rewards rate of only 1% cash back on non-Apple purchases made without using Apple Pay.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a versatile rewards credit card that offers a base reward of 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no caps on the amount you can earn. It also features a generous signup bonus of $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. The card has no annual fee and offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. Comparatively, the Apple Card has a lower rewards rate, and it doesn’t offer a signup bonus or an intro APR period on purchases.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a top choice for those who want to earn high rewards rates on specific categories. It offers 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back on U.S. gas station purchases, and 3% cash back on transit purchases, like taxis, rideshares, and parking. The card does come with a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), which may not be suitable for everyone. The Apple Card primarily lacks the higher rewards rates in these specific categories, making the Blue Cash Preferred® Card a strong option for people who frequently spend in those areas.
To sum up, each of these cards has strengths and weaknesses depending on individual preferences and spending habits. It is important for consumers to compare these options to determine which card best fits their needs and situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Apple Card worth it?
The Apple Card is worth considering if you’re a fan of Apple products and prefer unique security features, debt and spending management tools. Additionally, the card has no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no late payment fees.
What is the required credit score?
To be eligible for the Apple Card, you need to have a good to excellent credit score. The approval process would also consider other factors like your disposable income after existing debt obligations.
What are the benefits?
Some benefits of the Apple Card include:
- No annual, foreign transaction or late payment fees
- Innovative security features with no physical card numbers
- Integration with Apple Wallet and spending management tools
- Daily cash back rewards on Apple Pay purchases
What are Apple Card’s limitations?
The main limitations of the Apple Card are:
- Lack of a sign-up bonus
- Limited rewards program compared to other credit cards
- No option for authorized users or sharing the account
- Restricted compatibility: only available to iPhone users
Is it suitable for students?
The Apple Card might be suitable for students, especially those who are already using Apple products and services. However, students should consider their income, credit score, and spending habits before applying for any credit card.
What is the interest rate?
The Apple Card comes with a variable annual percentage rate (APR) ranging from 15.74% to 26.74%, depending on your creditworthiness. Make sure to pay attention to your credit score and financial situation to determine if this card is the best option for you.