- Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs to offer the Apple Card beginning this summer.
- The card is only available for iPhone users, and while it lives natively on the iPhone, users also request a physical titanium card.
- I tried using my Apple Card for a few days, paying with both Apple Pay and the titanium card, and the best parts of the card were the design and the ease of use.
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This August, Apple debuted its Apple Card in partnership with Goldman Sachs.
The Apple Card offers 3% cash back on Apple store purchases, Uber and Uber Eats, Walgreens, Duane Reed, and T-Mobile. It offers 2% cash back on all other purchases made with Apple Pay, and 1% if you pay with the physical card. With higher cash back rates on Apple Pay, Apple is encouraging you to pay digitally. You don’t even necessarily need the titanium card – but you can request it for free through Apple Wallet, the same place you apply for the card.
With this card, Apple emphasises privacy and security. Every purchase with Apple Pay must be authorised with Face ID or Touch ID. The card doesn’t have a number or security code on it, either. To buy something online where you need a card number, you must access the number through Apple Wallet.
I wanted to see if these features were worth the hype, so I applied for an Apple Card.
I applied for my Apple Card in Apple Wallet, and was approved in about a minute.
When you apply for an Apple Card within Apple Wallet, you’ll be prompted to put in your name, address, annual income, and last four digits of your social security number.
Within about a minute, you’ll get an offer with a credit limit and interest rate. If you hit “accept,” the card is added to your wallet, and you can start using it immediately.
I also requested the physical titanium card.
The card itself has no number or security code on it, which makes credit card theft more difficult.
I like the design a lot - I mostly ordered the card because I liked how it looked, so I don’t know if I’ll use it that much. It’s minimalist, with only a name, payment chip, and Apple logo on the front. The card is slim, but it feels noticeably sturdier than my other cards.
I probably won’t carry it every day, but I like it for the novelty.
You can track the card during delivery, and you’ll get a notification when it ships. My tracking wasn’t exactly accurate, and it prompted me to activate my card before I had it.
I hit the “help” button and the above message autofilled for me.
When the card arrived later, I was again prompted to activate the card, and it worked immediately.
The upside of this slight mishap was that I got to see how well Apple handles customer support for the card. I got a response almost immediately, and Apple says customers will have access to support 24/7.
To pay, you double click the side button, and authorise the purchase with Face ID or Touch ID.
So far, most places I’ve tried to use it have accepted Apple Pay. Note that some stores may not even know if it works until you try it, like one coffee shop I went to.
You can access all of your information and spending history within Apple Wallet.
I’ve only been using it for a few days so I don’t have that much history to look at, but I do like the colour breakdown of purchases by category. Although the feature is slick, it isn’t exactly groundbreaking. My Bank of America app does the same thing, but that information is front and centre in the Wallet app, while I have to scroll to find it for my other cards.
After a few days, I think this design intuitively makes more sense in order to help absorb the information when I look at it quickly as opposed to other credit card and banking apps I’ve used.
I especially appreciate the way that your spending habits affect the colours of the card.
My card is mostly yellow and orange because I spent on what Apple categorizes as “Shopping” and “Food & Drinks.” The small amount of blue comes from “Transportation” – an Uber ride.
When you pay off your bill, your card turns white again, which I anticipate will be really satisfying.
As another security measure, you can immediately look at all your purchases with names and locations to make sure they look right.
My Apple Card gave me an overview of my weekend, showing me a map of everywhere I’d spent money. I do appreciate how charges show up instantly, so I can keep track of spending without waiting for purchases to show up a day or so later. You can set it up to get a notification immediately after each purchase.
The card also has a tool that helps you see how much interest you’ll end up paying.
The slider lets you compare how much you’d pay now and how much total interest you’ll end up owing.
I didn’t get to play around with this feature much, since I just got my card and my bill wasn’t due for a while.
I do like that the bills are consistently due at the end of the month, and you can see which expenses you’re paying off at every price point.
Daily Cash is a cool feature, but it isn’t exactly daily.
One of the Apple Card features Apple has touted most is “Daily Cash,” meaning that you get unlimited cash back every day on purchases using the card.
The cash back is daily in the sense that you don’t have to wait until a minimum amount or the end of your billing cycle to collect rewards, which is useful. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you get that cash the same day you make a purchase. You’ll get cash back the same day a payment processes, which could take several days. It’s a minor difference, and so far I’ve had payments process by the next day.
I like that everything lives in the Wallet app, so you can apply your cash rewards to your credit card payment easily without ever leaving Wallet. I don’t really have any other reason to use Apple Cash, so realistically I think that’s where all my cash back will go.
The Apple Card has no fees.
Along with security, Apple promoted the the fact that the card has no fees. At least on this point, the card is exactly what it sounds like. There are no late fees, no annual fees, and no fees for accidentally going over your credit limit. I’m especially happy about the lack of international transaction fees.
Privacy is a major selling point of this card.
According to Apple, a unique security code is generated each time you make a purchase.
Apple emphasises that it can’t see what you buy, or where you spend money. It also says that Goldman Sachs will not sell this data to third parties, although it will have access to your data.
So far I’m happy with the Apple Card, mostly for the ease of not having to fish the right card out of my bag. I’ve had good luck finding places that accept Apple Pay, and only used the physical card once, but I’m in a major city so this might not be the case in more rural areas.
The biggest perks of this card are definitely reserved for people who spend a lot directly with Apple. If you’re planning on buying a new iPhone, use this card. Plus, 2% cash back on all other Apple Pay purchases is a pretty good deal, and I do like seeing the rewards accumulate each day. But if you’re looking to maximise a specific kind of reward, like travel points, or you live in a place where not many stores accept Apple Pay, this might not be a good card for you.
I’ll probably continue using this card for its convenience. I like the way purchases are presented in the Wallet app, and it does everything I need a credit card to do, even if it’s not reinventing anything.
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