Apple has made no secret of its intention to integrate into all aspects of your life – from its foray into wearables and augmented reality to his next list of original content. However, when he announced earlier this year that he was developing his own virtual credit card with Goldman Sachs, it came as a surprise. What’s going to make the Apple Card stand out from the already inundated realm of consumer credit cards, and is it really going to make your life better or easier?
It’s a complicated question to answer early on, but now that the Apple Card has been officially launched for some users who showed early interest in it, it’s worth checking out if it’s right for you. So to help you out, we’ve put together a primer on everything you need to know about the tech giant’s new payments platform, including its unique cashback benefits and the flashy titanium physical card that’s got it. ‘accompanied.
What is the Apple Card?
Unlike traditional credit cards, this one will live in your iPhone’s Wallet app, can be subscribed to in minutes, and can be used as a digital card anywhere Apple Pay is accepted. Notably, it also comes with a titanium physical card (for use in places where Apple Pay isn’t accepted) that looks quite different from the plastic rectangle you might be used to. It is engraved with only your name and waives any sensitive data like a credit card number, CVV, expiration date or signature. For security reasons, all of this authorization information is stored in your Wallet app.
How does the Apple Card work?
While it might seem a bit confusing that there is both a virtual and a physical form of the card, that’s really not the case. If the place you are shopping/dining/visiting – online or in a physical location – accepts Apple Pay, you can easily download the digital version to your iPhone and complete the transaction. If Apple Pay isn’t accepted, you can just use the physical version instead (Mastercard handles all payment processing). Either way, you’ll be able to easily access a complete overview of all your purchases instantly on your phone.
Specifically, you’ll be able to see when your monthly payment is due and how much you owe, as well as a Maps view of all the places you’ve made purchases. On top of that, you’ll be able to quickly check how much you’ve spent in a given period and track your spending by category, which could be a big help when it comes to budgeting.
What are the benefits of an Apple Card?
In addition to seamless and comprehensive purchase tracking features, the Apple Card also comes with a unique cash back benefit.
Unlike the complicated point systems you may be familiar with from other rewards cards, this one has a cash back program called Daily Cash. Essentially, you’ll earn money on every transaction – 1% when using the physical card, 2% when using the digital version, and 3% when buying something from Apple using the digital version – and will have instant access to it. So, for example, if you spend $1,200 at Apple in a single Apple Card transaction, you’ll immediately receive $36 in Apple Pay Cash. Best of all, you can use it however you want, even to pay off a balance.
What are the fees associated with the Apple Card?
Another added benefit for this card is that Apple says there are no late fees, annual fees, international fees, or fees for going over your limit. However, shortly after the company announced the card in March, CNBC underline that Apple has quietly rolled out new transfer fees for transferring money outside of your Apple Pay Cash balance. For example, you will be charged a 1% fee for making an immediate transfer to a debit card (luckily the maximum is $10).
How do I apply for an Apple Card?
At this time, Apple is slowly rolling out Apple Card availability to a select group of customers who initially completed the “Notify Me” form on the Apple Card webpageand is presumably gearing up for a wider release.
Before trying to register, make sure you have installed the latest iOS update (iOS 12.4, which you can download and install via Settings > General on your device). Once you’ve done that, open the Wallet app, tap the + button, and select the new Apple Card option (if you don’t see this option, it’s not available to you yet). You will be prompted to enter some personal information, which will be used to assess your credit status (this should only take a few minutes). If accepted, you’ll see an “Accept Apple Card” button and you’ll be free to start using it right away in your Wallet app on your phone. You will later receive the physical card in the mail. Also, it is important to note that to apply, you must be a legal resident of the United States over the age of 18.
What credit score do you need to be approved for Apple Card?
It’s not entirely clear who will be eligible to receive an Apple Card, although it’s likely the company will be looking for people with relatively good credit scores. However, since APRs will vary from 13.24% to 24.24% depending on creditworthiness, credit industry analyst Ted Rossman speculated to CNBC that Apple will likely make it available to a wide range of users, including people with bad credit. It’s also unclear how credit limits will be set, although the user of the Apple Card demo video is offered an interest rate of 13.24% with a limit of $10,000.
How is the Apple Card different from Apple Pay?
Although Apple Pay has been around since 2014, it’s basically used to attach an existing physical credit or debit card and pay for things digitally using funds from that account through your device. The Apple Card, on the other hand, bECOMES the credit card itself and provides the line of credit. However, the digital transaction process will work exactly the same for Apple Card and Apple Pay (for example, you must authenticate each purchase via FaceID or TouchID). Of course, Apple Card also comes with a physical titanium version.