Apple Card review: Best card for Apple and Apple Pay purchases
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Cardholders earn 3% for Apple purchases, which is among the highest cash back rewards rates available for Apple products.
- Cardholders can also earn as much as 3% cash back when you use Apple Pay at select stores.
- Earn 2% cash back on any other Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on everything else.
- Although this card awards as much as 3% cash back for your purchases, you'll only earn 1% if you don't use Apple Pay or purchase Apple products.
When the new Apple Card debuted in 2019, there was an expectation within the market that it could be a genuine game-changer. After all, Apple built a reputation for turning industries on their heads with products like the Mac and iPhone.
The reality hasn't quite lived up to the expectations, though there are certainly Apple Card features that other credit card companies are likely to adopt in the coming years.
The physical Apple Card is unique, in that it has no numbers and is made of a titanium alloy. It features just your name on the front and a magnetic strip on the back. This protects against the practice of "skimming" credit card numbers, as well as the danger of someone gaining access to your information if you lose the card.
For iPhone users, there is an Apple Card app which syncs with your card to provide several features including purchasing by Apple Pay®, color-codes your transactions and tracks the location of your purchase, keeps track of your cash back rewards and even has a "payoff calculator" which helps users estimate how much interest their purchases will accrue based on their payments and the balance they're carrying over month-to-month.
Apple Card avoids fees whenever possible and the interest rate is low for those with excellent credit.
Although the Apple Card cashback rewards aren't outstanding, the program is easy to understand and use. If you are an Apple fan, you'll likely find at least a few ways to benefit from this card.
Free and easy is always a good place to start. Apple Card has no annual fee and doesn't charge a fee for foreign transactions, late payments or returned payments.
While Apple Card does not offer an introductory rate, the regular rate (10.99% - 21.99% Variable APR) can be attractive for those with excellent credit.
The security that comes with a numberless titanium card is a terrific plus. When paying by Apple Pay®, all purchases require either touch ID or facial ID. And if you have to use the physical card, there are no numbers for fraudsters to potentially "skim".
The Apple Card app for your iPhone provides some nifty features, including purchase tracking (synched to Apple Maps) and a calculator that helps you figure out how much in interest you will owe based on your payments and carryover balance.
Applying for the Apple Card is easy using the Wallet app on your iPhone. If approved, you can begin using your Apple Card immediately, even before your physical card arrives in the mail. In fact, you may choose to never receive a physical card and instead, use the card primarily for Apple Pay® and online shopping.
- Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% - 29.99%. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
- 3% Cash Back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That's $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
- Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required.
- Terms Apply.
The Apple Card cash back program is simple and straightforward and offers an immediate payoff.
While there is no signup bonus offer, you can start earning cash back as soon as you are approved, even before your physical card arrives.
If you are an Apple devotee, it won't take long to see how you can maximize the Apple Card cash back rewards. You earn 3% cash back on all your Apple purchases. This includes purchases made at Apple stores or through the website, app store purchases and Apple services.
You also earn 3% when using your Apple Pay® for purchases at Walgreens, Duane Reade, Uber, Uber Eats and in-store purchases on Nike products and at T-Mobile.
You earn 2% cash back on all other purchases when you use Apple Pay® and 1% cash back on all other purchases, including from websites and stores that don't yet have Apple Pay®.
The best part? No matter what your eligible spending is, your cash back is credited to your account daily.
The Apple Card requires excellent credit for approval. If you have limited credit history or are working on building your credit, you might not get approved for this card.
Apple Card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Both the Apple Card and CardName (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser) have a $0 annual fee and both offer a fairly straightforward cash back rewards program. But that is where the similarities end.
You'll earn a little more cash back with the Citi card if you aren't an Apple Pay® user, because this card essentially offers a straight 2% cash back on all purchases. You earn unlimited 1% when you make the purchase and another 1% when you make your statement payment (the minimum due must be made on time).
If you are thinking of transferring a balance from an existing card, Apple Card has no introductory APR offer, while CardName offers an introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then, RegAPR. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser..
Apple Card vs. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Both cards have a $0 annual fee and offer tiered cash back rewards, but there are distinct differences.
The Apple Card gears its rewards program toward iPhone users and those who are fans of Apple products. It also has no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn.
With CardName, you can select a "Category of Choice" to earn 3% cash back. The list of categories includes online shopping which, given the current state of retail in America, could prove to be extremely beneficial. Other categories include gas/EVC, dining, home improvement, travel and drug stores. In addition, you can earn 2% on grocery store and wholesale club purchases and 1% on all other purchases. The drawback with CardName is a limit of $2,500 per quarter in rewards earned in the 2% and 3% categories.
Plus, the Bank of America card offers a welcome bonus of $200 cash when you spend at least $1,000 in the first 90 days after you are approved. Apple Card has no bonus offer for new cardholders.
For certain groups of people, the Apple Card can be an excellent addition to your wallet. If you have excellent credit, you could start with an interest rate lower than the rate you'd get with other cards, which might be attractive. But if your credit is merely good, you might find your interest rate in the high teens or even 20%. Not bad but not as low as other cards offer.
Further, if you plan to carry a balance from month to month, you'll be better off with a low-interest credit card rather than one that focuses on rewards.
If you love Apple products, you can take full advantage of the cash back program and you can make full use of the Apple Card app for your iPhone. The interest calculator is a particularly strong tool that you won't find with many other rewards credit cards, and it might come in handy if you need help with financial planning and managing debt.
But if you are an Android user and don't do business with Apple, you'll be looking at just 1% cash back on your purchases, which is below the industry rate for most purchases with other cards.
Apple Card Compared to Other Cash back Cards
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