The Apple Card offers a no-fee digital credit card with an instant cashback program for a cutting edge way to transact in an ever-increasing digital age.

It’s here! The Apple Card is finally available to the masses. So, should you add this card to your Apple collection? It depends on how much you love Apple.

The Apple Card is changing the way Americans transact. Though iPhone users have been able to use Apple Pay and sync their credit cards to it in the past, this is the first card from the conglomerate that offers you no credit card number and no physical card. So, what’s the deal?

For starters, you’ll love that this card is digitally linked and secured through your iPhone. This card was made for the Apple superfan. 

Apple Card key facts

  • Best for current Apple consumers
  • Has no credit card number
  • Daily Cash cashback program with up to 3% cash back on select purchases
  • Weekly and monthly spending summary
  • Advanced security technology using Touch ID and Face ID
  • No fees
  • Variable APRs range from 12.99%-23.99%

Apple Card in-depth analysis

You have to apply for the card using your iPhone, not a computer.

The Apple Card only works for iPhone 6 and above and you must have the latest iOS installed. And you must apply for the card using your iPhone, not a computer.

All this to say, getting the Apple Card pretty much guarantees you are never switching brands (because if you did, the Apple Card renders pointless).

There is no physical card (kind of)

One of the biggest features of the new Apple Card is that there is no physical card. Your card number is locked and secured using your iPhone.

Any time you need to make a purchase, just look for Apple Pay and whip out your phone. However, if you want a physical card don’t worry, that’s part of the package, too. There is no number printed on the titanium card. Just your name printed on a nice piece of metal.

Daily Cash

The biggest perk to this card is the Daily Cash cashback program. There are no limits to the amount you can earn, and all of your Daily Cash goes onto your Apple Cash card in the Wallet app.

You can use it to pay your Apple Card, send money to a friend in Messages—a handy feature that reduces your Venmo usage—or send it off to your bank account. Daily Cash is broken down into three categories.

3% Daily Cash

All Apple products including games, in-app purchases, and subscriptions earn 3% cash back when you purchase directly from Apple.

Yes, even Apple computers and iPhones qualify if you purchase from an Apple Store or apple.com.

Select partners also fall in the 3% category including Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, and Duane Reade.

2% Daily Cash

Every time you use Apply Pay to purchase something you can receive 2% Daily Cash. There are no limits or specialty categories.

This incentivizes you to pull out your phone to pay for purchases instead of the physical card.

1% Daily Cash

If you come across a retailer that doesn’t accept Apple Pay you can still receive 1% cash back on purchases in the form of Daily Cash.

Partnered with Goldman Sachs

Apple’s classic splashy marketing touts that this card is not created by a bank, but it is certainly backed by a bank.

Goldman Sachs leads the charge behind the Apple Card curtain. Apple points out that this is the first consumer credit card that Goldman Sachs has issued.

Goldman Sachs has not had a sound reputation for ethical banking methods. The bank has been in the media for two former executives getting caught up in a multibillion-dollar fraud. This could deter folks from signing up for the card.

Privacy and security are ample selling points

When you sign up for the Apple Card, Apple assigns a unique device number on your iPhone. Then, when you make a purchase, Apple requires a one-time dynamic security code in addition to your unique device number. Apple doesn’t go into specifics other than there are two unique numbers that are required to make your purchase.

Purchases are authorized through Face ID or Touch ID. If you have a problem with sharing your prints or your mug shot with Apple, this may not be the right card for you. But, it makes it terribly complicated for hackers or thieves to make purchases if your iPhone was ever was stolen.

Spending summary

If you don’t like looking at your spending, that’s about to change with the built-in spending summary.

The Apple Card comes with color-coded spending summaries that you can look at in weekly or monthly increments. As you spend, color bars will appear in a trendy gradient.

Text support—not phone support

The interesting part about Apple Card’s customer service is that you don’t call a customer service line. You text Apple Card support instead.

It’s clear that Apple wants to automate customer service as much as possible using bots but it’s unclear how intuitive and fast support will be.

How much can I earn using the Apple Card

Apple has not put a limit on how much you can earn through Daily Cash—yet. It’s possible things could change down the road, but the Daily Cash categories make it more lucrative than your standard 1% cash back cards.

The money you can earn when you use the Apple Card will depend on two things:

  1. how much you typically spend in a month,
  2. and how much of your purchases fall in the 3% and 2% Daily Cash categories.

For comparison, let’s see how much you could earn if you spend $1,000 monthly using the Apple Card. We’ll assume $250 of that spending will be in the 2% and 3% cash-back categories respectively.

  • $500 a month x 1% x 12 months = $60
  • $250 a month x 2% x 12 months = $60
  • $250 a month x 3% x 12 months = $90
  • Annual cash back on $12,000 annual spend = $210

If you are a premium spender and spend at least $2,000 monthly using the Apple Card, your cash-back amounts change.

  • $1,000 a month x 1% x 12 months = $120
  • $500 a month x 2% x 12 months = $120
  • $500 a month x 3% x 12 months = $180
  • Annual cash back on $24,000 annual spend = $420

In both scenarios, these cash back amounts are not to be overlooked but they don’t necessarily stand out against competitor cards, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Earn cash back instantaneously – You don’t have to wait until the end of your billing cycle to earn cash back.
  • No fees – There is no annual fee or late fees. Plus, foreign transaction fees are waived when you travel abroad.
  • Locate transactions using the Maps app – Don’t recognize a purchase? Use Maps to get the exact location of where a transaction took place.
  • No credit card number – Your Apple Card number is created and locked away on your iPhone. You can’t see it, Apple can’t see it. More importantly, hackers can’t see it.
  • Spending summary – Spending summaries help you see where your money goes each month.

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus – Currently, there is no sign-up bonus with the Apple Card.
  • Spending summaries don’t help you budget – You can see how you’ve spent money, but the Apple Card doesn’t help you budget.
  • Locks you into using Apple for life – If you’re not brand loyal to Apple, this card won’t work for you.
  • No travel incentives – Other than foreign transaction fees waived, you won’t receive any additional perks, like free or discounted travel using this card.
  • Privacy could be a concern – You will need to authorize transactions with Touch ID or Face ID. If you’re not comfortable with giving Apple this information, you might skip this card.

Apple Card compared to Chase Freedom Flex℠ card

The Apple Card and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card have a few differences that could help you make the decision about which card you’d prefer to get.

 Apple CardChase Freedom Flex℠
Cash backInstant cash back on all categories with no limits, 3% cash back on Apple products, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens and Duane Reade, 2% cash back on Apple Pay, 1% cash back on everything else.5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on bonus categories; 5% cash back on travel purchases when you book through Chase Ultimate rewards; 3% cash back on dining, takeout, and drug store purchases, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Intro offerNone$200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. Also 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Regular APR12.99%-23.99% Variable15.74% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee$0$0

I will say, there are a lot more bells and whistles with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ when it comes to spending categories, generous cash back options, and even a nice introductory sign-on bonus offer: $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Apple Card compared to Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

 Apple CardDiscover it® Cash Back
Cash backInstant cash back on all categories with no limits, 3% cash back on Apple products, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens and Duane Reade, 2% cash back on Apple Pay, 1% cash back on everything else.5% quarterly cash back categories including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Amazon, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Intro offerNone0% APR for 14 months
Regular APR12.99%-23.99% Variable11.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual fee$0$0

If you are planning on transferring a balance, the Discover it® Cash Back is the way to go. But if you don’t want to keep track of quarterly rotating categories, go for the Apple Card and look for retailers who accept Apple Pay.

Summary

The Apple Card is a good cash back card if you are an avid Apple user. If you want a new way of using a credit card, this is the way to go. If you have other goals, such as travel or earning credit card points, this may not be the card for you.

You may run into issues finding a retailer who doesn’t offer Apple Pay, but that could change over time. Look for ways to increase your cashback balance with 3% and 2% Daily Cash categories.

Most will be happy with the zero annual fee and no late fees in case you miss paying your balance on time. If you are pro-Apple and a frequent credit card user, this might be your card.

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About the author

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Justine Nelson is a personal finance freelance writer and YouTuber. She enjoys teaching millennials how to eliminate debt and live a debt free lifestyle. Justine paid off $35k in student loan debt in two and a half years on a $37k income. Connect with her on Instagram or her website Debt Free Millennials.