Apple Card Review

Best for: iPhone users who frequently rely on Apple Pay and want everyday convenience.

Apple has recently unveiled its first credit card, the Apple Card, boasting unique benefits for users. Although it doesn’t offer any features you’d consider revolutionary; it’s a solid cash back card. The Apple Card offers a few standout perks like no annual fees, no penalty fees and no foreign transaction fees. Overall, this card delivers a modern experience for iPhone users who regularly rely on Apple Pay. 

The basics

  • APR: 12.49% to 23.49% variable rate
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Rewards Rates: Earn 3% cash back on everything you buy from Apple and select merchants when you use Apple Pay like Uber, Walgreens and Nike. Earn 2% cash back when you use your Apple Card with Apple Pay. Earn 1% when you use your Apple Card on everything else.
  • Intro offer: None

Standout features

  • Immediate use of card: Once you get approved, you can start using your card immediately since it lives in the Wallet app on your iPhone. Not many other cards can offer this particular benefit because usually, you’ll have to wait for a physical card to arrive in the mail.
  • Lack of common fees: No annual fees, no over-the-limit fees, no foreign transaction fees and no late fees.
  • Get text-based customer service: Hate using your phone to call customer service and waiting on hold for hours? The Apple Card includes text-based customer service 24/7 so you can get your issues resolved more quickly.
  • Estimated interest function: Credit card issuers make money if you only pay the minimum amount due. But the Apple Card takes a different approach and shows you the interest you will pay based on whatever payment amount you choose. This feature allows you to make an informed financial decision about your credit card payments. 
  • Apple Card Monthly Installments: Want the new iPhone? With the Apple Card Monthly Installments feature, you can pay it off without interest payments. If you already have the Apple Card, you don’t need to fill out an additional application to qualify for this special payment plan.
  • Unique expense tracking: All of your transactions made with your Apple Card are assigned a color according to its respective spending category. For example, entertainment expenses are pink, while restaurants are orange. When you see an overview of your Apple Card charges, you’ll get a quick visual summary of where you’ve been spending the most. If you see a charge you don’t immediately recognize, you can tap it to view the location of the charge on a map.
  • Apple security features: Face ID, Touch ID and unique transaction codes are built right into the Apple Card for added safety and protection. 
  • Modern card design: Made of titanium, and the physical credit card lacks any numbers boasting an additional layer of security.
  • Soft credit inquiry won’t initially ding your credit: Apple won’t do a hard pull on your credit until after you’ve accepted the Apple Card offer with your APR and credit limit.
  • Daily cash back: Instead of getting rewards at the end of the statement period, you’ll get cash back in the form of Daily Cash that is deposited into your Apple Cash card automatically in your Wallet app. You can use it for Apple Pay purchases or send it to friends and family.

Best way to use this card

Apple fans are known for their cult-like loyalty, but before you make the jump, there are a few things you’ll want to consider first. To get the most value out of this card, it’s essential you’re already familiar with Apple Pay and regularly visit merchants using the Apple Pay system. This strategy helps you take advantage of the 3% back earning rate.If you want to monitor your spending and track your cash flow, this card delivers a high-level overview of your transactions in an intuitive, user-friendly in-app feature. This detail may be helpful for credit card users who need a visual summary of their spending to keep their budget in check. And, if you tend to carry a balance month to month or make a late payment or two, this card won’t punish you for being less than perfect. However, seeing the in-app estimate of the additional interest you’d pay for carrying a bigger balance month to month might serve as an incentive to pay off your full amount each month.For no annual fee and respectable features, the Apple Card isn’t a bad choice. But if you don’t use Apple Pay regularly, consider other flat-rate cash back cards offering better terms and aren’t restricted to the Apple Pay mobile payment system, like the Citi Double Cash Card. If you’re sold on the idea of the Apple Card, It might be in your best interest to pair it with another card that offers a good flat-rate cash back reward on purchases when you’re at a retailer that doesn’t use Apple Pay.

In a nutshell

The Apple Card is built for believers and followers of the Apple brand. In fact, you can’t even get the Apple Card unless you have an iPhone running iOS 12.4 software or later. However, if you like the idea of a simple interface and the additional tracking and monitoring tools, this is a solid choice — especially if you’re planning to buy the latest iPhone. The lack of fees, immediate use of the card upon approval, and the daily cash back feature deliver instantaneous value other cards may not be able to match.

Michelle Wilson

Michelle Wilson is a San Diego-based writer specializing in the topics of personal finance, technology, and culture. You can find her writing on sites such as HP Tech Takes, The Simple Dollar, and San Diego Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys finding new cats to follow on Instagram.