In 2019, Apple launched a new credit card with Goldman Sachs as the lender. Within six months, it had over 3 million cardholders. By 2022, that number had more than doubled and was gaining attention for its high customer satisfaction rates. In fact, the J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study found the Apple Card had the highest customer satisfaction rate among midsize issuers in both 2021 and 2022. But is Apple Card worth it in 2023?
Like any payment method, the Apple Card has its pros and cons. With zero fees, a digital-first platform, and a sleek design, there’s a lot for cardholders to love. However, it might not be the card for you, especially if you’re an Android phone user or you already have a credit card with top-quality perks.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to determine if the Apple Card is worth it for you.
- The Apple Card is a cash back credit card that uses a digital-first platform.
- Offering between 14.74% and 25.74% APR, Apple’s goal is to qualify as many users as possible for the Apple Card.
- There are no annual fees, late fees, or foreign transaction fees for the Apple Card.
- The Apple Card is only available for iPhone users.
Overview of the Apple Card
The Apple Card is a digital-first credit card that works with the Apple Pay system on Apple devices. Cardholders can also request a physical credit card, which has a minimalist design and is constructed from durable titanium. Without annual fees, late fees, or foreign transaction fees, the Apple Card can be an economical choice.
The Apple cash back rewards include 3% back on purchases made at Apple stores or through select brands, such as Nike, Uber, Ace Hardware, and T-Mobile. Cardholders earn 2% back on all other purchases made through Apple Pay and 1% back on purchases made with the physical Apple Card. Cash back earnings are added to your card daily, so you can immediately access those funds.
Apple cardholders will receive an APR between 14.74% to 25.74%, depending on creditworthiness. Apple aims to approve as many borrowers as possible, meaning many potential cardholders with subprime credit scores may be approved for an Apple Card, despite struggling to obtain other popular credit cards.
Additional perks of the Apple Card include the ability to set up a family card, instantly available customer service, and the ability to pay for Apple products over time without interest.
Apple cardholders also have access to digital budgeting tools. This includes the color-coded spending history that allows you to track purchases by category and the spending wheel that estimates interest charges, encouraging users to pay off their balance each month.
Pros of the Apple Card
- No annual fee, late, or foreign transaction fees.
- Budgeting tools encourage healthy spending.
- Minimalist and durable design.
- Daily cash back rewards between 1–3%.
- Customer service reps are instantly available via text message.
- Ability to set up a family Apple Card.
- Apple products can be paid in installments.
- Individuals who have been unable to qualify for other popular credit cards due to a subprime credit score may have a higher chance of qualifying for the Apple Card.
- Individuals with excellent credit scores could qualify for an APR on the low end of the 14.74% to 25.74%, which is a better rate than the national average APR for all credit cards (19.07% as of Q4 2022).
Cons of the Apple Card
- Requires an Apple device. Android users will need to switch devices to sign up.
- No welcome offer.
- Other cards may have better cash back offers or rewards programs.
- Individuals with low credit scores could receive an APR above the national average of 19.06%.
Apple Card vs. Other Credit Cards
Like every financial decision, it’s important to research your options before deciding on the best credit card. Each card has different strengths and weaknesses. For example, while the Apple Card is one of the only credit cards to not charge late fees, it also does not have a welcome offer like many other options out there. Consider the pros and cons of each of these zero-annual-fee credit cards:
1. Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Card
Welcome offer: $200 cash
Foreign transaction fee: $0
Rewards: 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars—1.5% cash back on all other purchases
APR: 19.24% – 29.24%
How does it compare to the Apple Card?
If you travel frequently, the 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars will likely bring you more savings than Apple’s cash rewards. Similarly, if using a physical card is important to you, the Apple Card’s 1% cash back on purchases with the physical card will be too low to compete with this card.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
Welcome offer: $300 cash
Foreign transaction fee: 3%
Rewards in year one (or first $20,000 of spending): 6.5% on travel spending, 4.5% on drugstore purchases and restaurants, and 3% on other purchases
Rewards after year one (or after $20,000 of spending): 5% for travel, 3% for drugstores and restaurants, and 1.5% on other purchases
APR: 18.74 % – 27.49%
How does it compare to the Apple Card?
During year one, Chase Freedom Unlimited’s cash back rewards are hard to beat. After year one, the rewards are still strong, especially for travelers and people who frequent restaurants or drugstores. Because there is a 3% foreign transaction fee while traveling internationally, this card is ideal for frequent domestic travelers.
3. Discover it® Cash Back Card
Welcome offer: Cash back match, meaning Discover matches all your cash back rewards at the end of the year. If you’ve earned $200 in cash back rewards, Discover will send you an additional $200
Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
Rewards: 5% cash back at many popular stores and brands, like Amazon, restaurants, and gas stations—1% cash back on all other purchases
APR: 16.24 – 27.24%
How does it compare to the Apple Card?
With a 5% cash back reward on numerous purchases, the Discover it® Cash Back card adds up to a lot of savings for many cardholders. For borrowers who drive frequently and eat at restaurants often, this card will likely lead to greater savings than the Apple Card.
The best way to determine which provider will offer the best APR is to shop around. The Apple Card has a wide range of possible APRs, so compare the rate you qualify for with offers from other cards.
However, remember that the best policy is to avoid credit card debt and pay off your credit card bill before it begins accruing interest. If you’re able to pay off your credit card each month, your APR will not have a significant impact on you.
FAQ About the Apple Card
How do I apply?
The easiest way to apply for an Apple Card is through your iPhone or iPad.
- To apply for the Apple Card on your iPhone, open the Wallet app and tap the “add” button, which looks like a plus.
- Select “Apply for Apple Card.”
- Fill in the required information in the application. Much of this info will be pulled from your Apple ID, but any missing info will need to be added.
- Review and accept the “Terms and Conditions.”
- Wait for approval. If there is no issue verifying your ID, this may take only a few minutes. If your ID needs to be verified, expect up to 7–10 business days before approval.
- Accept your offered credit limit and APR.
- To apply for the Apple Card on your iPad, open “Settings,” and select “Wallet and Apple Pay.”
- Select “Add Card” followed by “Apple Card.”
- Follow steps 3–6 from above.
Who is eligible to apply?
To apply for an Apple Card, you must meet these requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident with a residential address.
- Have an iPhone or iPad with a compatible operating system (iOS 12.4 or later).
- Be able to sign onto your device with two-factor authentication.
- No current freezes on your credit.
What is an Apple Card Family Card?
The Apple Card family account allows you to share your Apple Card account with up to six people and two owners. All account members must be 13 years of age or older, and co-owners must be 18 years of age or older.
Everyone on the shared account can use the card and view transactions. The account’s owners and co-owners can see each member’s spending and set transaction limits, making it a popular option for parents with teenagers. Members of the account younger than 18 years old are not responsible for payments, and the card does not affect their credit.
To invite someone to join your Apple Card Family account, follow these steps:
- Open the Wallet App on your iPhone and tap your Apple Card.
- Tap the “More” button, followed by “Card Details.”
- Under the “People” section, select “Share my Card.”
- Invite someone to your family sharing group by tapping “Invite Someone.”
- From your iPad, open the “Settings” app.
- Select “Wallet & Apple Pay.”
- Tap “Apple Card” followed by the “Info” tab.
- Then follow steps 3–4 from above.
Who Is the Apple Card Best For?
Is Apple Card worth it for you? While it’s a great option for many people, it’s best for those who have some or all of these characteristics:
- Individuals who have shopped around and found the best APR through Apple Card
- Those who have had difficulty qualifying for other cards due to a low credit score
- Cardholders who plan to use the digital platform more frequently than the physical card
- Shoppers who purchase many products in the Apple store or app store
- iPhone users
If that sounds like you, the Apple Card is likely the best card for you. But if not, you have many excellent options for cash back, low or no-fee credit cards. If you choose another credit card, you can still utilize Apple Pay by loading your card into your Wallet app. This allows you to pay digitally without being limited to the Apple Card.
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