Apple Card Review: What Makes the Card Different?

Get the details on the no-fee Apple Card.

Apple is known for its user-friendly products and the new Apple credit card is no different. It integrates with your iPhone and the Wallet app so you can make purchases using Apple Pay without having to use a plastic card. There’s no need to wait on cash-back rewards, either, because they’re applied to your account daily. The Apple card is also cheap to use, with no fees of any kind.

Meanwhile, the Wallet app provides weekly and monthly spending summaries to help you track expenses. Several payment options are available, and the app even calculates interest costs for different payment amounts. In a company press release, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, said customers “have told us they love Apple Card’s simplicity and how it gives them a better view of their spending.”

Not all customers are happy with the Apple Card, however. Bloomberg reported on Nov. 9 that there’s a probe into Goldman Sachs, the financial institution behind the card, after tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson alleged via Twitter that the Apple Card’s algorithms produced gender bias against his wife (Jamie Heinemeier Hansson) and gave her a lower credit limit even though her credit score was higher than his own.

While everyone awaits the results of that probe, the new Apple card is set to stand apart from other retail credit cards. Here’s what this review of the Apple Card will cover:

Apple Card Review

The no-fee Apple Card earns 3% cash back on purchases at Apple and other select merchants and 2% back on everything else — but only if you use your iPhone and Apple Pay to make the purchases. No more reaching for your card in the wallet. Instead, you “swipe” your iPhone to make a payment. You can request a physical companion credit card to use at retailers that don’t accept Apple Pay, but you’ll only earn a 1% cash reward on those purchases.  Here’s a look at the card details.

Annual Fee: No annual fee

Rewards: These rewards are available when you pay with your iPhone using Apple Pay:

  • Get 3% cash back on Apple Pay purchases at Apple, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Duane Reade and in-store T-Mobile purchases.
  • Get 2% back on all other Apple Pay purchases.
  • Get 1% back on purchases made with the physical card.

Sign-Up Bonus: None, although you can apply for an Apple Card through the iPhone Wallet app and receive a decision in minutes to start using it right away

APR: Variable rate of 12.49% to 23.49% APR

Late Fees/Penalties: None, although interest will be charged on late payments

Foreign Transaction Fee: None

Retail Protections: None, aside from real-time fraud protection

Travel Protections: None

Credit Score Needed: Not disclosed

Other Benefits: Through the Daily Cash Program your cash rewards are sent to Apple Cash every day so you can send friends money or apply your cash towards Apple purchases. If you don’t have an Apple Cash account, you can request that your rewards go toward statement credits.

Read More: How Much Is Apple Worth?

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Apple Card Advantages and Disadvantages

Apple cardholders will be rewarded with 3% cash back on Apple retail and Apple Store purchases. Other purchases can earn 2% in cash-back rewards. To get the higher rewards rate, you must have an iPhone and use Apple Pay — paying with the physical card will earn you only 1% cash back. Take a closer look at the card’s advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

Apple and Goldman Sachs have put together a unique credit card product with many advantages.

No Fees

There are absolutely no fees attached to the Apple Card — no late fee, no returned payment fee, no annual fee, no over-the-limit fee and no foreign transaction fee. Should you miss your payment due date, your card balance will accrue interest at regular interest rates. This forgiving card is a good fit for people who forget to make an occasional payment, though you should still make your payments on time or it could affect your credit score.

It’s All About Your iPhone

Everything you need is on your iPhone, making a real wallet nearly a thing of the past:

  • Store your card in your phone’s Apple Pay app.
  • Use your phone to make payments in stores that accept Apple Pay.
  • Manage your spending and bills via the Wallet app.
  • Reach Apple support via text message.

Rewards Can Be Used Instantly

Daily Cash automatically accrues on your Apple Cash card every day, enabling you to send some or all of the funds to friends and family or apply the balance toward Apple Pay purchases. Users without an active Apple Cash account can redeem Daily Cash rewards as a statement credit.

Disadvantages

The Apple Card’s no-fee structure and cardless-purchase features are certainly huge pluses, but there are also drawbacks. Unless you’re an Apple user, this might not be the best store credit card for you. Here’s why.

You’ll Need a Newer iPhone To Earn Rewards

You’ll need Apple Pay to earn 2%-3% cash back, and to use Apple Pay you must have an iPhone 6 or later. If you’re an Android user or have an older iPhone model, you’ll miss out on the higher cash-back rewards.

Rewards for Everyday Spending Not the Best

You’ll get the higher 3% in cash back on purchases from the App Store or if you buy a new iPad, but if the bulk of your spending is on groceries and gas there are better store credit cards available.

Investing in Apple: How To Buy Apple Stock

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How the Apple Card Compares With Other Credit Cards

Wondering how the Apple Card measures up to other store credit cards? Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the new Apple Card is no fees — even on late payments. Here’s a comparison of how the Apple Card measures up to other popular retail credit cards.

Apple Card Review and Comparison

CardPerksAPRFees and Penalties
Apple Card
  • 3% cash back on Apple Pay purchases at Apple, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Duane Reade and in-store T-Mobile purchases
  • 2% back on all other Apple Pay purchases
  • 1% back on purchases made with the physical Apple credit card
Variable APRs range of 12.49% – 23.49%
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No late or returned payment fees
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • $100 gift card on approval
  • 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Travel, emergency and lost luggage assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
Ranges from 15.74% to 23.74%, based on credit
  • Annual fee: none, although an annual Prime membership of $119 (or $59 for students) is required
  • Balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the total, whichever is greater
  • Late fee of $39
  • Return payment fee of $39
Capital One Walmart Rewards Card
  • 5% cash back in Walmart stores during the first 12 months
  • 2% back after the first 12 months
  • 5% back on Walmart.com purchases
  • 2% back on gas from Walmart and Murphy USA fuel stations
  • 2% back on restaurants and travel
  • 1% back on all other Mastercard purchases
Variable rate of 17.99%, 23.24% or 26.99% APR based on credit
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Fee: up to $39
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
  • 4% cash back on gas up to $7,000 and then 1% back after that
  • 2% cash back on all Costco purchases get
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Extended warranty on purchased items
Variable 16.74% APR
  • No annual fee, although a Costco membership of $60 or $120 is required
  • Up to $39 late fee
  • Up to $39 returned check fee
Macy’s American Express
  • Depending on Silver, Gold or Platinum membership level, rewards include free shipping, additional savings and cash back.
  • 3% back at restaurants
  • 2% back on gas and grocery purchases
  • 1% back on all other purchases
Variable 26.74% APR
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Late payment fee: up to $39
  • Returned payment fee: up to $39
Victoria’s Secret Credit Card
  • Rewards can be earned at Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores and at victoriassecret.com.
  • 1 point for every $1 spent
  • Every 250 reward points earn a $10 or $15 Angel reward certificate, depending on your tier level.
  • 3x points on bra purchases
  • Savings of $25 on your first purchase after opening the card
  • Free shipping on purchases over $50
  • Monthly exclusive offers and invites
  • Early access to sales and other Angel-only perks
Variable 26. 49% APR
  • Annual fees: $0
  • Late payment fee: up to $39
  • Returned payment fee: up to $25

About Investing: 10 Stocks That Could Be the Next Apple or Amazon

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Who Should Consider the Apple Card?

Consumers who regularly buy Apple electronics, apps, music and other products would benefit most from the Apple Card because of the 3% cash-back reward. Rewards are credited daily to your Apple Cash account. You can use your account balance to pay for Apple Pay purchases or send money to others, or you can apply your cash rewards to your statement balance.

Investing Tips: Are Apple, Facebook and Other Tech Stocks Now a Bargain?

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Who Should Pass on the Apple Card?

Android users should pass because they don’t have access to Apple Pay and won’t get the full benefits of the card. If you regularly shop at small retailers, you should also probably skip the Apple Card. Apple claims that 74 of the top 100 retailers accept Apple Pay. But smaller retailers might not be set up for Apple Pay, which means you’ll only be able to earn 1% cash back on purchases using the physical card.

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How To Apply for the Apple Card

You can apply for the Apple Card in minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone and tap the + button.
  2. Select the Apple Card.
  3. Fill in your name, date of birth, email address and phone number.
  4. Wait a few seconds for approval and accept the card’s terms.
  5. Add the card to the Wallet app and it’s ready to go.

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Apple Card Review: Is the Card Worth Having?

The Apple Card is worth having if you’re a loyal user of the tech giant since it’s integrated with your iPhone. The card is user-friendly, easy to sign up for and can be used and managed entirely from your iPhone. One potential downside, as mentioned earlier, is the investigation to see if the Apple Card’s approval algorithm discriminates against women when determining the credit limit.

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