I always enjoy kicking the tires of a potential industry disruptor, especially when it’s Apple related. As someone who wrestled with credit card debt in the past, I was very interested to see Apple’s new credit card (Apple Card). I have used Apple Pay ever since I bought my watch, but it was connected to a Visa or Discover card. After hearing about Apple’s new approach to credit cards—no fees, no selling of your data, and no numbers/security code on the physical card, I was interested. I’ve used it for a month now and thought I’d share some of the positives.
For the locations that don’t have Apple Pay, you can use your Apple-designed titanium card, which has no numbers and no security code—helping to limit identify theft opportunities.
Need to use online? Just go into the Wallet app on your phone, click the … to the right of the card, and select Card Information. You’ll get your Mastercard number, expiration, and security code. Now my Netflix account is billed to my Apple Card.
Do you think your card number might have been compromised? Simply press “Request New Card Number” and start using it again immediately (don’t forget to update those online accounts like Netflix). I connected to my Paypal account, and there have been a few rejections related to those purchases which it can flag as suspect. If it does flag a charge, you get a notification on your phone right away.
What really makes this card a disruptor is that it is focused on managing your spending and giving you the tools to manage debt. With the press of a button, you can pay early, setup automatic payments, or schedule a future payment. It also shows you detailed information on the categories where you spend the most. It guides you about what charges to pay down first, how to avoid interest, and there are no fees. You also constantly know your balance by checking the Wallet app.
You get 1% cash back on all purchases, 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases, and for some vendors you get 3% (Apple and Walgreens at this point). That cash back bonus is paid to you daily via the Apple Cash card that will be created within your Wallet. As that balance accrues, you can use it with Apple Pay, iMessage, or transfer to your bank account. Many rewards programs are targeted towards unnecessary products. Would I really use the Ninja Master pictured below? No. I appreciate the rewards that easily put money back into your checking account where you can make wiser purchasing decisions (or transfer it to your savings account).
I know many people will say they get better cash rewards on other cards or lower interest rates. In fact, switching a balance from 0% interest card to the next 0% six-month offer can become a part time job like remembering the special cash back per card that changes month-to-month (2% on restaurants for a month, and the next month 2% on gas). However, the goal should be not to carry a balance if possible. I have a Visa that does not charge international fees…but Apple’s “no fees” means no international transaction fees either.
How easy is it to apply for one? Just open the Wallet app on your iPhone. I would recommend requesting an actual card since not every vendor/restaurant takes Apple Pay. Some Wawa locations now take Apple Pay at the gas pump. (Remember when thieves were putting strips in the readers to electronically steal credit card numbers? Not an issue with Apple Pay since you hold up your Apple Watch or your iPhone to make the payment.)
I’m interested to see where this new approach leads. I am especially interested in my data not being sold to data aggregators. I trust Apple with my data more than I trust Equifax or CapitalOne. Of course you must have an iPhone to take advantage of the Apple Card, but, hail the disruptor!