The Apple Card (a Goldman Sachs MasterCard) was released in August 2019. At the time, I was curious about how an Apple-affiliated credit card would differentiate itself from every other credit card. A few things to share:

  • Apple Pay offers a great contactless payment option, critical during a pandemic. You just hold your Apple Watch or iPhone near the receiver, and a secure transaction is initiated. It’s convenient, secure, and contactless. (You can use Apple Pay with most credit cards.)
  • Apple now offers Apple Card Monthly Installment as an interest-free option for most purchases at Apple as well as 3% cash back.
  • The Apple Card offers an easy way to keep track of expenses in real time—by day, week, or year. You can also see how much you’ve spent by merchant.
  • The Wallet app clearly helps you manage your balance with a focus on remaining financially healthy and avoid paying interest. I setup my account to automatically pay the balance due each month.

Each iPhone has the Wallet app pre-installed, and you apply for the Apple Card within the app. On a recent Sunday, I was at the self-checkout at Harris Teeter (no Apple Pay). As I finished the transaction, my Apple Card slipped out of my hand and fell into the machine. There was no way to recover the card, and I was thankful my card number was not on the card itself. In my car, I opened the Wallet app on my iPhone, and reported the lost card with one tap. It immediately disabled the card, and I had a replacement card via FedEx in two days.

The card works as advertised, and I appreciate the streamlined approach to managing expenses. The lure of new credit cards with low introductory rates should be labeled as the credit trap it is.