Apple Card Review: The Cashback Card for Apple Lovers

The Apple Card may change the way credit cards are used in the future.
Last updated Oct 17, 2019 | By Kevin Payne

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Leave it to Apple to create the most anticipated credit card release in years. The long-awaited Apple Card was released nationwide in late August 2019, touting an integrated experience for users that allows access to everything right from your iPhone.

The card’s unique cashback structure may be beneficial for passionate Apple customers, but casual followers could find better deals elsewhere. Here’s everything you need to know about the card everyone’s talking about.

Mobile-first rewards card

Apple Card

Apple Card

Apple Card

Benefits

  • Can spend your cash back almost immediately
  • Integrates with Wallet app
  • No over-the-limit, late, or annual fees

Drawbacks

  • No sign-up bonus
  • Low rewards rate for non-Apple Pay purchases
  • Need an iPhone to maximize this card


Who should get this card?

The Apple Card is really built for people who use Apple products exclusively. If you use your iPhone for everything, the Apple Card might make a lot of sense.

Though not all of its features are ground-breaking, it consolidates several nice-to-have perks on your phone. One of the biggest draws is the ability to use the card with Apple Pay from your iPhone, earning Daily Cash, and other features exclusive to Apple users.

People looking for a simple rewards program might also have an interest in the Apple Card. As you use your card, you’ll earn a percentage of your purchase back in Daily Cash. It’s called that because it’s loaded into your account daily. There’s no waiting for a month to gain access to your rewards, nor is there a minimum needed to redeem your cash back.

If you’re a fan of metal credit cards, you may also be intrigued by the Apple Card. Although most purchases are meant to happen digitally within Apple Pay, you can opt to order a titanium Apple Card. The physical card is unique because it has no credit card number, expiration date, or code on it — this is to help protect your account info.

Hate credit card fees? That may be another reason to choose the Apple Card. The new card from Apple doesn’t have any fees — no annual fee, late fees, or other penalties. But “no fees” doesn’t mean “free to use.” Though you won’t be charged late fees or a penalty APR (annual percentage rate) if you miss a payment, additional interest will accumulate on your balance if you don’t pay on time.

Card basics

Annual Fee $0
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Tiered rewards for Apple products and services: Cardholders will earn 3% cash back on Apple purchases and when you use Apple Pay for purchases from select partners, 2% on other purchases made with Apple Pay, and 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Cashback rewards you can use immediately: As you spend on your Apple Card, you’ll earn Daily Cash, which is added to your account every day. There’s no minimum rewards amount needed before you can use your Daily Cash.
  • Integrated with the Wallet app: For most cardholders, you’ll use your card within the Wallet App the majority of the time. You even apply for the card with the Wallet App. If approved, your card will be loaded almost immediately and can be used via Apple Pay.
  • A new take on security: Apple takes security to a whole new level with the Apple Card. This includes a unique device number created for your iPhone that's completely secured. Purchases require your device number along with a one-time security code that’s generated when you authorize a purchase, and Face ID or Touch ID are used to authorize purchases.
  • Extra features such as budgeting and map tools: The Apple Card tracks spending using categories and color-coding, which allow you to easily see where your money is going. Review weekly and monthly breakdowns of spending to make sure you’re staying in budget. Don’t recognize a transaction? The Apple Card uses maps to pinpoint store locations so there are no surprises.
  • Easy to apply: Applying for a card has never been easier. You can apply from within the Wallet App and find out in minutes if you're approved. There’s still a credit check, but there’s no waiting a week for an approval or denial letter.
  • No fees — really: There are no fees with the Apple Card. That includes annual fees, foreign transaction fees, late fees, over-the-limit fees, or hidden fees other card issuers like to add.

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

Earning Daily Cash with your Apple Card is straightforward. People earn the highest cashback percentage when spending money with Apple.

Users will get 3% on Apple purchases and purchases with select partners when using Apple Pay, including Apple products, iTunes, and the App Store. You’ll also get 2% back at other Apple Pay purchases. This includes services like Uber and Uber Eats as well as at places like Walgreens, Duane Reade, and T-Mobile stores.

The next highest percentage is earned when using Apple Pay to make purchases. It doesn’t matter what spending category; you’ll earn 1% cash back on all everything else. Using the card at retailers that don’t accept Apple Pay will net you cash back.

Categories Rewards rate
Apple purchases and purchases with select partners when using Apple Pay 3% cash back
other Apple Pay purchases 2% cash back
everything else 1% cash back
cash back

Maximizing your redemptions

As you earn Daily Cash through spending, there are several redemption options available. Because Daily Cash translates to real cash, it has the same value no matter how you choose to redeem it.

Daily Cash can be used to make purchases in-store or online through Apple Pay. Users can also apply Daily Cash toward their Apple Card balance. Want to transfer your rewards to a bank account? You can do that, too. There’s even an option to transfer money to friends or other people through iMessage.

While there’s no benefit to choosing one redemption over another, the flexibility of Daily Cash makes the Apple Card a solid choice if you’re looking for a versatile cashback card. Daily Cash can be used for just about anything.

Common questions

What bank backs the Apple Card?

Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs on the Apple Card. It’s the first commercial credit card that both companies have ever issued. Goldman Sachs handles credit checks and approval for the Apple Card.

What credit score do you need for Apple Card?

There’s no set credit score requirement for the Apple Card. But according to Apple, you may not be approved for the card if your FICO score is under 600.

Does the Apple Card build credit?

Yes, the Apple Card can help build credit if used responsibly. Since it’s part of the Mastercard network, it carries the same weight as any other credit card.

How do I pay off my Apple Card?

Payments are due on the last day of the month. There’s also an option to make weekly or biweekly payments to match your payday.

Other cards to consider

If you want another cashback option or don’t heavily use Apple products, check out the Citi Double Cash Card. As the name suggests, you up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. There’s no earning cap on cashback rewards and no spending categories to track, and the Citi Double Cash Card also has a $0 annual fee. Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits or checks.

For a higher cashback reward rate, look to the Discover it Cash Back. Cardholders can enjoy 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories (including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Amazon.com), up to quarterly maximum; 1% cash back on all other purchases Bonus categories can include gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, Amazon, and more. 

Plus, automatically get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of any cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. There’s a $0 annual fee with the Discover it Cash Back Card.

Mobile-first rewards card

Apple Card

Apple Card

Apple Card

Special Offer

Earn up to 3% cash back on eligible purchases

See how these cards compare:

Citi Double Cash Card
Citi Double Cash Card
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee
Discover it Cash Back
Discover it Cash Back
  • Up to 5% cash back
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Cash back match your first year
  • No foreign transaction fees