There are downsides to the Apple credit card, but I still love it

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One of my favorite credit cards isn’t a physical card. It lives entirely in my phone and I use it for my purchases every day, despite the fact that it offers less cash back on most transactions than competing cards that don’t have an annual fee.

But it offers convenient and easy money management tools, and it works seamlessly with the device I use the most in my daily life: iPhone.

I am talking about the Apple card.

If you’re one of the over 110 million people in the United States who own an iPhone, the Apple Card may be right for you as well. I applied for it earlier this year, drawn by its cash back rewards, financial wellness tools, and lack of annual fees.

The card lives entirely in my iPhone in the Wallet app, where I can make contactless purchases, see how I’m spending my money, and pay my balance, all right from my phone. This made it easier for me to identify my spending habits and budget shortfalls, and to make financially healthier choices as a result.

This is one of the main reasons I prefer it to most cards in my wallet right now, despite its relatively poor rewards and no signup bonus.

Here are a few more reasons I like the Apple Card, and you might too:

What I like about the Apple map

Applying for the Apple card, issued by Goldman Sachs, was quick and easy. Within five minutes of opening my Wallet app, I completed my application and was approved. I could start using the card for in-person or online purchases immediately; most places now accept Apple Pay.

Pro tip

You can apply for an Apple card without affecting your credit score. It is only when your application is approved and you agree to the card’s terms and conditions that a serious investigation is done which can then impact your credit score.

I also requested the physical metal card which is optional and actually pays less than the digital version. This is why I am encouraged to use Apple Pay with my Apple card because this gives me 2% cash back, compared to 1% cash back when I use the physical card.

The cash back rate is increased to 3% when you buy from Apple and certain merchants using Apple Pay. Current 3% cash back merchants include Duane Reade, Panera Bread, Walgreens, Exxon Mobil, Nike, T-Mobile, Uber and Uber Eats. At merchants that don’t accept Apple Pay, I can use the physical card at this 1% cash back rate.

Once I’m ready to upgrade my iPhone, which is usually every two or three years, I’ll be able to fund it interest-free on my Apple card while earning 3% cash back.

The cash back never expires and is deposited into my account daily. I can use these rewards to pay for purchases in stores using my mobile wallet, make payments to my card balance, send peer-to-peer payments to friends, or deposit them to my bank account.

Another advantage is that the Apple Card does not charge any fees: no annual or late fees, no overseas transaction fees, and no over-credit limit fees.

But my favorite thing about Apple Card is that it puts the important information I need in the foreground to manage my credit card.

Everything I need to know about it is just a click away on my phone in the Wallet app; it is not necessary to connect to a website. I can see my card balance, monthly spending levels and the latest transactions in real time. Each category of my spending is color coded, so it’s easy to spot trends when reviewing my monthly and annual credit card activity. It also has a tool that estimates interest charges based on a given month’s balance, which helps me visualize the actual cost of carrying a balance.

You can also help other members of your household create credit by creating an Apple Card Family, which allows five different members of your household (or anyone you choose) to be authorized users on your account. .

Remember that you are responsible for all payments to your account by any authorized user of your Apple Card Family group. Nonetheless, it can be an effective way to keep track of your household expenses and have everyone in your house win rewards on purchases together.

What is missing from the Apple card

I’ll be the first to admit that the Apple card has its drawbacks.

To maximize this card, you will need an iPhone or iPad. If you don’t have one, you will have little use for the Apple card. And if you lose your phone and don’t have the physical card, you will also lose access to the account and the ability to make purchases, at least temporarily.

The card doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles. For example, it doesn’t offer signup bonuses or perks like purchase protection and extended warranties. If you are looking for any rewards or perks that can be used for travel, this is also not a good choice. But since the Apple Card is a Mastercard, it offers a range of other benefits, including fraud protection, identity theft protection, and a free ShopRunner membership that offers free two-day shipping from some websites.

The card’s rewards structure also falls short of major competitors due to the limited amount of 3% cash back categories, while the 2% cash back is only available on Apple Pay purchases. You will only receive 1% cash back when you use the real card.

If you’re not an iPhone user, there are other cash back credit cards that will get much more value from your regular spending. The Citi® Double Cash card, for example, offers 2% cash back on every purchase you make, whether you pay with a mobile wallet or not, and also has no annual fee. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® card, with no annual fee the first year and $ 95 thereafter, offers cash back rewards that we have deemed “exceptional” in certain categories, such as 6% in US supermarkets for the first year. $ 6,000 that you spend each year. . And if you’re looking for a travel rewards card, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our clear winner among cards with annual fees under $ 100.

  • Introductory bonus:

    No current offer

  • Annual subscription :

    $ 0

  • Regular APR:

    See conditions

  • Recommended credit:

    (No credit history)

  • Learn moreexternal link icon on the secure site of our partner.
  • Introductory bonus:

    No current offer

  • Annual subscription :

    $ 0

  • Regular APR:

    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn moreexternal link icon on the secure site of our partner.
  • Introductory bonus:
  • Annual subscription :

    $ 0 annual start-up fee for the first year, then $ 95.

  • Regular APR:

    13.99% -23.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn moreexternal link icon on the secure site of our partner. See rates and fees, conditions apply.

Even though the Apple Card doesn’t charge a fee, keep in mind that it does charge interest on balances that aren’t paid in full. The card’s variable APR ranges from 10.99% to 21.99%. It also doesn’t allow balance transfers, which doesn’t make it ideal for people looking to consolidate existing debt.

Final result

Having my credit card tied to my iPhone means I can use my phone to pay, without even needing to carry a physical wallet, at least where I can pay electronically. While this keeps me locked into the Apple universe, it’s extremely handy.

Since I regularly use Apple Pay and buy Apple products, the card rewards program works for me. Additionally, I see a lot of value in the financial wellness tools that come with the Apple Card.

Whether you find the same utility in the Apple Card ultimately depends a lot on your commitment to stay in the Apple ecosystem. If you are not an Apple user or devotee, there are cash back cards that will give you greater value with no annual fee.

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