After its limited launch a few weeks ago, starting today, Apple's long-awaited credit card is finally available to all U.S. customers. Apple's first foray into fintech, Apple Pay, is accepted by 70% of merchants in the U.S. — and now Apple is taking its mobile payment service to the next level with Apple Card, a credit card you can use anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.
I've been using my very own Apple Card for a few weeks, and I'm super impressed so far. Ever since making it my default Apple Pay and Safari auto-fill card, I've been paying with it exclusively (well, except for at places that don't take Apple Pay), without having to whip out my wallet. And I'm here to tell you: it's good.
My favorite feature by far is the Daily Cash, which sets Apple Card apart from some of its competitors by doing away with points altogether. Instead of complicated incentives or bonuses, there are three simple rewards tiers with Apple Card: You get 3% Daily Cash on all Apple purchases (as well as Uber and Uber Eats transactions, with more merchants to be integrated into this tier in the coming months), 2% Daily Cash with every Apple Pay transaction, and 1% every time you use your physical card. (Which means when you go out to dinner and use your physical Apple Card, you're not getting the bang for your buck you might otherwise get with a rewards card that incentivizes dining out.) And you don't have to wait until the end of the month to redeem your points, which you can then convert to travel credit or cash. You get Daily Cash every day, and you can use it whenever.
Between my Uber ride and Uber Eats order this weekend, I earned $0.94 in Daily Cash, and there's something really satisfying about being able to see that cash amount so plainly (which, by the way, I can transfer into my external bank account, send via iMessage, or use to pay down my credit card bill at any time). I can also break down my transactions into spending categories or view them by merchant — which makes it really easy to view spending patterns. Plus, no more confusion around that mystery vendor on your credit card bill.
Another key differentiator: Apple Card's approach to interest. If you choose to pay less than what's due on your monthly bill, though we recommend paying off any credit card in full each month, you can use Wallet's interactive wheel to estimate how much interest you'll have to pay depending on how much of the bill you choose to pay. To keep your interest at a minimum, Apple Card also suggests personalized payment amounts for you. And there are no fees. (No fees!)
To apply for the card, your iPhone must be updated to iOS 12.4. Then in the Wallet app, just tap the plus sign in the top right corner and fill in your name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number so that your credit report can be assessed. If approved for the card, you can start using it within minutes of application, as well as choose to receive a physical Apple Card to accompany your digital one. And IRL, it's just as sleek as you'd expect an Apple credit card to be. It's all-white titanium, and the only text on it is your name — no number, CVV, or expiration date. And when I use it at a restaurant, I get a banner notification on my phone the second the merchant swipes the card.
Your credit card number can be found in the Wallet app, for those times you need to give it to a vendor that doesn't accept Apple Pay. And the credit card number associated with your physical card's magnetic strip and the card number you use to make online payments are actually different numbers, which makes the card more secure. Apple also also doesn’t know where or how much you spend — all of that information remains stored locally on your device, so the card feels much more secure than any I've used before.
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