Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Apple Credit Card Review

overall rating
2.8

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The Apple Card, the much-ballyhooed new venture from technology giant Apple Inc, became available in Aug. 2019. Technically a Mastercard, with Goldman Sachs as the issuing bank, it's not entirely a "new type of credit card," as Apple's site breathlessly claims, but it does offer a slightly new take on earning cash rewards, paying back a percentage of purchases in cash rewards daily; a somewhat innovative user experience, operating as both a mobile payment instrument and a physical card; some financial planning features; and a refreshing absence of hidden charges.

Apple Card

Overall Rating
2.8
Apple Card
On Goldman Sachs' Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 10.99% - 21.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back at Apple and select Apple pay partners, 2% on other Apple pay purchases, and 1% on everything else.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Apple Card is not one of our top rated cash-back credit cards. You can review our list of the best cash-back credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Apple Credit Card

Pros
  • Offers competitive-to-high cash rewards rate

  • Has no fees

  • Easily integrates with Apple Pay

  • Offers the ability to pay for Apple purchases in installments

Cons
  • Rewards rate is low if you don't use Apple Pay

  • Requires an iPhone for use

  • Requires Apple Cash to redeem rewards

Pros Explained

  • Earn 1%–3% Cash Rebates on Purchases: The Apple Card rewards you with cash back, or "Daily Cash," as Apple calls it, on every purchase. The amount of cash you can earn depends on what you buy and how you pay (i.e., the physical card or Apple Pay). Overall, the three tiers of cash rewards are comparable to what you can find with other cash back credit cards. Daily Cash rebates on Apple purchases are available up front and are immediately deposited to your Apple card to use as you please.
  • Has No Fees: Many card companies are cutting back on fees, but the Apple Card comes with absolutely none. Not regular ones, like annual fees. Not punitive ones, like for late payments or going over your credit limit. Not special-event ones, like for foreign transaction or currency exchanges.
  • Easily Integrates with Apple Pay: The Apple Card is designed to be used with the Apple Pay mobile payment app. The card lives inside the Wallet app on your mobile device and you can sign in to use it with Apple Pay for purchases online or in-store. That makes it a highly convenient card option if you're already using Apple Pay for purchases.
  • Offers the ability to pay for Apple purchases in installments: A new feature released in June 2020 allows all Apple purchases to be paid in installments over time with no interest. Cardholders can simply select Apple Card Monthly Installments when they shop in Apple Stores, on Apple.com or on the Apple Store App and get low monthly payments with zero interest.

Cons Explained

  • Rewards Rate Is Low if You Don't Use Apple Pay: Not every merchant accepts Apple Pay yet. That doesn't mean you can't use your Apple Card to spend money at those merchants but it does mean you earn cash back at the lowest tier—1% Daily Cash on your purchases. 
  • Requires an iPhone for Use: If you don't have an up-to-date iPhone, you won't be able to use the Apple Card. Specifically, you have to have an iPhone running iOS 12.4 or later for it to work. That's limiting for people who are Android users or have an older iPhone that can't be updated. 
  • You Need to Set up Apple Cash to Redeem Rewards: Apple gives you multiple ways to redeem the Daily Cash rewards you earn. The caveat is that if you want to redeem for anything other than statement credit, you'll need an Apple Cash Card account. It's not difficult to set this up through the Wallet app, but it's an extra step that's worth noting.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Affinity creates desire for rewards and perks with particular brand
    Brand Loyalist

Apple Card is designed first and foremost for iPhone users who already use Apple Pay as their preferred digital wallet app. In terms of cash back potential, it's most rewarding for a) people who are into all things Apple, from devices to downloads, and b) consumers people who regularly make purchases from their mobile device. And of course, Apple makes it as easy as possible to manage your account through the app so you don't have to chase down paper statements or try to remember where you spent money. 

Beyond that, you may like this card if you're looking for cash back rewards with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. 

Rewards Earning Details

Cardmembers earn Daily Cash rewards every time they spend. There are three tiers of rewards you can earn:

  • 3% Daily Cash: Applies to purchases made at Apple stores, Apple.com, the App Store and iTunes. Members also earn 3% Daily Cash when they use their card with Apple Pay at Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Duane Reade, and in T-Mobile stores. 
  • 2% Daily Cash: Applies to all Apple Pay purchases, across every spending category. 
  • 1% Daily Cash: Applies to any purchases made outside of Apple Pay. 

Each time you earn Daily Cash, it's credited to your Apple Cash Card in the Wallet app. There are no limits on the amount of Daily Cash you can earn and no restrictions on where you can earn cash rewards. But as you can see, you'll get the most rewards value from purchases when you shop at Apple or using Apple Pay. 

Rewards Redemption Details

Once Daily Cash is credited to your Apple Cash Card, it's yours to do with more or less as you please. For example, you could:

  • Make purchases in-store, online, or in-app
  • Make a payment toward your Apple Card balance 
  • Transfer cash rewards to a linked bank account 
  • Send money to friends and family through Messages 

Rewards can be redeemed from any Apple device, including your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Macbook. To see how much cash you have to redeem, you just open the Wallet app and tap your Apple Cash Card. You can check how much Daily Cash you've accumulated at a glance. 

Remember, though, without the Apple Cash Card, you can only redeem cash rewards as a statement credit against your Apple Card balance. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Maximizing rewards with the Apple Card is all about strategic spending. First, you'll want to use the card to pay for any Apple purchases you plan to make, including things like recurring subscription services. This will get you that juicy 3% Daily Cash rewards rate. 

Next, you can continue earning 3% Daily Cash by using your card at that short list of partner merchants mentioned above. If you spend $20 a day on Uber and Uber Eats, for example, that's $219 a year you could pocket. 

Using your card with Apple Pay everywhere else is the third way to maximize rewards, scoring you that cash back at the 2% rate. 

What you might want to consider, however, is skipping using this card at merchants or websites that don't accept Apple Pay. For example, if you regularly buy groceries from a gourmet grocery in your neighborhood that doesn't take mobile payments you might be better off with a card that pays 2% or 3% back at supermarkets instead. 

Apple Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Get weekly and monthly spending summaries 
  • Use Maps to pinpoint your spending by geographic location
  • Easily filter purchases by category or merchant 
  • Use interest calculator and smart payments features to help figure monthly payments

Standard Benefits

  • Due date reminders 
  • Real-time fraud protection 
  • Customer service text assistance 

Cardholder Experience

Offered in Aug. 2019, the Apple Card is fairly new, so it doesn't feature in J.D. Power's Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. (At least, not yet.) 

In terms of cardholder experience, this card is designed to make spending and managing your account as seamless and easy as possible. You simply open the Wallet app and tap to navigate through the various screens. 

You can view your purchases by category or merchant to see where you're spending the bulk of your budget each month. You can also create easy-to-read summaries of weekly and monthly spending. Payments are always due on the last day of the month and Apple automatically sends payment reminders so you don't miss your due date. 

Security Features

Apple Card incorporates several security features, including real-time fraud protection. This card comes with the same security protections as Apple Pay, including a unique device number that's locked in your Secure Element, Face ID and Touch ID access and tokenization of your transactions. The physical Apple Card, which you'll need to pay at locations that don't accept Apple Pay, doesn't have your card numbers or CVV number printed on it for added security. If you lose your card or it's stolen, you can quickly freeze it through the Wallet app. 

Fees to Watch Out For

"Fees don't help you. So we don't have any," the Apple site boasts. And indeed, there are no annual fees, late-payment fees, or foreign transaction fee. But of course, your unpaid balance will continue to accrue interest at the regular annual percentage rate (APR), which is a variable rate ranging from 10.99% to 21.99%. 

Our Verdict

Admittedly, it's early days for the Apple Card. Apple made some tweaks shortly after the card's debut, and may continue to do so.

As of now, getting the Apple Card makes the most sense for you if you already use Apple Pay frequently for purchases and you like the idea of a fee-free card that offers cash-back options. You'll get the best rewards rate when you spend on Apple Purchases or at the select handful of partner merchants that earn 3% back. The 2% cash back rewards rate you can get on Apple Pay purchases is decent, but there are cards that can offer better cash rewards, regardless of which mobile payment app you use. 

On the other hand, you won't pay an annual fee and the card can guide you on how to pay off balances to minimize interest charges, both of which could save you money. 

However, the Apple Card may not be the best option if you're looking for a way to earn travel miles or points via flights, hotel stays, or car rentals. While you can earn a higher cash back rate on certain travel-related purchases, such as Uber, It doesn’t have any specific affiliations with travel-industry vendors (at least, not yet). So if you’re a frequent flyer/traveler, you may be better off with another card, despite Apple Card's lack of currency exchange or foreign transaction fees.

Overall, the biggest limitation for this card may be Apple Pay acceptance. While it’s the largest mobile-payment platform, with the list of merchants that accept it lengthy and growing, it's still not an option everywhere. If that’s the case, you can use the physical Apple Card, but then you only get 1% in cash back, which is pretty standard nowadays.

Having another cash back card to use as backup can help you avoid missing out on opportunities to earn maximum rewards.

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For Apple Card
on Goldman Sachs' Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
CURRENT CARD
Apple Card
overall rating
2.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 10.99% - 21.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back at Apple and select Apple pay partners, 2% on other Apple pay purchases, and 1% on everything else.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.