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
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
Rewards rate is low if you don't use Apple Pay
Requires an iPhone for use
Requires Apple Cash to redeem rewards
- 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 upfront 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 transactions 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: Another feature available allows most 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.
- 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 15.1.1 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
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Affinity creates desire for rewards and perks with particular brand
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 Walgreens, Panera Bread, Exxon Mobile, Nike, 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 gas from Exxon Mobile or items from Walgreens, 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
- Due date reminders
- Real-time fraud protection
- Customer service chat assistance
This card scored first place in J.D. Power's 2021 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey for Midsize Issuers. The study highlighted the card's benefits and services, communication, credit card terms, interaction, key moments, and rewards.
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.
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 them," the Apple site boasts. And indeed, there are no annual fees, late payment fees, or foreign transaction fees. 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 11.74% to 22.74%.
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. 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 back up can help you avoid missing out on opportunities to earn maximum rewards.