Apple announced on April 21 that Apple Card users will be able to share their card with family members through a new program called Apple Card Family. The program, which will launch in May, allows for up to five authorized users as well as the possibility of creating a joint account with a second cardholder.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Card Family will allow cardholders to share their Apple Card with up to five family members age 13 or older.
  • Cardholders will be able to set spending limits and other controls to avoid potential overspending and to teach children good spending habits.
  • Two adults over age 18 can also maintain a joint Apple Card account.

How Apple Card Family Will Work

The idea of authorized users on credit cards isn't new, and neither is the ability to open a joint credit card account with shared ownership. But joint credit card accounts aren't as common as they once were, with only a couple of major credit card issuers still offering the arrangement—Bank of America and U.S. Bank being two of them.  

But Apple Card Family puts a few new twists on these features. For starters, the Family Sharing group will be managed from the cardholder's iPhone.

Apple Card users will be able to add up to five people from their Family Sharing group to their account as authorized users—Apple calls them "participants." Each participant must be at least 13 years old. 

These authorized users can use the Apple Card on their own Apple devices, but the account owner can set spending limits and other controls to avoid potential overspending and to teach children good spending habits.

Cardholders can also share their Apple Card with another adult—who must be 18 or older—as a co-owner of the account. If both have their own Apple Cards currently, they can merge their accounts to achieve a higher shared credit limit, with an APR that will be the lower of the two original accounts.

Co-owners will be able to build their credit together using the account, and authorized users can also benefit from credit reporting if they're at least 18 years old and they opt in. This setup is somewhat limiting compared with other card issuers, which report account information for all authorized users, regardless of their age.

Each co-owner and authorized user will receive Daily Cash for their own purchases, which is another departure from the standard authorized user arrangement, where everyone's purchases generate rewards, but only the primary account holder gets to use them.

In its press release announcing the new program, Apple notes that "Goldman Sachs as the issuing bank for Apple Card... makes all eligibility and credit decisions as a part of Apple Card Family."