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Apple Card Review: Is This the Game Changer Apple Wants?

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Apple is famous for products that are user friendly and aesthetically pleasing -- to its credit, the Apple Card delivers in both areas. It charges absolutely no fees, which is a rarity in the credit card world. Transactions are color-coded and easy to follow, and cash back gets deposited daily. The card itself has a sleek, minimalist design without a credit card number in sight.

With a few notable holes in its list of features, this card doesn't quite live up to the hype. Read more about the pros and cons of this card in our Apple Card review.

  • For people who can't get enough Apple products, this is the card for you. But the lack of a sign-up bonus, 0% intro APR offer, and credit score tracking -- all common cash back card perks -- mean it's not a fit for most carholders.

    • No fees
    • Bonus Apple and Apple Pay rewards
    • 0% intro APR financing offers
    • No sign-up bonus
    • Mediocre cash back rates
    • Earn 3% cash back on purchases made through Apple, as well as purchases made using Apple Pay with select merchants that have partnered with Apple.
    • Earn 2% cash back on other eligible Apple Pay purchases.
    • Top notch security features
    • Color coded transactions based on the type of purchase.
    • No fees.

Full Apple Card review

This credit card is a good fit for: iPhone users who want an easy-to-understand credit card with zero fees.

Top perks

No fees: The Apple Card doesn't have any fees. This includes no foreign transaction fee, which is a fee you often see among cash back cards and no-annual-fee cards. Just keep in mind that even though you won't incur a fee for missing a payment, your balance will still incur interest charges and your credit score will suffer once your account is 30 days past due.

Up to 3% back: You'll earn 3% cash back on purchases made through Apple, as well as purchases made using Apple Pay with select merchants that have partnered with Apple. You'll earn 2% cash back on other eligible Apple Pay purchases, and 1% back on other purchases that don't fit into those bonus categories. Considering Apple has reported that over 70% of U.S. retailers accept Apple Pay, you should have plenty of chances to earn bonus cash back.

Security features: To use your Apple Card for a purchase, you must authorize the transaction using your iPhone, making it more difficult for anyone to use your card for fraudulent transactions. You'll also receive instant notifications of every purchase.

Interest charge calculations on each payment: When you make a payment, you'll see an estimate of how much interest you'll owe based on your payment amount. For those who are unfamiliar with credit card interest, this could make it easier to understand how much money carrying a balance costs over time.

Detailed transaction information: Apple color codes your transactions based on the type of purchase. It uses these color codes in spending summaries so you can keep track of where your money is going. Each transaction also includes its location on a map, so you can verify where a charge occurred.

0% APR on Apple products: With Apple Card Monthly Installments, you can get zero interest financing on many Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. The length of the 0% APR offer will depend on the product, with most products offering between six and 24 months. Although it's better to pay for products like these in full, the Apple Card at least gives you a convenient financing option when you need it.

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want to earn 2% back on purchases: The ERROR: review_url not found for object:citi-double-cash offers an unlimited 2% back, paid out as 1% when you make purchases and the other 1% when you pay your bill on time. This will earn most consumers more cash back than the Apple Card, even if they use Apple Pay frequently.
  • If you want to earn extra in bonus categories: The ERROR: review_url not found for object:discover-it-cash-back will get you an impressive 5% back in rotating quarterly bonus categories you activate on up to $1,500 in bonus spending per quarter. That's one of the highest bonus rates you'll find on a no-annual-fee card, and Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year for new cardholders.
As of May. 17, 2022
Image for
Image for
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer Discover it® Cash Back
Apply Now for Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website.

Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Up to 2% cash back

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 5% Cashback

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0% Intro APR, 15 months

Balance Transfers: 0% Intro APR, 15 months

Regular APR:

14.74% - 24.74%, variable

Regular APR:

12.24% - 23.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Highlights:

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • NEW Intro APR: Get a 0% intro APR‡ for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.24% to 23.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Apply Now for Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website.

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What could be improved

Cash back rates: The bonus categories on the Apple Card are lackluster. The 3% on Apple purchases seems solid until you consider that Apple rarely puts its products on sale, and you can often save much more than 3% by buying Apple products from another retailer.

While the Apple Card's cash back rates aren't bad, there are cards with more bonus categories or a higher flat rate on purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Sign-up bonuses are common even among no-annual-fee cards, so it's a big drawback that the Apple Card doesn't have one.

Balance transfer offer: Many cash back cards also have 0% intro APRs on balance transfers, but this isn't an option with the Apple Card.

Potential stains from leather and denim: Apple has cautioned that some fabrics, including leather and denim, could cause permanent discoloration of the Apple Card. While this isn't a huge issue, it's frustrating to have a credit card that could be stained if you put it in your wallet or pocket.

Free credit score tool: Given Apple's focus on educating consumers about how much interest they'll pay, it's odd that the Apple Card doesn't have a tool to check your credit score. There are plenty of free ways to get your credit score, but many popular credit cards have this feature.

Purchase protections: While many credit cards offer purchase protections and extended warranty coverage, the Apple Card doesn't.

Exclusive to iPhone users: You need an iPhone to get the Apple Card.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

You will generally need fair to good credit, which means a FICO® Score in the mid-600s or higher, to be approved for the Apple Card. Many factors are considered during the underwriting process, and approval isn't guaranteed with a higher score or impossible with a lower score.

Apple provides several examples of reasons an application could be declined on a support page. These include:

  • You're behind on debt payments or have previously been behind.
  • You have negative public records, such as a tax lien or a bankruptcy.
  • You're heavily in debt or have insufficient income to make debt payments.
  • You frequently apply for credit cards and loans.

This card is right for you if:

The Apple Card can be a smart choice if you're building or rebuilding your credit, because its benefits compare favorably to other credit cards for consumers with fair credit. The fact that it explains how much interest you'll pay based on your payment amount also makes it useful if you're new to credit cards.

Anyone who has good or excellent credit, meaning a FICO® Score of at least 670, is better off looking elsewhere.

With a credit score in that category, you can qualify for some of the best credit cards, and the Apple Card doesn't make that list. It's a solid card, but if you shop around, you could find plenty of cards with higher cash back rates, sign-up bonuses, and/or more valuable 0% intro APR offers.

FAQs

  • Cardholders of the Apple Card have reported credit limits as low as $250. Credit limits for the Apple Card are often less than what other credit cards offer. However, this depends on your income and credit profile, and some cardholders receive credit limits of $10,000 or more.

  • You can use the Apple Card anywhere Mastercard or Apple Pay is accepted.

  • The Apple Card builds credit if you pay the bill on time. Card activity is reported to all three consumer credit bureaus, so a good payment history with the Apple Card could help raise your credit score.

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