Here's how Apple Card Daily Cash works
We now know exactly when you'll get your Daily Cash — and it is not daily. And, here's what happens if you ever return an item that got you a cash reward.
With Apple Card slowly rolling out to more users, Apple has been busy preparing a slew of support documents that explain how to use the new credit card — and it includes explanations of many things we'd been left wondering. Such as precisely how Daily Cash works.
This is the system whereby if you buy something using your Apple Card, you get rewarded with a certain percentage of the purchase price paid back to your account in cash.
If you're buying something from Apple itself, that amount is 3%. If you buy anywhere else and use Apple Pay — online or by waving your iPhone or Apple Watch in store — you get 2%. And if you have to slum it by using the physical Apple Card, you'll get 1%.
These percentage figures are not astounding, but they become compelling when you know how you actually get this money. Plus, these amounts do add up. If you buy the base 13-inch MacBook Pro at an Apple Store or via Apple online, for instance, you'll get back $38.97 of the $1,299 sticker price.
Go for an iMac Pro and absolutely max out the specifications, and buying via Apple Card could get you $441.81 back.
Other cards can pay you more back, but they might come with other complications and limits, such as being 5% but only during your first three months.
If Apple Card's rewards are unexciting, they're still money coming your way, and where Apple wins is in how that is done. Instead of getting some points at the end of the month, Apple delivers actual money and right from the start, it's promised that you get this every day.
What we know now, though, is that you don't even wait a day for it. Daily Cash is not paid into your account at midnight or some other specific time, it is paid to you all day.
"Once a purchase is settled, your Daily Cash is added to your Apple Cash card," says Apple.
So it won't be that you turn away from the merchant's card reader and find you've got cash from Apple right then. Whenever the merchant finishes taking your money, though, that's when you get your cash back.
You get a notification whenever you've made a purchase, but you don't get a notification every time you receive Daily Cash. Instead, every morning you will get a notification of the total of Daily Cash received the day before, plus what your total is this month.
Then every Sunday, you get a notification that tells you your weekly spending and Daily Cash. There's a similar notification at the end of the month.
Alongside all this, you can check to see how much you've got back at any moment by going into the Wallet app on your iPhone.
You can see a Daily Cash amount for any individual transaction, plus a total received for that day and month.
Where the money goes
Daily Cash is paid into your Apple Cash account, an account that is separate from your Apple Card one but is accessed through your Wallet the same way.
However, you don't have to have an Apple Cash account if you don't want one for some reason. If you do not, you still get Daily Cash — you just can't see what it is. It keeps on accruing and you can get an Apple Cash account at any time.
That Apple Cash account can be locked or restricted if there is some security issue. Even then, though, your Daily Cash amount continues to grow, as you talk to Apple about fixing whatever the problem is.
When the money goes back
If we were more criminally-minded, maybe it would've occurred to us to buy a Mac Pro, immediately return it for a full refund and then make off with $883.62. (That's twice the 3% we got back via Apple Card, because the store refunds the entire purchase amount.)
Except no, that's not what happens.
"If you return a purchase made with Apple Card, you are refunded the purchase price," says Apple. "The Daily Cash you received when you made the purchase is charged back to your Apple Card."
That just means that it will be more practical to use your Daily Cash at the end of a month rather than be going in to it every minute or every day.
The fact that you can, though, is part of this business of Apple making the entire credit card system simpler. When you don't have to choose between waiting for a bill at the end of the month or schlepping through some bank's complex online system, you will check your account more often.
When you check it regularly, you're always much more on top of your spending, and it's features like this that mean Apple Card could be good for us. It's still a credit card, so let's not get carried away, but the benefits of speed and simplicity make this attractive even if you could get more money with another card.