Apple Card

Apple Card

In 2019, Apple and Goldman Sachs partnered to launch a the Apple Card. It works primarily via Apple Pay, though there is also a physical card available. Using the card via Apple Pay, either online or at a point-of-sale terminal, will merit a user 2% to 3% cashback in the form of Apple Cash.

● 3% cash back at select retailers
● 2% cash back for purchases made with Apple Pay
● 1% cash back for purchases made with physical card
● Wallet app integration and spending insight
● Stylish titanium card
● No annual, transfer, or penalty fees
● 0% interest purchase installments for Apple products

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Launched on August 20, 2019, the Apple Card was designed by Apple and developed by Goldman Sachs. While it's primarily designed to work with Apple Pay, Apple provides each customer with a physical, titanium card.

Goldman Sachs had stated that this was the "most successful credit card launch ever." Both Apple and Goldman Sachs have been pleased with the amount of consumer demand for the Apple credit card.

The card is issued through Goldman Sachs and exists within the Mastercard payment network. 

Applying for the Apple Card

Applying for the card is a relatively quick and straightforward process. A prospective applicant will need to follow the steps below.

  • Open the Wallet app.
  • Tap the + symbol in the top-right corner.
  • Tap Apple Card, then Continue.
  • Fill in the name, date of birth, email address, and phone number fields, then tap Next.
  • Review the offer of credit limit and APR from Goldman Sachs, then tap Accept Apple Card.
  • On the Card Added screen, tap Continue to add it to Apple Pay on the device.

Denied Applications

Early reports stated that the card might be available to those with sub-optimal credit scores.  Users with credit scores below 600 are likely to be declined. Additionally, anyone who has put a credit freeze on their account must lift the credit freeze before applying, or the application will be denied.

Apple has launched a new program specifically for users who are denied their Apple Card application. The four-month program coaches users on how best to increase their chances of being approved for the card. While paying down debt and decreasing income-to-debt ratio seem like common-sense tactics, many people aren't familiar with how companies make creditworthiness decisions.

Their new Apple Card financial health website helps users understand some of the key factors used during a credit card application.

Physical card

The Apple Card is Apple’s first foray into directly lending consumers money The Apple Card is Apple’s first foray into directly lending consumers money

The physical card is made mostly out of titanium, weighing in at 14.75 grams, or approximately half an ounce. The weight makes it somewhat lighter than other "luxury" style metal cards. There is a composite of 90% titanium and 10% aluminum alloy to give the card better sturdiness overall.

The card displays no card number, no CVV security code, expiration date, nor signature. The cardholder's name is printed on the front of the card, while the Apple, MasterCard, and Goldman Sachs logos are engraved.

This design choice lends itself to a rather minimalistic and sleek-looking card compared to competitors' offerings.

Upon delivery, cardholders who own newer iOS devices can activate the physical card by moving it near the product packaging. Those with an iPhone X or earlier will need to open the Wallet app and tap it against their iPhone.

NFC in the packaging lets you activate the physical card NFC in the packaging lets you activate the physical card

Fees, rates, and limits

Depending on the cardholder's credit history and income, there is a minimum APR of 13.24% and a maximum APR of 24.24%. The Apple Card has no yearly fees, no fees for transactions, and no fees for penalties. 

It does have credit limits. The limits are determined by the cardholder's credit score, credit age, and income at the time of application. Cardholders have reported credit limits as low as $50 and as high as $15,000.

Unlike many other credit cards, only one person may use the digital card. Each individual in a household must apply for their own Apple credit card if they wish to use it.

Cardholders were offered the ability to miss their March 2020 payment interest-free by using a new "Customer Assistance Program" with Apple Support.

Goldman Sachs will report credit information to Transunion, and as of July 2020, Experian as well.

Monthly Installment Plans

As of December 2019, users can purchase iPhones using their Apple Card and pay it off with a 0% interest rate over 24 months. The 3% cashback would still apply, thus giving users a great value when purchasing their new iPhone.

An update to the service in June 2020 allows users to purchase almost any Apple device or accessory on some length of installment plan. Depending on price, users can purchase devices on 6-month or 12-month installment plans at 0% interest.

One can also bundle devices, like an Apple Pencil and iPad, increasing the installment plan to 12 months despite the individual products' lower pricing.

There are only two products Apple doesn't support with this method: Apple Watch and iPod Touch.

Use with Apple Pay

While users have the option of placing orders with their physical card, the Apple Card is designed to be used alongside Apple Pay. Apple Pay is the company's touchless, tap-to-pay payment method. Those who use their card with Apple Pay receive additional cashback benefits in the form of Apple Cash.

Using the card via Apple Pay, either online or at a point-of-sale terminal, will merit a user 2% cashback in the form of Apple Cash at most retailers. At specific retailers, including Uber, Walgreens, and Nike, cardholders may earn 3% back when using the card via Apple Pay.

A cardholder can view their Apple Cash balance in the Wallet app. A cardholder can use Apple Cash at retailers, send to others via iMessages, withdraw to a bank account, or use to pay down the Apple Card balance.

The Wallet app

The Apple Card lives in your Wallet App The Apple Card lives in your Wallet App

Cardholders can view additional information about their card inside the Wallet app on their iPhone. There, they can see any outstanding balance, remaining credit, weekly activity, itemized transactions, and make payments.

The Wallet app also provides insights into how a user may better use their card to avoid paying interest on their outstanding balance.

Cardholders can also send a text message to Apple support for help understanding their bills or to file a dispute.

The wallet app also can export transaction data in multiple formats, including CSV, Quicken, and Quick Books.

Common Apple Card Questions

How do you apply for Apple Card?

The Apple Card can only be applied for within the Wallet app. You can start applying by clicking the plus-button in the top right corner.

What kind of credit do you need to be approved for Apple Card?

Apple does not specify what qualifies individuals for the card. There is a minimum APR of 13.24% and a maximum APR of 24.24% depending on your credit. The Apple Card has no yearly fees, no fees for transactions, and no fees for penalties.

Is the Apple Card really titanium?

Approximately 90% of Apple Card's material is titanium, with the remaining 10% of the alloy made up of aluminum. This is done to improve scratch resistance and durability of the card.

Does Apple Card offer cash back or rewards?

Yes, you will receive 3% cash back at partnered retailers and Apple, 2% cash back for purchases made with Apple Pay, and 1% cash back for purchases made with the physical card.

Apple Card Controversy

Discrimination accusations

In November of 2019, David Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, had posted to Twitter that he'd received 20 times the credit limit of his wife. He alleged that Apple had been indicative that Apple was taking part in gender-biased practices.

It should be noted that Goldman Sachs, not Apple, handles all applications and determines a user's APR and credit limit.

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson responded by stating, "Our credit decisions are based on a customer's creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law."

The allegations piqued the interest of Wall Street regulators, who began an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and if Goldman Sachs' algorithm practiced gender-biased discrimination on applicants of the Apple Card. The investigation found no evidence of discrimination.

iPhone 13 pre-order issues through iUP

Customers attempting to pre-order the iPhone 13 through Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program ran into errors when attempting to check out with Apple Card as payment. No official statement has been made about the problem, though it appears the system was overloaded thanks to the mass amounts of people trying to buy an iPhone.

 

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