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Credit card guide: Apple Credit Card – Benefits & features

Is Apple Card a credit or debit card

Apple is stepping into credit cards with their own mobile-first product to distrupt the heavily-populated ecosystem by putting its focus on a more user-friendly experience and privacy they believe will help win over consumers.

According to Apple, the Apple Card release date is summer 2019, at least for the US. The card will exist in the iPhone’s Apple wallet to use it with Apple Pay, or users can get the titanium credit card that can be used almost anywhere in the world.

Benefits of the Apple Card

Apple takes pride in the many benefits the card provides, which eventually helps the user maintain their financial health.

After paying, users can track their spending by categories and their colors so they can see whether they are overspending money on something, even on a quick glance. Users can also pin point their spending on a map for a better precision. These features certainly give user a better sense on having control over spending.

Source: Macworld

Another benefit of the Apple Credit Card is its approach to security and privacy. First, the physical card has no printed account information on it. Once user is approved for Apple Card, a unique device number is locked away on your iPhone’s secure element. Each transaction requires that device number and a one-time security code that’s generated from Touch ID or Face ID, with no signature required.

According to TechCrunch, you’ll even be able to manually generate a new credit card number to use for situations where you need to disclose a number, but don’t necessarily trust the merchant. Apple also promises that their partner bank Goldman Sachs “will never share or sell your data to third parties for marketing or advertising.”

There are two other features up Apple’s sleeve which will attract a lot of users. The first one is that users get daily cash when buying with Apple Card. The company says: “ When you buy something using Apple Card, you get a percentage of your purchase back in Daily Cash. Not a month from now, but every day. There’s no limit to how much you can get. And it goes right onto your Apple Cash card, so you can use it just like cash.” This is how it works:

  • Uses get 3% back on everything bought from Apple
  • Users get 2% back for paying Apple Pay
  • If store, website, or app that doesn’t take Apple Pay yet, Apple Card still gives users 1% back in the form of Daily Cash.

However, the small letters on the end of their website say “Daily Cash is subject to exclusions” which the future users will have to research in detail in the Apple Credit Card Customer Agreement.

The second is that there are no fees and not even the hidden ones, according to Apple, more precisely “No annual, cash‑advance, over-the-limit, or late fees.” And if users pay their full balance, they won’t be paying interest. If, nevertheless, users cannot pay the full amount, Apple calculates the interest they will end up paying.

Apple Credit Card benefits – Summed up

  • Easy to onboard
  • Intuitive to use
  • Keeps users’ spending on track
  • Gives cash-back
  • Privacy and security
  • No fees

The disadvantages of the Apple Card

Although Apple is advertising the card as unique and with lowest interest rates, users can find other cards with even lower interest rates. If users are interesting in lower interests it is better to go with non-reward credit card, according to Alaina Yee from Macworld. Here are more details about how Apple card compares to other specific U.S. credit cards:

The fact is that the rewards of the Apple card aren’t all revolutionary or completely innovative. They are however presented in a much user-friendly way on a visually more attractive user interface.

In terms of the uniqueness, for all merchants, this is going to be treated as another Mastercard transaction and it’s going to follow all of those rules says John Drechny, CEO of the Merchant Advisory Group.

And regarding security, though the card number isn’t physically displayed, you can access it in Apple Wallet and use it to make online purchases just as you would with any other credit card.

Apple Pay is nonetheless very solid when it comes to security. But experts say that users don’t need to wait until Apple Card comes it, but only need to do is use Apple pay and any card users already own. Avivah Litan, vice president of research at the analysis and advisory firm Gartner said :

Nothing really changes with the Apple Card […] It’s pretty genius actually. They already have the whole Apple Pay infrastructure built and tremendous adoption now across the world, so this is a competitive move.

Another big disadvantage of the physical card is that it can’t complete contactless payments, a feature which almost all of the existing cards have. However, the probable reason behind not making the physical card contactless was to make users use Apple Pay rather than the physical card.   

Disadvantages of Apple Credit Card – Summed up

  • Physical card isn’t contactless
  • Credit card numbers are still visible to the merchant
  • Rewards mainly relate to Apple products
  • Other non-reward credit cards have lower interest rates

Will people use the Apple card?

It is clear that the purpose of Apple Card is part of Apple’s global strategy to drive adoption and use of Apple Pay but this doesn’t mean that Apple is no longer innovative even though the payment industry is indeed introducing some more revolutionary technology.  

And with laptops, tablets, phones, Apple wallet, a credit card was the only missing part to keep the users in Apple ecosystem.

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that only 70% of US retailers accept Apple Pay, far below the adoption rate of 99% in Australia, so now they are trying to nudge the US toward using Apple Pay on a regular basis and not just when a retailer allows.

Nevertheless, it looks like there’s plenty of interest in Apple Credit Card. According to an informal survey of Business Insider readers from Business Insider Intelligence, 85% of existing users are at least ‘Somewhat Interested” in using the service. In addition, 42% of existing iPhone users say they are “extremely interested” in using the service. Just 15% of iPhone users claim to have no interest in Apple Card.

The future of Apple

Apple’s plan to transform the world of credit cards in the image of Apple Card seems to have progressed further than anyone might have thought, thanks to a top-secret project with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to make similar technologies available for use by other card issuers.

This doesn’t mean every bank will introduce such cards, but those who do choose to do so will get to begin doing so in six months’ time, the report claims.

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