Is the Apple Card a Good Alternative to Traditional Credit Cards?

Is the Apple Card a Good Alternative to Traditional Credit Cards?
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Card during a launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, on March 25, 2019. (Noah Berger / AFP)
Anne Johnson

In 1976, Apple Computer Inc. changed the way people viewed computers. They’ve had groundbreaking developments that allowed people to have small computers in their homes and offices and fit in their hands.

But Apple offers more than innovative technologies; they also offer some financial services. What are these services, and should you use them?

Apple Credit Card

In 2019, Apple began offering credit cards. At first, they were available to select people receiving Apple notifications. These consumers had signed up in advance. It was released to the general public and is still available in 2023.
The Apple Card offers many benefits, and the emphasis is placed on signing up iPhone users. But there is no sign-up bonus.

Apple Card Benefits

A cardholder receives three percent cash back at Apple and selected merchants. These merchants include:
  • ACE
  • Duane Reade
  • Exxon
  • Uber
  • Uber Eats
  • Walgreens
You'll receive two percent Daily Cash if you use the Apple Card congruent with Apple Pay for other merchants. All other purchases will earn you one percent. The Daily Cash can be used through the Wallet App for purchases or through the Messages app to pay back friends and family.

An Apple card user can purchase new Apple products and finance them over time, interest-free if the card is used.

It’s a MasterCard and is backed by Goldman Sachs.

The Apple Card credit limit starts at $2,500. But the limit does depend on the applicant’s overall creditworthiness. And although you shouldn’t ask more than once a year, a phone call to Marcus by the Goldman Sachs customer service number may result in an increased limit. The number is located on the back of the card.

Apple offers 24/7 text support.

Apple Card Credit Score and Hard Inquiry

You‘ll need a 700 credit score to qualify for an Apple Card. Although if you have a high enough income, it’s possible to be approved with a lower score. But usually, the higher score prevails. You’ll also need a Social Security number or driver’s license. It is generally hard to qualify for an Apple Card.

When you first apply for an Apple Card, Goldman Sachs does a soft pull on your credit. If you pass the soft pull, you will receive an offer of an initial credit limit. At that point, if you accept the offer, then a hard pull is done to complete the application.

It can take up to ten days for approval.

Who Should Have Apple Card?

The Apple Card is made to help consumers understand their credit habits. It maps out payments to avoid interest.

Apple uses location services. It maps out your card purchases and works by assigning each expense a color and a category. This helps first-time credit card holders manage personal spending habits. They see where the money is going.

If that’s important to you, this may be a good card. Others may not use it and not care.

Goldman Sachs Loses Money on Apple Card

Apple Card represented one of Goldman Sachs’ first ventures in consumer banking. But it may not be going as well as all parties expected.

Goldman Sachs hinted in January 2022 that it had lost over one billion dollars through its partnership with Apple, specifically with the Apple Card. But Goldman went on to say that it was committed to the partnership. Moreover, they expect it to be lucrative in the long run.

One reason that Goldman Sachs has lost money is that the Apple Card doesn’t charge any fees except interest. Most cards have late fees or foreign transaction fees. But the Apple card doesn’t have these fees.

Goldman Sachs has been liberal in approving people. As a result, it had to charge off balances at higher rates than other banks. And they’re less aggressive than other banks at collecting charge-off debt.

Apple High-Yield Savings Account Available

As of April 2023, Apple Card users can grow their Daily Cash rewards with a Savings account. Goldman Sachs initially offered a high-yield APY of 4.15 percent. That rate is ten times the national average.

There are no fees or minimum balances. You can easily set up and manage your Savings account from an Apple Card in Wallet.

Since Apple is partnered with Goldman Sachs, which acts as the bank, all accounts are federally insured. The FDIC insures all deposits up to $250,000.

How Does ‘Apple Savings’ Work?

The only way to use the Apple Savings account is through the Apple Card. All you must do is set up a Savings account through your Apple Card.

Once you have set up your Apple Savings account, all your Daily Cash will be automatically deposited into your account. If you want to increase your savings, you can deposit additional funds. This can be done through a linked bank account or from their Apple Cash balance.

You’ll have access to your Savings account through a dashboard in the Wallet. Account balances and interest earned over time can be tracked. Withdrawing funds takes place through the dashboard. You can transfer money, with no fees, to a linked bank account or an Apple Cash card.

Is Apple Card and Savings a Viable Option?

If you are an Apple lover who always needs the newest gadget, the Apple Card may benefit you. You'll be able to purchase Apple products and finance them without interest.

But it’s not a broad card for the general public. The Cash Back doesn’t apply to all merchants and services. And since many Americans use their credit cards for online purchases, groceries, dining etc., not receiving Cash Back on these purchases may be a deal breaker.

If you do use an Apple Card, setting up an Apple Savings account is a way for your Daily Cash to earn you high-yield interest. It’s a win-win.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.
Anne Johnson was a commercial property & casualty insurance agent for nine years. She was also licensed in health and life insurance. Anne went on to own an advertising agency where she worked with businesses. She has been writing about personal finance for ten years.
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