Let me be clear. I own an iPhone. The watch on my wrist is an Apple Watch, and I’ve been staring at a computer screen made by Apple for the better part of eight years.
Naturally, I’m intrigued that Apple decided to offer a financial product. With the Apple Card slated to come out this summer, the hype is not surprisingly big.
So, why would Apple decide to go into the financial services industry and specifically, offer a credit card? When you get down to it, credit cards are a recent financial product. The first bank-issued charge cards originated in 1946. In less than 100 years, we have gone from charge cards to quite literally, card-less cards.
Apple is making the most of its widespread iPhone users by pairing a card that integrates with its gadgets. This additional revenue generator could boost Apple in a new direction.
If your Apple tastebuds have perked up at the thought of an Apple credit card, here’s what you need to consider.
Apple credit card will offer fast cash with Daily Cash
The biggest feature that Apple Card provides comes in the form of Daily Cash. You don’t have to wait at the end of your credit card billing statement to earn cash back. You earn cash back instantaneously.
The cash back program breaks down into three tiers:
- 3% cash back – Good for any purchases made on Apple.com, in the Apple Store, or iTunes.
- 2% cash back – Good for purchases made using Apple Pay.
- 1% cash back – For all other purchases that don’t take Apply Pay, you can use your physical Apple Card and still receive 1% back.
The Apple Card has zero fees
Another perk to the card is that there are zero fees.
You’ll be able to capture your spending habits
Then there are the built-in spending summaries. Spending summaries help you see where your money has gone. Everything is color-coded, so you can quickly see that Food & Drinks dominated your Friday.
The spending summary can be viewed weekly or monthly. For chronic over-spenders, this could curve spending.
Spending summaries aren’t new to the credit card industry, though. Log into a Chase account, and you’ll be able to view a spending report and a breakdown by category. However, Apple does this better by offering this in-app. The Chase spending report is only available on a desktop computer. Another nod for Apple.
And locate transactions
A convenient feature that Apple Card provides is locating transactions. Apple Card uses the Maps app to help you pinpoint purchases after a night of debauchery.
For instance, you see a transaction that you don’t recognize, the Apple Card gives you the exact location of where the transaction took place. That’s useful.
The Apple card will have no credit card number
This is slick. A card that has no card number. The Apple Card number is created on your iPhone then locked away. You can’t see it, Apple can’t see it.
Removing the number reduces the chances of it getting stolen. The physical card doesn’t have any numbers printed on it, either. And to a millennial, the titanium aesthetics alone make it worth pulling out to pay for avocado toast.
There are some downsides to the Apple Card
It encourages using your phone more
If Apple is encouraging the use of a digital card, doesn’t that encourage using your cell phone more? According to a study from Ryerson University, there is an association between smartphone use, stress, and anxiety.
Using your iPhone to pay for a coffee could entice you to check notifications more. You are more susceptible to phone usage, pulling you away from the here and now. The Apple Card could become more stressful than helpful in this case.
Spending summaries don’t help you budget
Even though the spending summaries show you how you spent money in the past, it can’t help you budget for the future. The Apple Card doesn’t have a budgeting component to it.
Apple knows your face and fingerprints
There’s the issue of privacy with the Apple Card. It uses Face ID or Touch ID to authorize purchases. In an era of digital-everything, how comfortable are you handing over your fingerprints and your face to Apple?
Of course, this is not new technology. Face ID was introduced in 2017 and Touch ID was introduced in 2013. What we learned from Edward Snowden could make it hard to trust Apple with such personal and sensitive information.
No sign-up bonus for Apple Card
Currently, there is no sign-up bonus for opting into the Apple Card. But, it’s Apple. Do they really need to add a sign-up bonus?
This past year, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced two billion iOS devices sold. If there are so many Apple users already, the fact that it’s a product made by the conglomerate is enough to get Apple lovers to sign up.
If you don’t like Goldman-Sachs, this is not the card for you
Apple claims this is a credit card not created by a bank. But this card is financially backed by Goldman-Sachs. And Goldman-Sachs is definitely a bank.
Their history of negative media attention might turn you off. Two former Goldman-Sachs executives were recently barred from the banking industry after getting caught up in a multibillion-dollar fraud.
Is the Apple Card worth it?
If Steve Jobs was still around, it would be interesting to hear his thoughts on Apple creating a credit card. It’s very possible this was a glimmer in his eye. Apple didn’t intend to be a financial services company. Perhaps they didn’t intend to be a phone company, either. But they do one thing extremely well: They tap into their customers’ emotions. This card is no different.
If you forget the name Apple, is this credit card worth getting? A numberless card sure would seem safer and reduce skimming incidents.
It also reduces the amount of plastic, or metal in this case, that you would need to carry around. We already carry around our phones everywhere we go, so it just makes sense to put your card on your phone. Phones become the new currency and Apple could very well make a shift in the way credit card users make purchases.
Apple has a history of releasing revolutionary products, but is the new credit card any different from other cards on the market? For Apple users, the card will have some pretty cool benefits, including no fees, and no actual credit number. The card exists on your cell phone and the number is generated on your phone.
But, there are a few downsides. There’s no big sign-up bonus, which is a little disappointing coming from the billion-dollar company. Plus, if you lose your phone, that’s a huge security risk since your card is on it.