Apple Card is finally available. Here’s everything you need to know about it

If you’ve been waiting for Apple to get into the credit card business with Apple Card, your wait is finally over. The Apple Card is now available.

A credit card directly from Apple that’s housed in the Wallet app, it includes no fees, lower interest rates, and cash rewards, while also being private and secure. The announcement of the Apple Card was made at the company’s event in Cupertino, California, where it debuted other services like Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and Apple News Plus.

Apple said retail acceptance of Apple Pay, which allows for contactless payments with your iPhone, is at almost 70 percent in the U.S., and in countries like Australia, it’s at 99 percent. That’s important because the prime selling point of the Apple Card is that it can be used wherever Apple Pay is available. Apple Pay will be in more than 40 countries by the end of the year.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Apple Card.

The Apple Card is now available

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously told investors that Apple would offer the card to the public in August, and he’s been true to his word, as the Apple Card is finally available. Head over to the Wallet app on your iPhone and tap the “+” button to start your application.

You’ll need to be on iOS 12.4 — so make sure your device is fully updated and capable of accessing iOS 12. As long as you have the iPhone 6 or later, you shouldn’t have any issues. If you’re on the developer build or public beta of iOS 13, you’ll need to downgrade back to iOS 12.4.

Once that’s sorted, you’ll need to register for the card itself. You’ll need to enter your date of birth, address, income level, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. All that information will be sent to Goldman Sachs, which will make the final decision on whether to approve or decline your application. Don’t worry about having to wait — Apple claims it should take less than a minute, and that the applications will be processed in real time. A TransUnion credit check is also part of the application, so make sure your information is available for the check.

What is Apple Card?

apple card

Apple Card is a new credit card you sign up for directly from your iPhone. Goldman Sachs is the issuing bank and Apple is also partnering with Mastercard to support Apple Card’s global payment network. You don’t need to wait for a physical card to use it, so as soon as you sign up and are approved, you can use the card within minutes. You can use it wherever Apple Pay is accepted.

If Apple Pay isn’t supported somewhere, that is where the physical Apple Card comes in. It’s a titanium card that your name is laser-etched upon. It’s a little more secure than traditional credit cards, too, as there’s no card number, no CVV security code, no expiration date, and no signature on the card itself (you can find this in the Wallet app).

The hub for the Apple Card is in the Wallet app, where you can see how much you owe on the card, when it’s due, and what you purchased. If you need help with something, you can chat with Apple Card customer service directly from the Messages app.

What’s neat is the Apple Card uses machine learning and Apple Maps to change the transaction names on the credit card statement to ones you’ll recognize, so it’s not just arbitrary business names that don’t mean anything to you. It also will categorize your spending, detailing where you spent money, and sort it into categories like food and drink. These categories are color-coded and these purchases are broken down by weekly and monthly reports, giving you an at-a-glance look at your spending habits.

What are the rewards?

apple card

When you hear “credit card,” you can usually expect some kind of rewards system, like cash back or a points system. Apple is simplifying this with a feature called Daily Cash. It’s real cash that is added to the Apple Cash card that you can spend in stores, use to pay down your balance, use in apps or on the web, or even send to friends.

Every time you pay with Apple Card on your iPhone or Apple Watch, you’ll get 2 percent of the purchase amount. That’s unlimited as well, so all the purchases you make in a day count toward Daily Cash. Any purchases you make directly with Apple — like buying an iPhone or paying your iCloud storage bill — gives you 3 percent Daily Cash. If you use the physical card, you get 1 percent Daily Cash.

What’s the interest and credit limit?

The Apple Card will have a variable interest rate ranging from 13.24 percent to 24.24 percent “based on creditworthiness” as of March 2019. The company did say there are no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, or over-limit fees. There are also no penalty interest rates if you miss a payment, but “late or missed payments will result in additional interest accumulating” toward your balance.

Apple said the Wallet app will help you see ways you can save on interest as well. There are tools available to see how much interest you’ll pay over time, and there are more frequent payments you can make to pay off your balance.

You’ll need to be approved for the card just like any credit card, and you will also have a credit limit imposed. That limit will be based on your current credit standing.

Is it secure and private?

apple card

It wouldn’t be an Apple announcement without a note on privacy and security. Apple said your Apple Card has a unique number that is stored on the device. Every payment uses a one-time dynamic code that helps keep the card protected, and each payment is authenticated by Touch ID and Face ID.

Apple said it also doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, and when. Goldman Sachs, the issuing bank, will also never share or sell your data to third parties for marketing or advertising, according to Apple.

Updated on August 20, 2019: The Apple Card is now available.

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