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Apple Credit Card Review: Is It Worth It?

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Updated September 20, 2023

If you love Apple products and have an Apple computer, iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices, you may be interested in the Apple Card. The Apple credit card is a cash back card paying up to 3% cash back, with the best rewards for purchases from Apple or using Apple Pay. Those already ingrained in the Apple ecosystem can reap the best of this card’s rewards and benefits. Here is a closer look at how the Apple Card works to help you decide if it could suit your spending needs. 

TIME's Take

The Apple Card is a good deal for purchases from Apple and using Apple Pay. Cardholders earn 3% back on purchases from Apple, 2% back when using Apple Pay anywhere it’s accepted, and 1% everywhere else. The card has no fees or costs aside from interest charges if you carry a balance. It’s a good option if you use Apple Pay regularly or make regular payments to Apple, but the 1% rate everywhere else isn’t very exciting.

Who is the card for?

This card is best for shoppers who regularly use Apple Pay with their Apple Watch or iPhone. It’s also good for Apple subscriptions, such as Apple TV, Apple Music, and iCloud. If you or your household are all-in on the Apple ecosystem and periodically buy iPhones, Apple Watches, Apple computers, and other gear from Apple.com or the Apple Store, you’ll get the best cash back the card has to offer.

If you don’t frequently use Apple Pay or buy from Apple, you can find better deals with other 2% cash back cards, such as the PayPal credit card or Citi Double Cash. If you don’t pay off your balance monthly, interest charges will likely be more than your rewards, which is common with most rewards cards.

Behind the scenes, the card is issued and managed by Goldman Sachs. When applying for a new account, there is no initial impact on your credit score. If approved, it will affect your credit score.

Rewards structure

The Apple Card features three reward rate tiers, depending on where and how you shop.

Purchase CategoryRewards Rate
Apple and select partners
3% cash back
Apple Pay
2% cash back
Everywhere else
1% cash back

The top 3% rate is reserved for purchases at Apple and directly from select partners. As of this writing, 3% merchants include Apple, Ace Hardware, Duane Reade, Exxon, Mobil, Nike, Panera Bread, T-Mobile, Uber, Uber Eats, and Walgreens.

The 2% back rate is for any purchase made using Apple Pay. If you can tap to pay, you can likely use Apple Pay. Most large chains, including grocery stores, drugstores, and many more accept digital payments with Apple Pay.

Earning 1% using the physical card everywhere else isn’t great, but it’s better than nothing. Savvy credit card users may use the Apple Card and another favorite cash back card to maximize their rewards. Even if you just use the card for Apple purchases, it could be a good deal for you, as there is no annual fee.

Additional hidden perks

The biggest perks are the almost non-existent fees. There is no annual fee, penalty fees, transaction fees, or any other fees. The only charge is interest if you carry a balance. And if you use the card for large Apple purchases, you may qualify for zero interest on those purchases.

You can make monthly installment payments with no interest when buying a new Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple TV, or other qualifying Apple products directly from Apple. You still earn the 3% cash back. There is no additional application required. You just have to choose Apple Card Monthly Installments at checkout.

Apple Card cash back rewards are paid daily, known as Daily Cash. You can use your cash back rewards to lower your credit card balance (statement credit), deposit to a linked bank account, or store with an Apple Cash card, enabling you to spend wherever Apple Pay is accepted.

What could be improved

The card doesn’t have many cons, thanks to its low fees. The biggest drawback is the 1% cash back rate on purchases made with the physical card, as you can earn more with competing cards. It’s also not very helpful to people who don’t use iPhone or Apple Watch, as you can’t earn the 2% back from Apple Pay.

The card also lacks purchase protection and travel insurance benefits, which are important protections for many credit card users.

Alternatives to the Apple credit card

Here’s a look at the best credit cards to consider as an alternative to the Apple Card, including 0% APR cards for new customers. All cards below are no annual fee credit cards and offer cash back rewards.

CardRewardsAnnual FeeOther Key Perks and Benefits
5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining, eligible restaurant delivery services, and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on other purchases
annual_fees
bonus_miles_full
1% cash back on purchases and 1% cash back on payments for an effective 2% cash back
annual_fees
Balance Transfer: balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration (limitations and balance transfer fees apply)
PayPal Cashback Mastercard
3% cash back when checking out with PayPal and 2% everywhere else
None
Extensive buyer protections provided by PayPal

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I apply for an Apple Card?

Go to the Apple Card website and complete the application for an Apple credit card. Applying takes only a few minutes if you have your information handy.

Does applying for an Apple Card hurt credit?

Applying for an Apple Card doesn’t harm your credit score. There’s no impact on your credit score unless you accept your offer and sign up for an account.

How can I pay my Apple credit card?

The easiest way to pay is with the Apple Wallet app. You can also pay through the Apple Card website. If your iPhone or iPad isn’t available, you can make a payment by contacting Apple support. Payments can be made from a connected bank account or your Apple Cash balance.

How can I reach Apple Credit Card customer service?

The best way to reach Apple Card customer support is by calling the number on the back of your card. The current toll-free number for Apple Card support is 877-255-5923.

What are the key things to know about the Apple Card's cash back program?

You’ll earn 3% back on purchases from Apple and partner merchants, 2% back using Apple Pay, and 1% everywhere else. Cash back is earned daily and can lower your card balance, increase your Apple Cash balance, or be deposited to a linked bank account.

How can I log in to my Apple Card account online?

Go to card.apple.com or use the Apple Wallet app to view your online account, including your balance, payment due dates, Apple purchase installment plan, and other card details.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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