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Apple Card Available to Select Customers Beginning Today

Aug. 06, 2019
6 min read
Apple Card Available to Select Customers Beginning Today
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Update 8/20/19: The Apple Card is now available for all US customers. Additionally, Uber and Uber Eats purchases are now eligible for 3% Daily Cash (cash back), in addition to purchases made directly with Apple. Follow the instructions below to sign up.


The Apple Card is almost here. When it comes to earning rewards toward your next vacation, the Apple Card won't be one of the best options on the market, but the company's first credit card is finally expected to launch at the end of this month. Or, if you're one of an undisclosed number of randomly selected early adopters, you can even sign up beginning today.

As a member of the media, I personally had an opportunity to sign up among the first group of users, so I could experience the super-simple sign-up process for myself. After updating to iOS 12.4, opening the Wallet app and tapping the "+" button at the top right, I was presented with the option to apply for the card — once applications become widely available, that should be your experience as well, assuming your device is configured correctly (more on that at the bottom of this story).

I typically like to research cards extensively before I sign up, so this was actually the very first application I've completed on a phone. It was smooth as can be, though, and my account was approved and ready to use in just three minutes, including the time it took to capture these screenshots:

Activating the physical card (once it arrives in the mail) is painless as can be, too:

While we addressed most of the questions about Apple Card in our Q&A following Apple's unveiling in March, I recently picked up on a few interesting details worth sharing:

  • You'll need to update to iOS 12.4 to submit an application, with your device's region set to the United States
  • The card is permanently linked to the Apple ID you use when you apply — it can't be moved to another account
  • Most customers will only enter the last four digits of their SSN to apply
  • There isn't a hard credit pull right away (the application won't hit your report unless you accept the interest rate and credit limit)
  • Goldman Sachs uses your TransUnion score to determine eligibility
  • The physical card is optional — you can choose to order one after approval
  • The interface is very intuitive — I especially like that you can easily sort purchases by merchant
  • A slider makes it clear exactly how much interest would be due if you don't pay in full
  • Customers are eligible for a selection of Mastercard benefits, including theft protection and 2-day shipping with ShopRunner

The Apple Card is sure to be a hit among loyalists, but it isn't necessarily the best no annual fee pick, especially if you often shop at merchants that don't accept contactless payments — the only non-Apple purchase option that earns more than 1%. You'll also be forgoing a sign-up bonus and introductory no-interest period, though Apple has been clear in its aim to help customers avoid carrying a balance.

Here's how it stacks up against competing no annual fee cards:

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Card NameBest ForCash-Back OverviewIntro APR periodForeign-Transaction FeesSign-Up Bonus
Apple CardApple purchases, simplicity3% (purchases made directly with Apple, Uber, Walgreens and Duane Reade)
2% (all Apple Pay purchases)
1% (everything else)
None (12.99% to 23.99% variable APR from open)NoneNone
Citi® Double Cash CardEveryday spending2% (all purchases; 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay)0% APR for 18-months on balance transfers made within the first four months of account opening (then 13.99% - 23.99% variable APR applies)

There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

3%None
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit CardDining and entertainmentEarn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then a 14.99% - 24.99% variable APR applies)None$200 one-time bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Apple's new credit card isn't even the most rewarding pick for Apple purchases. The American Express® Business Gold Card's 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar earned on purchases from technology providers* (including Apple), clearly has the manufacturer's own card beat, especially when you consider that's equivalent to an 8% return, based on TPG's valuations. Amex's card also has you covered with generous purchase protections — a must when purchasing expensive electronics.

So, if I don't often plan to use Apple Card, why did I sign up? Well, I kinda had to — I needed to experience the application process for this story — but I was planning to apply either way. Even though I'll probably never actually use it or even carry it around, as a frequent traveler, I figured I might as well add the card so I'd have something to fall back on if I lose my wallet or my other cards are disabled due to fraud. And it's a decent pick for travel abroad, thanks to:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Push notifications with purchase amounts in USD
  • Text support via Messages, which works over Wi-Fi

Ultimately, if you're an iPhone user and simplicity is your top priority — from sign up to payment — Apple Card is hard to beat.

For more on Apple Card, see:

  • Questions and Answers About Apple’s New Credit Card
  • Will the Apple Card Be the Best Credit Card for Apple Purchases?
  • Why You Should Care About the Apple Card, Even If You Aren’t Getting It

*on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from the two categories where your business spent the most each calendar year (then 1x)

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best business card for flexible earning
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 25% cash-back
4XGet 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
1X1X is earned for other purchases. **
25%Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*

Intro offer

70,000 points
Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*

Annual Fee

$295

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you’re business does a lot of spending, you can probably justify spending the $295 annual fee that’s associated with the American Express Business Gold card. This card allows you to earn points in the top two categories you spend the most in. If you max out the categories each year, you could walk away with 600,000 Membership Rewards points annually. Amex has 22 airline and hotel partners you can transfer points to and often offers limited time transfer bonuses that you can take advantage of to increase the value of existing points.

Pros

  • Earn 4x Membership Rewards points in the top 2 spending categories each month (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year)
  • Pay for eligible flights booked with Amex Travel with points and get 25% of them back
  • Comes with a 70,000-point welcome offer

Cons

  • Hefty $295 annual fee
  • Must spend $10,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership
  • No monthly or annual credits such as on the Amex Business Platinum or consumer Amex Gold cards
  • There may be better options for small businesses who don't spend a lot
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month-or pay over time with interest.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Business Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best business card for flexible earning
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XGet 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
1X1X is earned for other purchases. **
25%Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Intro Offer
    Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*

    70,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $295
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

If you’re business does a lot of spending, you can probably justify spending the $295 annual fee that’s associated with the American Express Business Gold card. This card allows you to earn points in the top two categories you spend the most in. If you max out the categories each year, you could walk away with 600,000 Membership Rewards points annually. Amex has 22 airline and hotel partners you can transfer points to and often offers limited time transfer bonuses that you can take advantage of to increase the value of existing points.

Pros

  • Earn 4x Membership Rewards points in the top 2 spending categories each month (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year)
  • Pay for eligible flights booked with Amex Travel with points and get 25% of them back
  • Comes with a 70,000-point welcome offer

Cons

  • Hefty $295 annual fee
  • Must spend $10,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership
  • No monthly or annual credits such as on the Amex Business Platinum or consumer Amex Gold cards
  • There may be better options for small businesses who don't spend a lot
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month-or pay over time with interest.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees