During its event at Steve Jobs Theater this afternoon, Apple announced “Apple Card.” The company is calling this “a new kind of credit card crated by Apple, not a bank.” Of course, Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs to create the card, so it’s not entirely bank-free.
Even though it partnered with a traditional bank, Apple is still doing some interesting things with Apple Card. Here are some tidbits that you might have missed during today’s event.
Apple Card + Wallet
One of the most interesting things about Apple Card is how it integrates with the Wallet app on iOS. Apple says that its goal is to help you learn more about your spending, with less effort. For instance, the company is using a combination of machine learning and location services to help make card statements more readable.
Wait, where’s that $46.32 charge from? Apple Card uses Maps to pinpoint where you bought something. No mysterious merchant codes. No guessing. Just the store name, along with its location on a map. Helpful.
The Wallet app also includes new design features to accommodate Apple Card. For instance, you tap on individual transactions to view details like price, Daily Cash, category, and the location of the transaction on a map.
Apple is also taking the ring system from the Apple Watch and using it to help mange your balance and interest. There’s an interactive ring showing your total Apple Card balance. You can then scroll through that ring to see how much interest you’ll be charged depending on how much of your balance you pay down.
The Wallet app will also offer suggestions to help avoid accumulating unnecessary interest. You can also set automatic payments on a weekly or biweekly schedule to help pay down your balance in correlation with paydays.
The best way to save on interest is to pay your balance in full every month. When you can’t do that, Apple Card does the math for you. Choose any amount you wish to pay — $530, $780, $1025 — and watch Apple Card estimate the interest cost for you. In real time. So you can make an informed decision.
Apple Card also offers up smart payment suggestions that encourage you to pay a little more than you normally would, and help you pay off your balance faster.
The new features of Wallet also make it easier to track your spending by category. Each category is assigned a color, and you can view your spending breakdown on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This can make it easier to see what you’re spending the most on, and where you might want to cut back.
Here’s a look at how Apple Card integrates with Wallet on iOS:
One of the most interesting things about Apple Card is its rewards platform. Apple says that customers will get “Daily Cash” when they shop with Apple Card. This means that cash back is credited directly to your Apple Pay Cash card on a daily basis.
From there, you can spend the Apple Pay Cash like a normal card, use it to pay down your debt, or transfer it directly to your bank.
Here are the cash back details:
- Get 3% back on everything you buy from Apple, whether you buy it at an Apple Store, apple.com, the App Store, or iTunes. That includes games, in‑app purchases, and services like your Apple Music subscription and iCloud storage plan.
- Get 2% back every time you buy something using Apple Pay. That’s in every category, with no limits. Imagine all the things you use a credit card for every day — at Target, Walgreens, Lyft. You’ll get 2% back on just about everything.
- If you happen to come across a store, website, or app that doesn’t take Apple Pay yet, Apple Card still gives you 1% of your purchases back in the form of Daily Cash.
While these cash back numbers aren’t industry-defining, they are notable for a card with a $0 annual fee. 3 percent cash back from Apple is especially notable when you consider recurring subscriptions such as iCloud storage, App Store purchases, and Apple Music.
If Apple detects a potentially fraudulent charge, it will send you a push notification immediately. From there, you can report a problem or mark the transaction as “OK.”
Apple Card also integrates with Apple Business Chat. This means you can easily communicate with support directly through the Messages app, so if you have to report a fraud issue, you can do so through text:
Every time you buy something, you get an instant notification. So you’ll be the first to know if something doesn’t seem right. You’ll also be notified of any unusual activity. Don’t recognize a charge? Just tap to let us know. That’s it. We’ll take it from there, and you won’t be liable for any fraudulent charges.
Still have a question? There’s no need to call. And wait on hold. And listen to elevator music. You can get an answer 24/7 by texting.
Apple Card fees
Apple says there are “no fees, not even the hidden ones” with Apple Card, but that doesn’t account for interest. While it’s true there are no annual fees or late fees, you still have to pay interest. Apple says variable annual percentage yields will range from 13.24 percent to 24.24 percent. If you miss a payment, you won’t pay a late fee, but interest will accumulate at a quicker rate.
Here’s how Apple explains it:
Late or missed payments will result in additional interest accumulating toward your balance. Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of March 2019.
Apple Card design
It wouldn’t be an Apple initiative if there wasn’t a focus on physical design. The Apple Card features a titanium, laser-etched design. Unlike traditional cards, there is no card number, expiration date, or security code on the card itself. Instead, all of that information is housed within the Wallet app:
A titanium, laser‑etched, Apple‑designed credit card. And Mastercard is our global payment network, so you can use it all over the world. For apps and websites, there’s a virtual card number in the Wallet app. It autofills for you when you’re using Safari.
Apple Card availability
You can sign up to learn more about Apple Card on Apple’s website. The company says it will email and send push notifications when new information is available.
Apple Card will be available this summer and you’ll be able to apply directly in the Wallet app.
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