While the Apple Card gets the headlines, it’s not necessarily the best deal. Macworld has identified what it reckons is the best Apple Card alternative, along with four other options that may suit you better…

If you want a card with most of the Apple Card’s features but better cash rewards, Macworld’s Alaina Yee says the Citi Double Cash hits the spot.

You earn 2% percent cash back on all purchases with no cap and pay no annual fee. Citibank also supports Apple Pay, provides color-coded and categorized spending reports with customizable time periods, and offers real-time fraud alerts and the option for custom alerts.

So in situations where you can’t use Apple Pay and are not buying from Apple, the Citi card gets you 2% cash back against Apple’s 1%.

But the best Apple Card alternative depends on your situation, she says.

The card’s main downside compared to the Apple Card is a 3% foreign transaction fee when you buy items or services from a foreign merchant. The higher annual percentage rate (APR) for interest is also arguably a downside, but you should never carry a balance on a credit card if you want to stay financially healthy. This is especially true for rewards cards, as they have higher APRs.

If you do carry a balance on your card, then a low APR should be your key focus, as cash-back rewards will never make up for interest charges. Here, she says, you’ll be better off with a credit union.

Credit unions require membership to access their services, but some have more permissive eligibility rules. The easiest option is Lake Michigan Credit Union and its Prime Platinum Visa, which has an annual percentage rate (APR) as low as 8.5%. (As with any credit card, the APR is determined by your creditworthiness, so not everyone will get a rate of 8.5%.)

Lake Michigan Credit Union membership is open to certain residents in Michigan and Florida, as well as relatives of existing members. All other US residents can join after making a single donation of $5 to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation.

More details, and additional recommendations, can be found in the full piece.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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