The thing no one tells you about credit cards is that they aren’t just free money. Many a hapless college student (author included) often sign up for one (or more) during those early days on campus when hardly anyone’s funds are as liquid as they’d like. Then things like interest pile up, and you can end up saddled with that debt much later on in adulthood.
Apple and Goldman Sachs are aiming to change that with Apple Card, a new product that goes the extra mile in helping individuals track their spending and gauge their financial health. Today, a limited number of customers were randomly selected to try out the card for themselves. It’s set to launch publicly later this summer.
After getting a close-up look at the Apple Card and what it can do—it’s essentially a credit card for people who totally suck at credit cards. First, there are no fees—no late fee, no overlimit fee, and no annual fee. You can apply in Apple Wallet and if approved by Goldman Sachs (a process that takes seconds), it’s instantly available for use. After that, the whole suite of services available to users really shows how Apple wants to educate consumers to spend smarter.
Digitally, you can get support via 24/7 text messages, and you can view your transactions in real time, as well as your balance and overall spending summary. The card starts off as white in the Wallet app, but over time changes to an array of colors depending on your spending categories—people who have a lot of orange might need to cut back on eating out, and people who see a lot of green may have reason to curb their shopping habits. The more you pay off the balance, the more the digital card returns to white.
You also have the option of getting the physical card mailed to you, which is made of titanium and contains a NFC chip that syncs to your phone. Since it has no card number, security code, expiration date, or signature, it’s more secure than other physical cards out there. That also results in minimally-designed card with a clean white finish that’s coated to make it scratch-resistant. If you lose it, you can even lock the physical card and request a replacement off your phone.
Apple Card also beefs up the security options in a time of numerous breaches. It creates a unique card number on your iPhone, which you can use to shop online if you’re not paying with Apple Pay. Should that data be compromised, you can instantly request a new card number. And while Apple Card gives you visibility of your spending, Apple’s unique privacy and security architecture keeps that information confidential to you.
Perhaps one of the most innovative features is Apple Card’s Daily Cash. Building off of popular cashback programs, customers get 3% back on all Apple purchases, 2% back on Apple Pay purchases, and 1% back on all purchases made using the titanium card. Even better, you get your benefits every night in your Apple Cash account. You can transfer it to the bank, use it to send money to friends—or even use it to help pay down your Apple Card balance.
Another killer feature is the way Apple Card calculates interest on different payment amounts—showing you the benefit of using the card wisely and letting you maintain more control over your finances. The minimum payment on a card is usually a slippery slope towards long-term credit card debt, and this particularly functionality shows you the cost of doing that in real time. All of this puts power back in the hands of consumers to make sure they’re keeping track of their financial health.
In conjunction with the preview release of Apple Card, Apple has also released a series of How-To videos to help people get even more familiar with the product. Check them out below:
How to apply:
Hot to activate your titanium card (XS/XR):
Hot to activate your titanium card (X or earlier):
How to make a purchase in-store:
How to make a purchase online:
How to find your card number:
How to use your Daily Cash:
How to check your spending:
How to make a payment:
How to get support 24/7: