Apple Card vs the best credit cards, benefit rewards and APR comparison


In a first for both Apple and Goldman Sachs, the two companies joined forces on a new type of credit card that doesn't really require a physical piece. The Apple Card was a long time in the rumor mill as a way for Apple to explore alternative usage for its $250+ billion cash pile better, and materialized when the Apple Pay chief took the stage at what was otherwise a media-centric event.

When it gets released in the summer, the Apple Card will actually be a virtual number in your Wallet app, while the accompanying piece of titanium cutout doesn't have any of the traditional card paraphernalia to worry about if it is lost or stolen, like account numerals, expiration date or CVV digits. Here's how it works:

  • From the get-go, the Card is associated with a unique device number stored in the Secure Element enclave on your iPhone; 
  • Your account number is virtual and stored in your phone's Wallet app, it will be auto-filled in apps and when you do web shopping in Safari;
  • Purchases are authorized with Face ID or Touch ID, while a unique code identifier is created for each transaction, or, as MasterCard's boss puts it: the future.

Apple's Card, however, has to live among a sea of reward and benefit credit cards that are vying for attention. It's Goldman Sachs's first foray into the wild seas of consumer financing, too, and perhaps this is why Apple introduced cashback and no-fee incentives together with the Card. How good are those compared to some of the current popular reward cards? Let's stack them up, bearing in mind that the average interest rate for 2018 according to the Federal Reserve has been 13.64%.

Apple Card vs Chase Sapphire vs Capital One Venture vs BofA Cash vs City Premier reward cards




So, is Apple Card the best rewards card?


Goldman Sachs, the issuer of the Apple Card, estimates it would sign up at least 21 million users with roughly $1,000 a month average spending, for about $882 million in total revenue or 1% of Apple's expected 2020 earnings. Even the Goldman Sachs analysts admit that Apple's Card is far from offering the most enticing rewards:


On the other hand, while not offering the highest cashback percentage, the Apple Card brings other perks with it:

  • Immediate registration and real-time Daily Cash rewards accruement
  • Accepted everywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • Apple doesn't care about targeted advertising, so it doesn't track what and where you purchase
  • Goldman Sachs won't comb Card user data for marketing purposes
  • The unique iPhone-as-a-credit card arrangement lets you tap on a transaction and see exactly in which coffee shop it's been made on Apple Maps
  • The Wallet app lets you track and categorize expenses, or choose tailored installment payments
  • Clear end-of-month due date that's not made to be missed

When you add the comparatively decent interest rate range, especially if you have a good credit history, the unique privacy and fraud-prevention advantages that come with dynamic numbers, and the lack of foreign transaction fees when you travel, the Apple Card becomes a good option to have in your payment arsenal. Plus, flexing it in Starbucks.



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5 Comments

1. notfair

Posts: 755; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

I was sure apple will do a thing like that because there is no way in hell you could squeeze money from the iphones anymore and that market will keep shrinking for them. What I was surprised is that they didn't start their own bank, they sure have the capital...

2. apple-rulz

Posts: 2195; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

I like most everything Apple is doing, my only hope for the next iPhone(s) is to eliminate or at least reduce the ugly notch, and bring back a fingerprint scanner, put it anywhere!!!! Also I’m hoping that mock-up that shows the cameras and flash in that grotesque square arrangement isn’t true.

6. akita256

Posts: 98; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

So do you have to have your iPhone with you in order to use the card to make a purchase? In other words, if you leave your iPhone at home when you do out...…...can you use just the card to make a purchase somewhere without having your iPhone right there with you?

14. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Cant use it for contactless but you can for chip and pin and likely mag strip as well seeing add the US is still behind.

12. TBomb

Posts: 1571; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Let's see.... 1% of $1000 is $10. That means you pay off the $95 yearly fee (which you can often times request to be removed by calling and explaining you want to drop your card because you don't want to pay it) in 9.5 months. That means 2% back when using your card vs Apple's 1% is still better by 2.5 months. It's basically a wash unless you're buying a lot of Apple products. I think it has to be A LOT too.

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