UPDATE: August 21, 2019: Apple launched its credit card for U.S. customers on Tuesday, according to a company press release. In addition to previously announced rewards, the company stated that users will be able to receive 3% cash back on Uber and Uber Eats purchases. Additional merchants will be added to the Apple Card rewards program in the coming months, the company said.
- Apple announced in a press release on March 25 it will introduce a credit card called Apple Card.
- Touted as a "new kind of credit card," Apple Card is designed for use with Apple Wallet on iPhone and the Apple Pay contactless payment system. A physical card will be available for use at locations where Apple Pay is not available.
- Apple Card will be available starting this summer, offering daily cash back reward deposits and no fees.
Apple's new credit card, backed by Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, provides potential benefits for Apple in keeping consumers in its ecosystem and improving loyalty through the cash back incentives and rewards available. In a note, Wells Fargo said it sees the Apple Card as "a positive long-term driver of Apple's extending ecosystem."
The Apple Card also heavily encourages the use of mobile payments. Users will receive 2% cash back on purchases, but only when they use Apple Card with Apple Pay on iPhone. Shoppers using the physical titanium Apple Card will receive 1% cash back. Purchases made directly with Apple either through the app store, in physical stores or for services earn 3% back.
The company's release highlighted several features to help consumers manage their finances from their phones, including automatic categorization of transactions, weekly and monthly spending summaries, and a slider to show how various payment amounts can affect interest charges incurred over time.
Apple Pay is available in 65% of U.S. retail locations as of January 2019, Apple noted when it announced the addition of the mobile payment option to all U.S. Target stores. "This new offering is aimed directly at Millennials and could put Apple in the driver's seat as the payments landscape becomes increasingly digital," Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub, said in a statement emailed to Retail Dive.
While the cash back amounts from Apple Card are unremarkable in an increasingly competitive rewards market, its security features may be another key to attracting consumers weary from retail data breaches. Apple won't be able to access data from credit transactions, and each purchase will be authorized with either Face ID or Touch ID along with a one-time security code. The physical credit card won't contain a card number, CVV, expiration date or signature.