Apple Card Review: Who Should Get It? (and Alternatives)

Apple and Goldman Sachs partnered to launch the new Apple Card. The Apple Card is made out of titanium, and earn 2% cash back on purchases via Apple Pay. Who should get the Apple Card and who should avoid it?

 Apple Card Key Features

  • Annual fee: $0

  • Intro Bonus: $0

  • Get 3% back on purchases at Apple (Apple Store, apple.com, the App Store, or iTunes)

  • Get 3% back on Uber and UberEATS purchases

  • Get 2% back on every Apple Pay purchase

  • Get 1% on all purchases made with the physical Apple Card

  • Daily Cash issued on every purchase you make with Apple Pay or the physical Apple Card

  • No cash advance fees

  • No international fees

  • No over the limit fees

  • No returned payment fees

Who SHOULD Get the Apple Card?

1. People who REALLY want the Apple Card

Regardless of what we write in this post, there will be a niche group of people who will want to get the Apple Card. Go for it.

If you’re debating getting the Apple Card and it’s taking up a lot of mental bandwidth, then just open the card.

Absolute worst case, getting the Apple Card and leaving it in the sock drawer is fine since it doesn’t have an annual fee.

2. Technologist

Apple is pushing new trends that aren’t common in the credit card space. For example, you can see the offered initial credit limit and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) before you accept the card offer.

Another niche use case would be someone who wants to launch a YouTube channel. A few new channels are popping up to unbox and review the Apple Card. Since the Apple Card is currently a trending topic, this is a good way to gain subscribers and view times.

3. People heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem

If you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple Card locks you in “for life.” To use the Apple Card via Apple Pay, you need an iPhone.

Every new phone you get moving forward will most likely be an iPhone to continue using the Apple Card.

4. People who don’t like credit cards

I’m a firm believer that if you are a financially responsible person (no debt), you should own at least one credit card. The past couple of days, I’ve had people message me that they are not interested in any other credit card aside from the Apple Card.

If you fall into this niche, then yes, go get the Apple Card if it helps lay the foundation for your credit.

Optimal Strategy

I recommend waiting for the launch wave to pass and see if Apple adds an “intro bonus” or promotion to open the credit card.

With other credit cards, it's normal to see an intro bonus of $100+. Reports have stated that Goldman Sachs is spending $350 to acquire each new Apple Card user, so the promotion would likely be on Apple’s side.

Offers I wouldn’t mind seeing would be complimentary Apple accessories or Apple Care extensions. At this point, I’m speculating so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Who Should NOT Get the Apple Card?

1. People who are not invested in the Apple ecosystem

The main draw of the Apple Card is getting 2% back on all Apple Pay purchases. If you’re someone who likes to switch between Android and Apple, I don’t recommend getting the Apple Card.

People who don’t see themselves sticking with Apple in the long-term should also be wary of getting the card.

2. People who want to maximize credit card points

The Apple Card earn 2% on Apple Pay transactions. However, other credit cards on the market have better mobile pay spending multipliers.

For example, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve earns 3% on all mobile pay transactions, and you’re not limited to Apple Pay. The Chase Freedom occasionally earns 5% on Chase Pay transactions during select quarters.

Chase Freedom

  • Annual fee: $0

  • Welcome bonus: $150 after $500 in spend within the first 90 days of account opening

  • Spending Multipliers:

    • Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter you activate, up to $1,500 in combined purchases

    • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Foreign transaction fees: 3%

Travel credit cards typically come with an intro bonus of $300+ after you spend a certain amount on the card within the first 3 months of account opening.

For example, if you open a travel credit card that has a $600 welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, that’s a 30% return on spend.

= welcome bonus / minimum spend
= welcome bonus / $2,000
= [$600 redemption] / $2,000
= 30% return on spend

Spend $2,000 (that you were going to spend regardless) to earn $600.

When it comes to Apple Card, you would have to spend $20,000 on Apple to earn $600 in cash back.

  • $20,000 * 3% = $600

Realistically, a normal person isn’t going to spend $20,000 on Apple products in a year. Most transactions will probably be via Apple Pay and earn 2% cash back. You would have to spend $30,000 via Apple Pay to earn $600 in cash back.

  • $30,000 * 2% = $600

If your goal is to earn practically “free” travel through your everyday spend, then I recommend steering clear of the Apple Card.



Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.