I Used Apple Card Overseas And Had A Lot Of Problems
Visa really is everywhere you want to be. Its not just a marketing slogan, but a cruel fact I learned when I tried to rely solely on my Apple Card during a recent trip to Italy.
Ive been testing out Apples credit card since it launched in August. And that includes taking it overseas to see how this card performs away from the safety of an Apple Store. The verdict? The Apple Card isnt always the best travel companion, at least when you head overseas.
What Is Apple Card
Apple Card is Apple’s own credit card. Launched in August 2019, this credit card is the first of its kind: run by a tech company. It’s worth noting straight away that Apple Card is only available in the US.
The credit card is fully integrated in Apple’s ecosystem, so it works flawlessly with existing Apple services and apps. Apple Card is built straight into the Wallet app found on iOS devices, and links directly to Apple Pay.
Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs to manage the financial side of the card. Apple Card was built specifically for use in Apple Pay, but still functions as a traditional, non-contactless credit card when necessary.
You’ll see that Apple Card isn’t your usual piece of plastic. Rather, this card is made from titanium with a white coating. The card gets laser-etched with your name on the front.
But the differences continue. Apple Card has no card number, expiration date, CVV number, or signature. You can find all those details in the Wallet app instead. The card just has the standard chip and magstripe.
Apple Card runs on the MasterCard network, so it should be accepted pretty much everywhere.
Remember That Apple Pay Isnt Accepted Everywhere
Ill admit that, previously, I would almost always pull out a physical card to pay for goods instead of using Apple Pay. But with the Apple Card, Ive been using Apple Pay more than ever. Its just so easy.
But keep in mind, Apple Pay is not accepted everywhere. Like my dentists office. In that case, it was a better idea to use my Citi Double Cash card where I could earn 2% cash back rather than the paltry 1% cash back Id earn for swiping the physical Apple Card.
The same idea goes for restaurants be sure to pay using a higher-yielding card. Many of them offer extra points for dining, like Chases Sapphire Preferred card.
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Apple Card* Vs Citi Double Cash Card
The no-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card is a Forbes Advisor top pick for a cash back card for its easy-to-earn, easy-to-redeem structure. With this card, youll earn a net 2% cash back on every purchase1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay the bill. Your earnings can be used as a statement credit, taken as a direct deposit, mailed to you as a check or converted to Citi ThankYou points.
Like most credit cards, you can opt to load it into your phones digital wallet and it doesnt have to just be on the Apple ecosystem. One potential snag: Minimum redemptions start at $25 on the Citi Double Cash and theres no minimum redemption on the Apple card.
Apple Cards Integration With Ios And Its Overall Experience Is Incredible
The Apple Card lives inside the Wallet app and its integration with iOS is seamless.
Everything from applying for the Apple Card, to paying your bill, to checking your Daily Cash and spending habits its all done directly within the Wallet app. Its incredibly simple to use and loads instantly on my iPhone 11 Pro.
Want to make your Apple Card your default card for App Store purchases? Easy, theres a button for that. Chat with specialists, request replacement cards, lock your card, schedule payments, and more its all done in the Wallet app.
Its a notably pleasant experience thats much quicker than using apps from Chase, Citi, or U.S. Bank, all of which were pretty good to begin with.
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It’s Designed For Apple Pay
In fact, according to the terms released by Goldman Sachs, Apple’s partner in Apple Card, you don’t even get a physical card unless you request it. If you do, the titanium physical card is definitely fancy, but let’s face it–the Apple Card is meant to be used with Apple Pay. All of the transaction history and information is on your iPhone, and you get twice the rewards when you use Apple Pay compared with just the physical card.
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You’re An Android User
To use Apple Pay, you must have an iPhone model that can support it . If you’re committed to a different mobile wallet, such as Samsung Pay or Google Pay, consider instead the Citi® Double Cash Card 18 month BT offer. It pays 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay and you can add it to the digital wallet of your choice.
How To Make Purchases Online
To use your Apple Card for mobile purchases, simply select Apple Pay at checkout. Double-click the side button on your iPhone to confirm the purchase, complete the authentication step and the transaction will process automatically. You can also make Apple Pay purchases on your iPad, Apple Watch or Mac.
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You Spend Heavily In Specific Everyday Categories
You may pony up for a new MacBook Pro once every few years, but if your everyday spending is focused primarily on a specific area, other cash-back cards may make more sense. Maybe you have a large family and do the bulk of your spending on groceries and gas. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms apply . Or perhaps you hit the town regularly? The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 3% cash back on dining, grocery stores and entertainment, including streaming services, and 1% everywhere else.
Read through Nerdwallet’s full list of best rewards credit cards for more options.
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Why Does Apple Have A Credit Card
You might be wondering why Apple has a credit card at all. There are two main reasons for this.
The first reason is, of course, profit. While Apple does say that it encourages you to pay less interest on the card, the company still earns money from your interest. At the end of the day, Apple is a business, and this is just another revenue stream. It thus makes sense for the company to expand further into payments.
Secondly, Apple is trying to expand its ecosystem. The Apple ecosystem is a term for how all of Apple’s devices and services synchronize and interact with one another fluidly.
An example would be using your AirPods to listen to Apple Music on your iPhone. That’s three Apple products/services at once, and is smoother than using another brand of earbuds to listen to Spotify on your iPhone.
Having so many services that integrate with one another is a feature that draws many to use Apple products. And it does create a better experience for Apple users. So it makes sense for Apple to expand the ecosystem with Apple Card.
Daily Cash Isnt A Misnomer 3% 2% 1% Every Single Day
Since using the Apple Card, waiting for an entire billing cycle to end just to redeem my rewards from other cards seems archaic. You really will earn usable cash back every single day when you shop with an Apple Card. Its brilliant.
Of course, you likely wont earn a ton of cash back each day, that just depends on where you shop and how much you spend and so you may end up waiting a month to redeem the money anyhow but the ability to cash out early is a nice perk.
Even better yet, there is a growing list of retailers that offer an impressive 3% cash back bonus when you pay with Apple Pay, such as Nike, Uber, T-Mobile, Walgreens, Mobil, Apple itself, and more.
All other Apple Pay purchases will earn 2% cash back, and purchases made using the physical Apple Card will earn 1% cash back.
With that being said, if you need to use a physical card, the Citi Double Cash card is a better alternative, which nets 2% cash back even if you dont use it through Apple Pay.
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Software Might Change But No Big Surprise There
The final takeaway from the Apple Card fine print isn’t very shocking. It’s that the Apple Card software is subject to change as Apple goes through iterations of its app and service.
However, that’s enough of a reminder that software, like services, change and mature. Apple Card’s terms and services could alter before it launches this summer, so if you are interested in signing up for a card, it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions before signing on the digital line.
More from the Apple event
What Is The Apple Card
The Apple Card is the first foray of the tech giant into the credit card market. Launched in 2019, it is the card for those of us who are already invested in the Apple ecosystem. Lets be honest Apple makes great products, and the same does apply to this card.
If you already use Apple Pay for a multitude of your digital spending, the Apple Card will fit right in. It is the first credit card designed specifically for the iPhone. With the Apple Card, the company claims to have reinvented the Credit Card And we agree, this card has innovated in several ways.
The Apple Card lives on your Wallet app, and signing up for it takes as little as a minute. This integration makes your financial information easy to check and oversee. Your transactions and payments are all in the same place for you to track.
You can check your transactions by merchant or category. This makes it really easy to manage your finances as you can see what youve been spending your money on. On top of that, you can make summaries of your weeks or months spending.
Even if you want to check your spending habits on another platform, exporting your transactions is easy. This way, you can track your budget on a more dedicated spreadsheet should you need it.
This integration with the Wallet app makes making payments simple as well. You can make them right in the application. You just select the amount, tap a button, and youre good to go.
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Apple Card: It Just Works
When I landed in Rome, I found the ItaliaRail machine and purchased two tickets from the airport to Roma Termini station in the heart of the city. I noticed the tap-to-pay sign, even in my sleep-deprived, jetlagged state. . I pulled out my iPhone, not knowing what to expect. To my surprise, Apple Pay worked Ive got the Apple Card set up as my default method of payment and my first attempt at using the Apple Card in Italy was a success.
My second attempt at using Apple Card was at the Vodafone kiosk in the Fiumicino airport, where I was also able to use Apple Pay. This airport, it seemed, was completely on board with mobile payments.
I tried to stick with Apple Card throughout my vacation a quick jaunt in Rome and a week in Florence and Tuscany just to make paying off the trip easy, but it wasnt as seamless an experience as I had hoped after those early successes, especially when I turned to the physical Apple Card youre meant to use when mobile payments arent an option.
No International Fees No Annual Fees
If you ever plan to leave the U.S., youll want a credit card that doesnt charge you an extra fee to use it abroad. That means youll want a card that doesnt charge international fees, specifically which is actually a very common practice.
Cards that dont charge international fees will likely charge an annual fee . Apple wont charge either of those fees, which is a major bonus for those who like to visit new countries.
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Who Is This Credit Card Best For
- Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cardsDeal Seeker
- Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cardsSavvy Saver
The minimal fees make this a good, low-cost addition to your Apple Wallet, and thats the only place you should keep it. When making purchases outside of Apple or without Apple Pay, youre better off with one of the many no-annual-fee cards that pay 1.5% or 2% cash back on all purchases and have a variety of benefits. For example, theres no promotional purchase APR, which other cash-back cards often offer.
That said, with Apple Card Monthly Installments, you will get up to 24 months to pay off Apple products purchased from Apple interest-freewhile still earning 3% cash back. If you bought a MacBook Air at $1,000, you’d earn $30 cash back for one purchase and still get two years to pay it off without paying interest.
Exceptional rewards for Apple and partner-merchant purchases
Interest-free payment plans on Apple products
Great rewards rate on Apple Pay purchases
Low end of APR range is among the best
Only worth it for Apple users
Sub-par rewards rate on non-Apple and non-Apple Pay purchases
Limited integration with budgeting apps
Top Grade Security And Privacy
As a whole, Apple takes security and privacy very seriously, particularly when it comes to integrating Apple Pay with your iPhone.
The iPhone has a special hardware security system that protects your device and information from being accessed without your permission. It also has biometric identification systems, that allow you to unlock your device with your thumbprint or through facial recognition.
To top it off, the card itself doesnt have the number displayed anywhere, so no one can steal it that way.
Apple is also a pioneer in terms of privacy, having made privacy one of the most important selling features for their systems and devices. When it comes to the Apple card, they cant even see your transaction history at all:
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As Apple Begins Rolling Out The Credit Card Consumers Should Read The Fine Print
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is hoping youll sign up for the Apple Card, in part because Apple Pay adoption has been slow.
After much anticipation, Apple is finally releasing its new credit card to the public.
The credit card is now available to all iPhone owners in the U.S.
What the iPod was to the music industry, and what the iPhone was for cell phones and mobile carriers, so is the Apple Card to financial services.
Richard Crone, payments industry consultant
People will be able to sign up for the card direct from their iPhone to do so, they will need to have the latest version of the iOS software. They will be prompted to provide personal information including age, address and the last four digits of the Social Security number.
That information will then be sent to Goldman Sachs for approval, which should take less than a minute. If approved, people will be able to start using their card almost immediately with the Wallet app and Apple Pay. A physical card will also be mailed to these consumers, which they can then activate with their smartphone.
In a new TV advertising campaign for the credit card that ran Sunday during NFL games last Sunday, Apple said the card has no link to historical, and pejorative, banking stereotypes. Apple Card is here. Its a new kind of credit card. Created by Apple not a bank, according to the voice-over in the 30-second spot.
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Heres what you should watch out for: