In a surprising turn, Apple announced its own credit card during its March 25 event, aptly called the Apple Card. While it may sound ridiculous that the company best known for iPhones will be taking on the world of finance, it actually makes plenty of sense.
As Apple Pay continues to become widely available in more stores and checkout counters, Apple users are seeing fewer reasons to step out of Apple's ecosystem, also known as its walled garden. In this regard, the Apple Card seems like the perfect way to streamline Apple's payments-related features into one system, and should it succeed, it would make it even harder for Apple users to jump ship and switch to another operating system, especially since they're managing their finances with Apple's tools and services.
Is getting an Apple Card a good idea? Below is a brief list of pros and cons to help users decide.
Apple Card Pros
• Built-In financial health features: It wouldn't be Apple if there wasn't a fancy-looking software suite to accompany a new product. As such, the Apple Card will be integrated smoothly into apps such as Wallet and Goldman Sachs, and there'll even be convenient visualizations baked into financial health tools to help the user track their expenditure at a glance.
• Daily Cash Back: The Apple Card will uphold a daily cash rewards system, which is unlike anything on the market. This system will reward users based on their usage, and the best part is the money will be deposited directly into their Apple Card at the end of each day.
• No fees: Apple says its card will have no fees. That means users don't have to worry about paying for monthly or annual costs typically imposed by other credit card companies. Amazingly, it also lacks international fees, which should make the Apple Card more attractive to frequent overseas travelers.
• Security: Perhaps the most important feature of all, Apple boasts that its card is highly secure. Unlike Facebook or Google, Apple doesn't rely on data to generate profit, which is why leveraging user data is not a priority for the Cupertino brand, meaning sensitive information is not sold to advertisers. In the context of the Apple Card, that means purchases won't be tracked. Moreover, Apple says Goldman Sachs will not share or sell user data for advertising purposes. Apple has always taken a firm stance on security, and it's good to hear it's applying those same principles for the Apple Card.
Apple Card Cons
• Varying interest rates: The Apple Card is far from perfect, of course. Apple has yet to share specifics, but as iDropNews notes, the APR can vary between 13.24 percent and 24.24 percent, which represents a wider range of interest compared to most credit cards. That means people with good credit could get lower rates.
• Cash Back Rates: the aforementioned Daily Cash Back rewards system may sound like a great idea, but the actual cash Apple Card holders can earn is a bit lower compared with other cards.
• Where are the perks: The Apple Card seems great on paper, but it's lacking several perks other credit cards already offer, including introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers, one-year cash back matching, and more.
• The state of Apple Pay: The success of Apple Card will depend mostly on how widespread Apple Pay is, and though it's made some strides in years past, it's still not as pervasive as other mainstream payment systems. Apple Pay simply isn't accepted everywhere, and in most countries, it's not even an option at all.
As an idea, the Apple Card is great. It's a convenient and highly attractive plans especially for those already buried deep within the Apple ecosystem. But in relation to other cards, it's got a lot of room for improvement. The biggest deal-breaker here is the availability of Apple Pay. Perhaps Apple Card will be a great option for those living in areas where Apple Play is widely accepted. Otherwise, it doesn't seem that much of a good choice.