In brief: The Apple Card is now open for any eligible iPhone owner in the U.S. and includes a daily rewards system that offers cash back on purchases made through the service as well as the physical card. Interestingly, the only cost is the interest you'll have to pay, which varies between 13 percent and 24 percent.
Back in March, when Apple first revealed the Apple Card, experts agreed that it holds great potential for disrupting non-tech organizations that are going through digital transformation. The card was planned to launch sometime this month, and the company started receiving applications a couple of weeks ago as part of a preview rollout for random people that have pre-registered for the service.
Now, they're officially open for everyone in the U.S. and all you have to do to get started is open the Wallet app on your iPhone or iPad, or the Wallet & Apple Pay menu from Settings. Keep in mind that you need to be on iOS 12.4 or later, and the application process typically takes a minute or two to get approved or rejected. Interestingly enough, Steve Jobs explored the idea of an Apple Card in the 90s but dropped it because he didn't want anyone to get declined.
Apple Card exists in two forms, one being a digital card and the other being a physical one made of titanium and lacking any sort of visible credit card number or CVV code - instead, it will only have the name of the owner etched on it alongside an Apple logo. It can, however, be used just like any traditional card with a chip and magnetic stripe, and is permanently linked to a single iPhone user account as of writing. The transactions will be processed through MasterCard's merchant network.
If your application is approved, you'll get a 'no fees' kind of card, including international and over-the-limit fees. Instead, the whole idea is that Apple will offer user-specific terms such as a credit limit between $250 and $7,500 and at an interest rate between 13 percent and 24 percent. The company also promises 24/7 app-based support and a focus on security and privacy.
The issuing bank, Goldman Sachs, will be able to see transactions to prevent fraud and theft, but Apple says that information will never be available to third parties for marketing and advertising. Other than that, your transaction history will live on your device and will be synced using end-to-end encryption. Apple Card doesn't support contactless payments, as the company wants you to use an iPhone or an Apple Watch for convenience.
An interesting feature of the card is the daily rewards system, which grants three percent cash back on purchases made from Apple - an offer that has now been extended to Uber and Uber Eats in response to high customer demand. The Daily Cash system also includes two percent cash back on purchases made using Apple Pay and one percent back when using the physical card. Apple says it will extend the three percent back offer to other "popular merchants and apps in the coming months."
In typical Apple fashion, the virtual Apple Card is designed with great attention to detail. Apple's vice president of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, said Apple Card will give you a good overview of your spending, with color-coded charges that are easy to follow and a way to track your spending habits. For example, if you spend a lot of money eating out, the card will turn orange on your iPhone. As you make more transactions, you'll get a mix of colors that offer a visual map of where you spend most of your money.