It just so happens that the credit card that the Pressman household has used to pay for Apple iTunes purchases for the last, oh, almost 20 years or so, recently gutted its rewards program. Well, maybe “gutted” is too strong a word. Let’s just say diminished. It’s not a huge amount of money, but still a surprisingly large amount that we spend every month on apps, app subscriptions, music, music subscriptions, movie rentals, iCloud storage, and even the occasional in-game purchase of Simpsons Bucks, or something. And that doesn’t include our infrequent but major purchases of hardware from the Cupertino crew on an almost annual basis (with this laptop and its awesome circa-2014 keyboard aging, the rumored, new 16-inch MacBook Pro sounds enticing).
So perhaps we are a good candidate for the new Apple Card, arriving on the scene any day now. Should I get an Apple card?
Start with the original value proposition of the Apple Card as laid out by Apple vp Jennifer Bailey back in March. The card will have no annual fee, no late fees, no over-limit fee, and no international fees. That sounds pretty enticing. Interest rates will vary from range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness, a slightly better deal than Apple’s old branded Visa card offered by Barclays. The range also seems firmly centered around the average 17.80% average rate on new credit card offers, according to creditcard.com’s weekly surveys. Our current card has a pretty good rate, within the low-end of Apple’s range, so we could do the same or a tiny bit better, depending on the rate Apple offered to us. And there’s promise of more useful information about spending, including seeing on a map where purchases were made. If you have any older teens with one of your cards in their wallet or purse, you’ll be as excited as I am about that feature.
Finally, there is the rewards calculation. Apple’s new card effectively will rebate 1% of typical purchases, 2% when used through the Apple Pay app, and 3% on anything bought from Apple. So given that there’s no annual fee and our current credit card won’t offer us anything close to the equivalent of 3% off our Apple purchases, it sounds like we’ll be applying.
Last week, Apple released the full terms and conditions of the new card and while there was nothing terribly surprising, there are some limitations that don’t apply to every card. For example, you can’t use the Apple Card to buy “cash equivalents,” which includes everything from casino chips to digital currency tokens. And no using the card on “jailbroken” iPhone. Oh, and did I mention you have to have an iPhone or iPad and an iCloud account with two-factor authentication enabled?
So what’s in my (mobile) wallet? Probably soon an Apple Card.
On Twitter: @ampressman
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