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What is Apple Card and how does Apple Card Family work?

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(Pocket-lint) – Apple’s credit card, the Apple Card, is nearly three years old.

Apple teamed up with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard in 2019 to launch the Apple Card. It is designed to offer users a “healthier financial life”. Most recently, Apple has rolled out Apple Card Family, which lets people share an Apple Card and build their credit together. 

This guide explains everything you need to know about the Apple Card, including how it works and the different features it offers.

How do you sign up for Apple Card?

Apple has attempted to simplify signing up for a credit card, by allowing users to sign up for the Apple Card on the iPhone.

Determine if you’re eligible

You must be 18 years or older with a US driver’s license or state ID to apply, and you need a US residential address. You also need an iPhone 6 or newer running iOS 12.4, as well as iCloud and an Apple ID.

Start the application process

Open the Apple Wallet app on your iPhone to start your application. Tap the add button, select Apple Card, and hit Continue. Apple asks you to fill out your information, such as your address, birthday, income, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once done, agree to the terms. The information is then submitted to Goldman Sachs to approve or decline your application.

It’s said to take less than a minute, but you will be submitted to a TransUnion credit check.

Accept your offer

If approved, you’ll see an initial credit limit and APR offer between 12.99 and 23.99 per cent. You have 30 days to accept, and your credit score is not affected until after you accept. Your credit limit offer will vary. It’s based on your credit score, so a higher score means a higher credit limit. Apple said your credit limit also increases over time, and there are no fees for exceeding your credit limit.

There’s also no sign-up fee, no annual fees, and no international fees.

Receiving your card

The digital Apple Card will appear immediately in your Apple Wallet, so you can use it straight away in places contactless payments are accepted.

As for the physical Apple Card, it will arrive in the post after a few days. The Apple Wallet app on your iPhone will send you alerts, letting you know when it has shipped and is getting close to delivery. When you get it, you’ll see it has an Apple logo on the front, as well as your name and a chip.

On the back, there are logos for Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. Even the magnetic stripe is different, as it’s located at the bottom of the card.

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Where can you use Apple Card?

You can pay with your digital Apple Card worldwide and anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted, thanks to the MasterCard backing. (Apple Pay is currently available in over 40 countries, and in 70 per cent of merchants in the US, 85 per cent in the UK, and 99 per cent in Australia.)

As for the physical Apple Card, it works anywhere credit cards are accepted.

What is the Apple Card’s interest rate?

The Apple Card fine print says variable APRs range from 12.99 per cent to 23.99 per cent, depending on your credit rating. The Apple Card makes interest more transparent in Apple Wallet, too, breaking down transactions and showing you exactly how much interest you pay in real-time.

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What rewards do you get with Apple Card?

The Apple Card offers what Apple is calling Daily Cash. Users receive immediate cashback every day. You’ll get cashback on all purchases, which appear daily in your account for you to do whatever you want with.

  • Apple Pay purchases get 2 per cent cashback.
  • Apple Store, App Store, and Apple Services purchases get 3 per cent cashback.
  • Physical Apple Card purchases get 1 per cent cashback.

Daily cash is unlimited, so there is no cap on how much cashback you can make.

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How do you pay your Apple Card bill?

All your monthly statements appear in the Apple Wallet app, where you pay your Apple Card balance using your bank account or Apple Cash.

Most credit cards offer a monthly statement, after which you pay a specific amount by a certain date before interest starts. It is typically possible to pay money off whenever you like of course, but it isn’t always easy to see what’s coming and going. With the Apple Card, you can choose to pay more often, whether that’s weekly, monthly or fortnightly, and the real-time interest is designed to help you make more informed decisions.

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It’s claimed the only way you can pay your Apple Card balance if your iOS device is lost or stolen is through another iOS device connected to your account or by calling Apple Support and verifying yourself to pay the balance on the phone.

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What about fees on the Apple Card?

According to Apple, there are no fees for the Apple Card. No late payment fees, no annual fees, no international fees, and no over-limit fees. Late or missed payments will result in additional interest accumulating towards your balance.

Physical Apple Card vs digital Apple Card

You can request the physical titanium Apple Card when you sign up for the Apple Card, and the envelope it comes in has an NFC tag that you’ll just need to tap your iPhone against to activate. It is made from titanium, doesn’t have a long number on the front, nor an expiry date or a CVV number. Instead, Apple Card details can be found in Apple Wallet, and you can request a new virtual number at any time.

The physical Apple Card only has a chip, along with a laser-etched Apple logo and your name. It doesn’t support contactless payments, either.

As for the digital Apple Card, the only interesting thing is that it has a colour scheme. Initially, it’s completely white. Then, after your first purchase, it changes colors. There are seven different colours available, representing different spending categories. For instance, pink is for entertainment.

How to find your Apple Card number

To find the long number associated with your Apple Card in order to pay for something online, or type in the details, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Wallet app.
  2. Tap your Apple Card to select it.
  3. Tap on the three dots in the top right corner for more options.
  4. Verify yourself
  5. Tap Card Information
  6. From here, you’ll be able to see the long number, security code and device number, as well as request a new card number.
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Is the Apple Card secure?

Your Apple Card’s unique card number is created on iPhone and stored in the device’s Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay.

Each Apple Card transaction needs to be authorised by Touch ID or Face ID when used through your iPhone, and every transaction has a one-time unique dynamic security code. Apple also claims the security and privacy architecture created for Apple Card means Apple doesn’t know what you have bought, where you bought it, or how much you spent.

Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, says it will never share your data with third-party companies for marketing or advertising.

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What other features does the Apple Card offer?

The Apple Card is designed to offer simplicity. The Apple Card section of Apple Wallet offers clear indications of your transactions, how much you owe, when your payment is due, and how much you have spent. Apple Card uses machine learning and Apple Maps to label transactions.

All transactions will display names and locations you recognise, with Apple Maps showing where you spent it.

As we said, categories are colour-coded to help you quickly see where you’ve have spent money. You’ll get spend trends every week and month, too, so you’ll know straight away if you’ve spent a lot of clothes that week or month, for example.

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Finally, you’ll be able to message Apple Card Support through Messages, 24/7, and ask any questions you might have. There’s also an Apple Card dedicated Twitter account at @AppleCard.

What about Apple Card Family?

Apple Card Family allows you to build credit with the people you love.

While most credit cards can be applied for jointly, they will only help the people who applied to improve their credit. But the new Apple Card Family lets two people co-own an Apple Card. This means they will merge their credit lines and build their credit history together. This is great for spouses working together to build credit or for helping your child build their own credit with your supervision. 

In addition to dual cardholders, Apple Card Family now lets you share your card information with up to five other people on the same Family Sharing Group. This allows users to share the same card, have access to all the same financial history in Apple Pay, and makes paying bills easier, as charges from all family members are included in the same bill.

When will Apple Card Family be available?

Apple Card Family first rolled out in May 2021. It can be signed up for in Apply Pay just like the original Apple Card. (To apply for Apple Card, open Wallet and tap the plus button.) Apple Card Family is limited to Apple Card customers in the US and requires an update to the latest version of iOS.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.

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