Commentary

Apple Card Made Of Titanium Debuts This Summer With Apple Pay

Apple is not only giving credit when credit is called for, it’s also giving cash back instantaneously and charging no fees -- even if you are late paying up -- for its new Apple Card. As for interest rates, well, they haven’t gone entirely bananas.  

“Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness,” as Mashable’s Sasha Lekach reports. “The latest Fed average for all credit card plans throughout all of 2018 was 14.22%.” 

Besides revealing plans to enter the streaming video market, covered by Alex Weprin in Digital News Daily, Apple yesterday announced it is partnering with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to roll out the Apple Card this summer. It describes it as “a new kind of credit card … built on the principles of simplicity, transparency, and privacy.”

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“The card is tied closely into Apple Pay, the company’s digital wireless payments system. That makes it easy for customers to use the card for payments with all their Apple devices and for purchases both in retail stores and online,” Aaron Pressman writes for Fortune.

“Like many other rewards cards, users will get a 2% rebate on spending with the new card through the Apple Pay app and 1% back when using its as a physical card. Customers will get 3% back on purchases from Apple, including anything bought from its app stores or on iTunes. But customers won’t have to wait long to spend the rebates,” Pressman continues.

“When you buy something using Apple Card, you get a percentage of your purchase back in Daily Cash. Not a month from now, but every day. There’s no limit to how much you can get. And it goes right onto your Apple Cash card, so you can use it just like cash,” Apple says on the landing page for the card.

Indeed, you can use it to immediately shave dollars off the price of purchasing another product, devoted consumer that you are. Or you can use it to instantaneously pay back your buddy for your share of the brunch bill, via the Messages app.   

“The Apple Card is a smart move from a loyalty perspective. Today consumers want to receive instant benefits from their reward programs, and by offering members cash back on a daily basis, the company is meeting this demand and differentiating itself from other credit cards that make members wait multiple days or until the end of the month to redeem benefits,” Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce and a loyalty program expert, writes in an email.

Also, “Apple promised it wouldn’t track our purchases with its new credit card, and its bank partner, Goldman Sachs, will ‘never share or sell your data to third parties for marketing,’” writes Geoffrey A. Fowler for the Washington Post.

As for the physical card itself, which can be used in establishments that don’t take Apple Pay … well, it’s not your dad’s cash-green AmEx.

“Apple’s new Apple Card is going to cash in on that base human craving for devices that signal status,” writes Vlad Savov for The Verge. “Because it’s made out of titanium and stripped of all functional numbers, it immediately looks different. People around you at the supermarket or restaurant don’t need to know the particular credit rating requirements you had to pass to get an Apple Card, they just see the debossed Apple logo and the minimalist design and immediately recognize that you’re a person with disposable income.”

Not everyone was impressed by the new offering, however.

“Frankly, I’m underwhelmed,” Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at CreditCards.com tells Business Insider’s Nick Bastone. “People will sign up for it, but that will be mostly because they love Apple, not because this card is better than anything that already exists. For example, Citi Double Cash is a very simple, easy-to-use, 2%-cash-back card. And that’s on everything (not just Apple Pay purchases).”

Apple also took the wraps off Apple News+ yesterday, a $9.99-per-month subscription service that gives users unlimited access to more than 300 print and digital magazines as well as to selected stories from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Yesterday’s announcements come as Apple is “trying to focus attention on -- and grow -- its services business amid a slowdown in iPhone growth, long the company’s main cash cow,” Patrick Lucas Austin observes for Time. "As iPhone growth slows, Apple is hoping to gain ground by offering paid subscriptions to high-quality content. Those subscriptions, in turn, could help keep people tied to the larger Apple ecosystem, propping up iPhone sales and more.”

“More,” as always, being the key.

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