Last Spring Apple unveiled its expansion of its Apple Pay program. Apple Pay was unveiled in 2014 and allowed users to pay for Apple products and some other retailers through a virtual account. Apple promised to expand the number of retailers that accept Apple Pay and expand the program altogether. Apple’s expansion now includes the Apple Card. When the Apple Card in March 2019, the company promised a credit card with no annual fee, low interest rates, high security and an easy to use payment plan through Apple Wallet that also provides promotion of financial health. The card offers daily cash back rewards, and it also looks good. Unfortunately, the Apple Card has not taken off quite like the company hoped for. This is due to several factors. These include a variable interest rate, limited access to retailers that accept the card depending where you live, and a heavy reliance on your iPhone. Here are 10 drawbacks to owning The Apple Card.
1. You’re tied to your iPhone
One of the main downfalls of the Apple Card is that it limits you in many ways to Apple. You need your iPhone to access your account through Apple’s Wallet App. The only way to monitor and manage your Apple Card account is through your phone. You’re also limited in to purchasing mostly Apple products. Your card will be accepted at retailers that accept Apple Pay, but there aren’t that many. Finally, your Apple Card account will always be tied to your iPhone and won’t likely ever be in sync with other devices like an Android. Apple Card is only available on the iPhone 6 and above.
2. The Card doesn’t actually do much
While the card looks good, it’s doesn’t do much without your iPhone. The white, minimalist card looks sleek. It simply has your name engraved on the face of the platinum card. While excluding your account number from the card helps keep the Apple Card secure, it can be a pain. Not all merchandisers accept the mobile app at their point of sale so you’ll need both your iPhone and your card when you’re shopping.
3. Limited Purchasing Options
Apple promises to expand its purchasing options, they are still limited. Apple Pay and Apple Card work easily to purchase Apple products including iPhones, iTunes and other Apple products. Apple Pay was picked up by several merchandisers including Uber, T-Mobile, Duane Reade and Walgreens. Still, Apple Pay and Apple Card are not accepted at every merchandiser. If you live in a more suburban or rural region, your options to use Apple Card are much more limited than if you lived in a more urban region. You’re not likely to find a sit down restaurant that accepts Apple Pay for example.
4. Cash Back Rewards
Apple touts its great Daily Cash Back Rewards. The reward program competes with other credit card reward programs. Apple Card offers 3% daily cash rewards on any Apple and select merchant purchases. Thee card offers 2% daily cash back on some other purchases. The card offers 1% daily cash back certain stores and websites. While the daily cash reward is a great perk, some other credit cards offer much better deals. Some offer up to 5% back on purchases quarterly, but purchases can be made in several categories of merchandisers, such as grocers, restaurants and gas stations,
5. Variable Interest Rate
Apple Card offers a credit card with no annual fee an boasts low interest rates. While it’s certainly a perk not to have to pay an annual fee, many credit cards offer this feature. Apple Card’s interest rates are variable and can vary a lot. Apple Card’s interest rates can vary between 13.24% and 24.24% which is a wide gap. The range is wider than most credit cards with variable interest rates. If you have a lower credit rating, you may be better off with a card with a better APR. Apple Card does offer “Financial Health Promotion”. The program offers users to use their app which calculates your interest payment before you pay and gives you some good options.
6. Lack of Perks
Despite the Apple Card’s benefits such as payment options, financial education, no annual fee and Daily Cash Back program, the card lacks some perks that other credit cards offer. There’s no introductory APR for purchases made. Their’s no balance transfer program. Someone with good credit could find better options and better rewards in other credit cards. Several credit cards will match your cash back rewards after the first year without limits.
7. Read the Fine Print
While many of the benefits of Apple Card are beneficial, there are some offers that don’t add up if you don’t read the fine print in the contract. For example, Apple advertises that the Apple Card is fast and easy to get. One would think that if you use Apple, you wouldn’t have trouble getting the credit card. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Also, Apple advertises no late payment fees, but the fine print in the contract will let you know that you can be charged additional interest on your balance if your payment is late.
8. No Travel Rewards
Many credit card users look forward to the rewards they can earn and use toward travel and restaurants. Unfortunately, Apple Card offers no such rewards. Several major credit cards offer transfers of points earned to use toward airline, hotel and restaurants. If you enjoy these perks, Apple Card may not be for you.
9. Can’t Use for Larger Purchases
Apple Card doesn’t offer special financing for larger purchases. If you’re interested in financing a larger purchase, the Apple Card is not a good choice for you. You’d be better off applying for a credit card with special introductory offers. The Apple Card also will not allow you to add a second authorized user which could be a problem for some.
10. It Deepens Upon Your Needs
While the Apple Card may be a great idea for some, it may not fit the needs of everyone. The Apple Card and its corresponding App can be convenient to use. The card offers security features and an easy to use App where you can pay, monitor and manage your account. The cash rewards program is good, but it basically limits you to Apple products without much flexibility. Unfortunately, not a lot of retailers accept Apple Pay, so it may not be convenient to use your Apple Card when shopping or dining out.