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Apple Card for iPhone: Sign-up, summer launch, rewards details for Apple's new credit card

Everything we know about the Apple Card in one place.

Apple Card is a bold effort to disrupt mobile payments.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Apple Card splashed into the world of credit cards by creating one that you operate mostly from your iPhone. Backed by Mastercard and Goldman Sachs, Apple's brand-new credit card lets you pay for goods and services online and in stores. It builds on Apple Pay, a mobile payment system based on your existing credit card, which Apple has had in place since 2014. Taking on its own payment card, rather than piggybacking on your bank card, is a bold move for Apple that no other media giant has sought, even Google and Samsung, two companies that also have robust mobile payment systems (and may not follow Apple's footsteps). 

Will a digital Apple Credit card finally make mobile payments ubiquitous? What kinds of perks will owners be able to get? How will it affect their credit if they switch phones? You're brimming with questions, and so are we. Unfortunately, we don't yet have them all, but Apple will release more information before the Apple Card's official launch.

Here's everything we know about Apple Card so far  -- including the fine print -- and what we have yet to learn.

What is Apple Card?

Apple Card is a new branded credit card for iPhone ( $1,000 at Best Buy) users. It's both a digital card that lives on your iPhone, with a traditional credit card backup that you can use where Apple Pay isn't available. (It seems like everyone gets this when they sign up.) However, Apple believes you'll predominantly use the digital version.

The physical Apple Card is made out of titanium, and has your name etched on it, just for a little drama, and so you can show off by clinking it loudly against a glass. 

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Can I use Apple Card with an Android phone?

No, Apple Card is for iPhone users only. You sign up to the credit card from your phone and make payment from the iPhone as well. All digital card transactions take place locally on your phone as well -- you won't be able to do any of these from a separate browser or app. 

Where can I use Apple Card?

You'll be able to use Apple Card in apps, online (e.g., web stores) and in physical stores, anywhere in the world where MasterCard is accepted. (More on the banking aspect further below.)

Read: Apple Card versus Chase Sapphire

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Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

How do I sign up for Apple Card?

Apple Card will live in the Wallet app on your iPhone, and you'll sign up for it by tapping on the Apple Card prompt within the Wallet. Apple will walk you through the sign-up process. You can also sign up if you're interested for more details down the road.

Do I have to wait for a credit check?

You do need to be a well-qualified customer, though Apple doesn't share details on what that means. Apple says that if you are approved, you'll be eligible to use your Apple Card within minutes.

When can I get it?

Apple will launch Apple Card through the wallet app this summer. It'll come to the US first.

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Spend your Apple Card Daily Cash rewards right from the Wallet app.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Is Apple Card coming to other countries, too?

Apple only announced its plans for the US, but Goldman Sachs thinks Apple Card will roll out internationally. Apple might be using the US as a test bed before expanding into other countries. It's also possible that Apple is already negotiating with other banks and global institutions.

Which bank backs Apple Card?

Apple is working with Goldman Sachs as its bank to issue Apple Card, a Mastercard.

Read: Apple Card versus Amazon credit card

How will Apple Card help me track my finances?

If you've ever used a service like Mint or other financial apps before, you might be able to get a sense for Apple's vision with your finances. 

You'll be able to see visuals clearly depicting how much you spent on what, when it's due, and how much you owe. Apple also uses its Maps engine to link a purchase with a business, so it's clear what your payment goes toward (these things tend to be cryptic, like: "New York LLC" when you've taken a cab ride. Apple says it uses machine learning to connect the dots.

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Apple Card has all sorts of tracking charts in place.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

You'll also be able to see how much you've spent so far in a given week or month, and track purchases by category, like meals and transportation. There's a view to show how long will it take for you to pay back what you owe. 

What if I need help using my Apple Card?

Apple says if you run into trouble, you can send a text straight from the app.

What are Apple Card rewards like? 

Apple doesn't opt for a points structure. It gives you cash back on every dollar you spend, through a program called Daily Cash. 

Here's how much you get when you make a purchase through:

  • 1% when you use the titanium Apple Card (physical card) 
  • 2% when you use the Apple Card (digital) on any purchase
  • 3% when you use the Apple Card (digital) on purchases you make directly from Apple

There's no cap to daily earning...as long as you're within your credit limit. For example, if your spending can't exceed $3,000, then your earnings can't either. You'll be able to keep track of your Daily Cash through a card in your Wallet app. 

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You can use Apple Card for mobile payments.

Apple

Is Daily Cash real cash? Where can I spend it?

Yes, this is real cash you can use right away. You can spend in stores, send to friends, use in apps or on the web, or use to pay down your balance.

What about paying interest rates and fees?

Apple Card will let you pay more often than once a month. For example, you can pay every week or every other week. It isn't clear if you can pay daily if you want or if there's more of a structure.

There are no late fees, annual fees, international fees or fees for going over your limit. But you will pay interest rates. Apple says that variable APRs will range from 13.24 percent to 24.24 percent "based on creditworthiness." Rates are susceptible to change.

What happens if I miss a payment?

Apple won't slap you with a penalty on top of your missed payment (e.g. it won't cost $25 in addition to what you already owe). However, you will accumulate more interest on top of your existing balance. More here.

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Spend Daily Cash like cash.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Is Apple Card secure?

Apple highlighted four main ways it's keeping Apple Card secure.

  • The card number: Apple will create a unique card number for each device, which is stored in the Security Element, a security chip on your iPhone. You get a one-time dynamic security code each time you make a purchase, and authenticate each purchase biometrically, though either Touch ID or Face ID. Even if someone steals your phone, Apple says they can't use your Apple Card.
  • Device, not cloud: Apple doesn't track what you bought or where and how much you spent. All the tracking happens on the device, not on Apple's servers.
  • Your data isn't for sale: "Goldman Sachs will never share or sell your data for marketing or advertising," Apple's Bailey said.
  • An almost-blank physical card: If you're using the physical Apple Card, you'll notice that your name is on it, but there's no card number, no CVV, no expiration date and no signature. If you need the details, it's in the Wallet app. This is presumably so that others can't swipe these essential details for security fraud by either stealing a glance or stealing the entire card.
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Is it bad that the physical Apple Card has no signature field?

Not necessarily. In late 2018, Mastercard became the first payment network to make signatures optional on cards and at payment terminals.

If I lose my physical Apple Card, can I order a new one?

 Yes. If your card is lost or stolen, you can use the Wallet app to freeze your card and order a new one.

Does the physical Apple Card have a magnetic stripe?

Yes, and it also has a chip you can insert into a chip reader as well.

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This minimalist card doesn't have your signature on it.

Apple

Will it work with my iPad ( $249 at Walmart) and Apple Watch ( $439 at Walmart)

Yes, Apple says you'll be able to make payments from all your iOS devices. We'll need to confirm if it will work with MacOS as well as the iPhone, iPad and Apple watch.

What comes next with Apple Card?

There are a lot of details we still don't know, like the exact launch, any hidden fees, how Apple Card might affect people with low or no credit and when exactly the card will launch. Apple will undoubtedly share more in the coming months. Until then, we can only hope for more tidbits to stream out.

Article published March 25 at 12:01 p.m. PT
Most recent update, March 30 at 3 a.m. PT: Added more detail.

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