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Is the Apple Card worth it? After 3 months, our answer is 'sort of'

The Apple Card saved my bacon when I got robbed. But it's still not the top credit card in my wallet.

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James Martin/CNET

The Apple Card caused a splash when it first launched in August. Designed for iPhone users, it has no fees, offers daily cashback rewards and works with Apple Pay, but it also exists as a physical titanium credit card. I've been using my personal Apple Card for three months and it saved me when I got robbed. But if it wasn't for that extreme situation, I don't think I would have used it as much.

You can find my full rundown of my experience so far with the Apple Card in the video on this page or read on for the abridged version. Also, our earlier review of the Apple Card breaks down more on what the credit card offers and how it works. 

Now playing: Watch this: Apple Card: 3 months later
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No credit card number, no problem

For me, the biggest advantage of the Apple Card is what it doesn't have -- a number on the physical card. When I got robbed, my wallet was stolen with cash and all my cards (including the Apple Card). Fortunately, I still had my phone, so I was able to cancel everything fairly quickly, but it didn't stop the thieves from swiping a couple hundred dollars before I could shut down the cards.

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James Martin/CNET

Because I could still access the Apple Card number through the Wallet app, I was still able to buy things online (like my lunch) even while my other banks were reissuing cards and updating the virtual numbers in my wallet, which took several days. And of course, I still had my phone so I could buy things at places that accept Apple Pay.

I acknowledge that this is an extreme edge-case situation. If my phone had been stolen as well, it would have been a lot more difficult to put a stop to all the cards as quickly. And because interaction with the Apple Card is done through the iPhone, if you lose that phone, you need a backup, like another iOS device. There's no web interface either, which makes it tricky to see your balance or pay off bills without a phone.

Apple Card rewards

How does it compare to other credit cards? Great question. We have several comparisons of the Apple Card versus other popular cash back and travel cards: Apple Card versus Amazon Rewards Visa and Apple Card versus Chase Sapphire.

Other cards in my wallet offer more perks -- like travel rewards, or the option to select a category for cash back. This means the 3% tier isn't limited to specific merchants like it is on the Apple Card.

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The color-coded breakdown of spending is great.

Sarah Tew, CNET

What does set the Apple Card apart for me is the visual breakdown of spending, so I can see exactly where my money is going each month. I love the color coding but would also like to see a way to set limits or alerts in certain categories once I reach a set target. Mostly, I think the interface is really helpful if you want to clearly see how you should pay off your card each month to avoid interest payments.

In November this year, an investigation has been launched into the Apple Card's issuing bank, Goldman Sachs, to determine if there is gender discrimination in allocating credit limits.

Is the Apple Card worth it for me?

Overall, I'm mostly using the Apple Card for purchases where I can maximize the 3% cashback, such as the Apple Store or at Walgreens. Apple has been adding more retailers at the 3% tier (including Nike as of this week) so hopefully over time I'll have some more options to choose from. But for everything else, I still reach for the other cards that offer the most value for what I'm buying, whether that's for travel or dining rewards, or greater cash back.

Read more: How to choose a credit card