Apple Card Release: Should you apply? I-Team reviews benefits, drawbacks

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Friday, August 9, 2019
Apple Card Release: Should you apply? I-Team reviews benefits, drawbacks
Apple has entered the banking business by offering a new credit card.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Apple has entered the banking business by offering a new credit card and are starting to take applications this week. It has instant cash-back rewards but how does it really compare to other cards with reward programs?

The card is almost as pretty as Apple's phones. It's titanium, laser etched and there are no numbers on the physical card. For security reasons, the numbers will only be stored on the card in your phone's Apple Wallet.

According to Apple's product video, "It's the only credit card designed to take advantage of iPhone, it works with Apple Pay."

The I-Team asked some consumers their opinion of the new Apple card.

"It's an interesting idea. I like how there are no late fees and no sign-up fees," said Brandon Wood.

With so many choices out there, some banking experts said you should shop around before quickly picking the Apple card.

"The Apple Card really appeals to the Apple fanatics out there," said Ted Rossman with "To be honest, you can get better rewards elsewhere. This card is really about people who love Apple, love their iPhone. I think the best use case for it is if you buy a lot of Apple products because that is the highest cash back rate they are going to give you; 3% cash back when you buy something from Apple."

Apple Card gives 2% cash back on all Apple Pay purchases, but less when you use the actual Apple Card.

"The main drawback from a rewards standpoint is that you only get 1% elsewhere when you use the physical card," said Rossman. "That really lags other cards on the market."

But in a world of instant gratification, those rewards appear daily on your phone's Apple Cash Card, which is much like a debit card and peer-to-peer pay service all rolled into one.

"It's pretty convenient, right?" said consumer Solomon Sutchar. "You have your phone with you at all times, you pay on your phone, it's easier and you get more back. So I don't see why. It's a no-brainier really."

Wallet Hub said the card should be avoided by anyone who doesn't pay their bill every month because of what it calls an "unfavorable" APR when compared to other cards. Apple said its card is competitive with interest rates of other cash back cards and that less risky customers get lower interest rates.

"You can get cards with lower interest rates elsewhere," Rossman told the I Team. "You can definitely get cards with better rewards."

Apple said they give fewer rewards on the physical card and more on Apple Pay because they want people to use their phones, which is a more secure way to pay. The card also has technology integrated into your phone so you can see your spending habits and even map out your transactions.


- The Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card gives 3% cash back on everything in your first year as a cardholder and 2.5% on everything after that. There's a $99 annual fee (waived the first year). Chicago-area residents and employees can join the credit union for free.

- Citi Double Cash doesn't charge an annual fee and it gives 2% cash back on everything (technically 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off)

- Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card: 2% cash back with no annual fee, but you must redeem rewards into a Fidelity investment account (these others can be a statement credit/check/bank account deposit).

- Two others to consider with no annual fees and 3% cash back on everything in the first year: Discover it Miles and Chase Freedom Unlimited (the Chase Freedom Unlimited's 3% rate is capped at $20,000 in spending). Both drop to 1.5% cash back in year two and beyond.