We switched to the Apple ecosystem over ten years ago and have a house full of iMacs, MacBooks, iPads and iPhones to show for it (This is an old picture – we’ve had manymore iPhones since).
Most of the tech in the house was due for upgrades. Earlier this year I got a new iMac and Sharon just purchased a new Mac Mini. Since we bought both of those from resellers, I could shop around for the best pricing.
We didn’t have the same option when looking for a new iPhone and an Apple Watch. Both of those items were new releases and if we wanted to get specific options, ordering from Apple was a must.
I remember when you were able to finance a new phone through your phone carrier. Since the phones cost upwards of $1,000, being able to pay it off in monthly installments along with your phone bill was less painful than paying for the phone upfront.
The last time we purchased an iPhone, Apple offered a third-party financing option to which I’m still making monthly payments.
When I looked at the new iPhone 13, there was no such financing option. That is, unless you wanted to apply for the Apple Card. I didn’t intend to get an Apple Card but the more I looked into it, there were some things the card offered that no one else did.
The Apple Card from Goldman Sachs launched in August of 2019 and was intended to be the first credit card incorporated into the Apple ecosystem. It was fully functional with Apple Wallet from the moment you were approved. All card transactions are done on your Apple devices, including paying your bill.
The card has no annual fee and functions as a “cash back” card.
All of the money earned on the Apple Card is linked to your Apple Cash account in your Wallet. You can spend it through mobile payments or transfers to other Apple Cash accounts, or you can send the money to a bank account.
The Apple Card offers some unique bonus categories.
You earn 3% back from select merchants when using your card with Apple Pay.
All other Apple Pay transactions earn 2% cashback.
Other transactions earn 1% cashback.
While 3% back at Apple, Walgreens and Uber are decent reasons to get the Apple Card, it was never worth it for me to waste a card application slot. Well, not until we were looking at spending a decent amount of money on Apple products.
In my mind, the killer app of the Apple Card is the financing offer on Apple purchases.
The Apple Card lets you purchase Apple products and pay for them in interest-free monthly installments. When checking out, you need to select the financing option with the Apple Card, and the portion of the payment is added to your monthly bill.
An additional perk is that you immediately earn 3% back on the purchases.
You’re earning cashback before you’re paying for it. I don’t know of any other card that offers the same.
I signed up for the Apple Card, received instant approval, and used the card to pay for the iPhone and Apple Watch. Each time I was asked if I wanted to pay in interest-free installments. Once you have the card, Apple knows as long as you’re logged into your Apple account when purchasing from the Apple Store.
While we’ve already been using the card with our Apple Wallet, we eventually received the Titanium Apple Card. Since any purchase with this card only earns 1% back, it went immediately in the drawer.
The packaging wasn’t very impressive.
Inside was the card with activation instructions. Instead of going to a website or app, you need your iPhone. What wasn’t obvious was that you needed to open the Wallet app and go to the Activate Card function. Once doing that, the activation was complete.
Now that Sharon has an Apple Watch, she’s more likely to leave home with only her Drivers License and phone when going to the store. Being able to use Apple Pay and earn 2% back on all her purchases is fine by me. Sure, I’d rather she use the AMEX Gold Card to make 4% back at Grocery Stores and the Citi Premier to earn 3% at Gas Stations, but I’m happy earning 2% back on everything if it makes her life easier.
There is one thing about the Apple Card that I’m not thrilled about but I’ll get to that in another post.
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