Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Why the Apple Card remains my favorite credit card in 2023

Before the Apple Card came out, rumors swirled that Apple would make its own credit card. A lot of people laughed at the idea, thinking it was ridiculous. I was originally one of those people, but when the Apple Card came out in August 2019, I was intrigued. I certainly didn’t need another credit card, but I liked the idea of having a card that has tight integration with the Wallet app on my iPhone.

There are hundreds of options in the world of credit cards. For many, the Apple Card is not one of the best credit cards in terms of rewards and benefits, but since I got mine in 2019, it remains my favorite and most-used card — here’s why.

No bank can match the Apple Card’s software

Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

I mentioned it briefly already, but one of the biggest reasons I wanted the Apple Card was its direct integration with the Wallet app on iOS. Other credit cards require you to have or make an account with the associated bank and then download the bank’s app on your device to view all of your transactions and pay your bill online. Let’s face it — the user experience and interface for those apps are usually suboptimal, to say the least.

Instead of having a separate app, all of your Apple Card information is found directly in the Wallet app. In fact, that’s even how you apply for an Apple Card, and the process is incredibly simple. Once you have your Apple Card, just tap on it in the Wallet app to view all of your card’s details, from the card balance, next payment, and latest transactions — it’s all there, laid out in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way. I also love the fact that merchant names are plain and simple, not some jumbled-up merchant code, and there are even company logos to make it even easier to see at-a-glance.

apple card

Another thing I enjoy about the Apple Card Wallet interface is that you can not only see your current balance, but how much of your credit line is still available, weekly/monthly/yearly activity, how much Daily Cash you’ve earned, and when your next upcoming payment will be (if you have autopay set up). There’s even search functionality if you’re looking for a specific transaction.

I also love seeing the digital Apple Card change colors in your Wallet to reflect your purchases, and once the entire balance is paid off, it becomes white again for you to start anew. However, it seems that my card is always a permanent mix of orange (food and drinks) and yellow (shopping), with a splash of pink (entertainment) and purple (services).

Having all of this integrated into the Wallet app, without needing a separate download, is just icing on the cake. I wish I could have this kind of interface with all of my other cards in my Wallet app.

Dead simple statement closing and payment due dates

Apple Card sitting on top of an iPhone 14 Pro with the Wallet app open to digital Apple Card
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One thing that I never liked about my other credit cards is all the different dates I have for my statement closing and when my payments are due. I start to remember the dates after a while, but it’s still a lot to keep up with — and typically not explained as well as it could.

This is another area where the Apple Card excels. The statement closes at the end of a calendar month, and you have until the end of the next month to make your payment before accruing interest. Typically, credit cards give you about three weeks to pay, so Apple Card actually has a longer grace period for you to make your payment.

This doesn’t affect me too much since I just have it on autopay before the due date, but it does give me time to be prepared when that large payment is taken out of my bank account. I can also see this longer payment grace period being beneficial to someone who may need to make sure they have enough to pay off their balance, because, you know, sometimes stuff happens.

I just love how easy it is to remember — use the Apple Card from the 1st of the month to the 30th, then you get until the 30th of the next month to pay that balance. I wish it was as easy to remember when all my other credit card statements closed out and when the payment is due (they’re all over the place).

Daily Cash is so good and so simple

Apple Pay setup at the 7-11.
Jackie Dove/Digital Trends

When I got my Apple Card, I decided to replace my debit card as my primary form of payment for most situations. And as someone who prefers to use Apple Pay over physical cards, getting 2% Daily Cash for every Apple Pay purchase was a no-brainer for me (unless one of my other cards provides a better reward).

And as someone who buys products directly from Apple, as well as subscribes to some digital services like Apple One, the 3% Daily Cash reward for that has been nice. Even if you opt to do Apple Card monthly installments or buy an iPhone through the iPhone Upgrade Program using your Apple Card, you still get 3%.

You also get a titanium physical Apple Card, which nets you 1% if you use the physical card or even just use your card number for online purchases. Again, the cash-back rewards aren’t great compared to other cards out there, but I do love that I get that cash immediately, rather than waiting until the end of the month.

I used to use my Daily Cash rewards to make my payment smaller, but now I kind of just hoard it for several small fun purchases or one bigger purchase. And with Apple bringing a savings account sometime in the future, there would be more of a reason to just hoard those Daily Cash rewards in my Apple Cash card.

Advanced Fraud Protection gives me peace of mind

The back of an Apple Card with the Goldman Sachs and Mastercard logo
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

This may be one of those features that flew under the radar for most people in iOS 15, but it introduced a new security feature for Apple Card users called Advanced Fraud Protection. When this little feature is enabled, it will continuously change the security code (CVV) number associated with your Apple Card. Though it’s not explicitly stated how often it changes, it appears at least every few days.

With Advanced Fraud Protection, even if someone happens to get their hands on your Apple Card information, because the CVV changes, they won’t be able to use it. And if you’re worried about recurring subscriptions with your Apple Card, fret not! The changing CVV does not mess with your subscriptions and other recurring payments because the CVV is not required after the initial payment.

The physical Apple Card also does not have any card numbers on it, which I love. Paired with Advanced Fraud Protection, the Apple Card is about as secure as it gets.

Lots to love about Apple Card

I’m not saying Apple Card is the best credit card because it certainly isn’t. There are plenty of great credit cards out there, and you can find some really good ones with much higher rewards.

But for my needs, Apple Card is pretty sufficient. I use Apple Pay whenever I can on my iPhone 14 Pro, I buy quite a bit from Apple Stores and subscribe to services, and I just like a great UX for seeing where my money goes. For me, Apple Card continues to be my favorite way to pay for things.

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