Like so many, I signed on the dotted line and got my Apple Card two days ago when enrollment opened to the general public here in the US. While I haven’t made any purchases with it yet, I am looking forward to getting a little bit back when I upgrade my iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch in the coming weeks.
Apple revealed that cardholders would get 3% Daily Cash back on all Apple purchases when they announced the card earlier this year. That wasn’t surprising, as it is simple and easy for the company to offer rebates on internal transactions. This small incentive should get more Apple users interested in the Apple Card and using Apple Pay. It will also get them using Apple Cash more, since that is how Daily Cash rewards come back to cardholders.
When the card was released on Tuesday, we also learned that Uber and Uber Eats purchases will also be getting 3% Daily Cash back on digital Apple Card purchases. We also learned that this is only the first of such arrangements with retail and service companies, which is another smart move on Apple’s part.
One of the few criticisms of the Apple Card in advance of its release was that the rewards, while awarded very quickly, don’t match up with many higher-end cards. That said, the 3% back on Apple sales is great for loyal customers and the Apple Card doesn’t have a yearly fee, as most card with wider-ranging rewards do. Now we see Apple already making deals to add to their 3% Daily Cash reward offering. They could use this to start closing the gap with some competing cards. It will be interesting to see how quickly they add additional vendors and who those vendors will be.
There is one reward that I would like to see, but I think has fallen through the cracks as Apple starts down the credit card path. I have used the iPhone Upgrade Program since its inception and appreciate the ease of upgrading my iPhone yearly and automatically getting AppleCare+. Unfortunately, this Apple purchase doesn’t currently count as an Apple purchase as far as rewards are concerned.
Now, this plan is actually administered by a bank, Citizens One to be exact, so the payment isn’t specifically being made to Apple. Ok, I get that distinction. Unfortunately, since Citizens One doesn’t accept Apple Pay as a payment method for their loan payments (which the Upgrade Program technically is), there is no way to even get 2% Daily Cash. The basic 1% you get back when using the physical card is all that is available.
I get that this is an independent bank and doesn’t have to offer Apple Pay to its customers. However, in my opinion, it would behoove Apple to get its ducks in a row here and work with their partner to make the Apple Card an option. It just makes sense to count this most Apply of payments as an official one that’s worth a 3% Daily Cash reward.
Overall, I am as happy as I can be with the Apple Card having not actually used it yet. However, it won’t be long. We will have new hardware and maybe even a service or two in just 2 1/2 weeks, and between now and then, I plan to move all of my existing Apple services, such as iCloud and Apple Music to the Apple Card. This is just the beginning for this new credit card, both for Apple and for me. I am hopeful that Apple will continue to expand the benefits of the Apple Card and make it even more useful in the future.