A few days ago, I wrote a bit about the Apple Card after the application process was opened up in the US. The one reservation that I noted in that article was that Apple had not setup payments for the iPhone Upgrade Program to get 3% Apple Cash, even though it really is an Apple purchase. However, it turns out I was wrong about that.
Typically, if you have to enter your credit card information for a web-based purchase, then you will get 1% Apple Cash for the purchase. They will be considered the same as a purchase with the physical card at a store that doesn’t offer Apple Pay. You get 2% if the provider offers Apple Pay online or in-store. Normally, you will only get the full 3% on purchases made directly with Apple, or with select Apple Pay retailers who make deals with Apple, such as Uber.
However, I missed that Apple did actually make an exception for the iPhone Upgrade Program, which is administered by Citizens One Bank. 9to5Mac evidently posted about this back in mid-August, but I must have missed it at the time. However, a few readers reached out and let me know the error of my ways. @adrianhgodoy on Twitter, who has had the card longer than I have, actually got 3% back on his first monthly payment with the Apple Card, so we know this works. To all who reached out, thanks for letting me know about the error.
I gave Apple a small amount of grief for not covering all of the details in my previous article. Since I was wrong about that, I will now do the opposite and praise them for thinking ahead and catching this detail before the card’s US rollout. The iPhone Upgrade Program is geared toward the company’s biggest fans and those are the same kind of people who were first in line for the Apple Card. The better Apple can take care of their super fans and early adopters, the faster their services will continue to grow.