It’s easy to see why the Apple Card is so popular, and that’s especially true among hard-core Apple enthusiasts. Cardholders don’t pay an annual fee, foreign transaction fees or any late fees, yet they get the chance to earn an unlimited 3 percent in cash back on purchases with the select merchants that let you pay with your Apple Card and Apple Pay, as well on goods and services purchased directly from Apple. Cardholders also receive 2 percent back anywhere Apple Pay is accepted, as well as 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Apple offers a few ways to pay off your balance by making online payments or a recurring scheduled or one-time payment in the Wallet app on a device. If your device is missing or stolen, you can call an Apple Card specialist to avoid missing a payment.
But when you dive into the Apple Card’s terms and conditions from Goldman Sachs, you’ll notice one interesting omission: The Apple Card doesn’t have a balance transfer APR or a balance transfer fee (and for good reason, since this card doesn’t allow balance transfers at all).
But what’s more interesting is that the Apple Card doesn’t appear to let consumers transfer their Apple Card balances to other balance transfer cards, either.
Can you transfer a balance from the Apple Card to another credit card?
While cardholder reports vary on this, the concept of not being able to transfer a balance from your Apple Card to another balance transfer credit card is just plain weird. Yet this is exactly what is happening, and you can read real user experiences in places like the myFICO forum and Reddit.
From Apple’s standpoint, it appears this is all about what it considers “non-conforming payments.” Here’s what Apple has to say about payments it considers to be non-conforming in its cardholder agreement:
“We may reject any payments that do not comply with our payment instructions set forth in this Agreement or on your Monthly Statement (each a “Non-conforming Payment”) in our discretion. If we accept a Non-conforming Payment, crediting your Account for the payment may be delayed and may result in additional interest billed to your Account.”
Apple goes on to say this:
“We may accept any Non-conforming Payments, late payments, partial payments or payments with restrictive endorsements, without losing any of our rights, including our right to close your Account. We may deposit any payment you send us for less than the total outstanding balance of your Account that you mark ‘paid in full’ or with any similar language or otherwise seek to provide as full satisfaction of a disputed amount. If we do, this payment will not fully satisfy the disputed amount or otherwise affect our rights to payment in full.”
Essentially, Apple reserves the right to not accept any balance transfers to and from its Apple Card and only has to accept a payment method that it has outlined, such as submitting online payments, paying through the Wallet app or by talking to an Apple specialist.
If Apple does accept a payment method it has not listed as an option to cardholders, there is a possibility Apple may close the account. If a payment is sent that doesn’t fully cover the full balance and is marked “paid in full,” that doesn’t mean Apple will accept this. The issuer reserves the right to still pursue full repayment.
Strangely enough, some users on Reddit and elsewhere say they have successfully transferred a balance from their Apple Card. Others say the entire process has been a mess, and that they were ultimately unable to move balances from an Apple Card after several attempts.
With this in mind, you should be careful of racking up debt on an Apple Card unless you have a plan to pay it off. Otherwise, you may have to turn to some debt consolidation alternatives to get out of this debt later on.
Alternative ways to pay off your Apple Card
Fortunately, Apple does not have ultimate control over how you pay off your balance with its credit card, and there are some workarounds to be aware of. If you have debt on an Apple Card that you would prefer to consolidate, here are some options to consider.
Write a balance transfer check to yourself
While you may not be able to sign up for a balance transfer card and have the balance transferred from your Apple Card the traditional way, balance transfer checks offer a workaround. When you are approved for a balance transfer credit card that offers balance transfer checks, you always have the option to fill out a check to yourself. With this strategy, you could write yourself a check for the amount of debt you want to consolidate from your Apple Card, then you would simply pay off the balance on your Apple Card using the same funds.
Just keep in mind that balance transfer credit cards usually charge a fee to transfer a balance, and that fee is usually 3 percent or 5 percent of the debt you transfer. This fee will kick in on any balance transfer checks you write to yourself, adding 3 percent or 5 percent to the new amount you owe.
With that being said, make sure you sign up for a balance transfer credit card that offers 0 percent APR for as long as possible, and your interest savings will make paying the balance transfer fee well worth it.
Take out a debt consolidation loan
You can also consider consolidating debt with a personal loan, which may make it easier to avoid racking up more debt. Personal loans come with a low fixed interest rate, a fixed monthly payment and a fixed repayment timeline, so you know exactly when you’ll pay your debt off. And when you take out a personal loan, you’ll get a lump sum of cash upfront. When you deposit your loan proceeds in your bank account, you can use the money to pay off your Apple Card and begin making payments on your loan.
With this being said, you should make sure to compare personal loans to find the best option for your needs and your budget. Personal loan rates can be as low as 5.95 percent for consumers with great credit, and many personal loans come with no application fees, no origination fees and no hidden fees.
Apply for the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards
You can also consider a unique lending instrument like the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards. This debt consolidation credit card works more like a traditional loan, and you can qualify for a line of credit worth up to $20,000. While you can’t transfer balances directly to this card, you can make a draw against your available credit, then use those funds to pay off your Apple Card.
The Upgrade Card doesn’t charge any fees, and it comes with a mobile app that lets you monitor your balances and purchases in real time. You can also pay less interest over time than you might with traditional credit cards since the Upgrade Card lets you pay down your balances each month at a fixed rate with equal monthly payments.
The bottom line
If you’re feeling frustrated that you can’t use your Apple Card for balance transfers in any direction, there are some options for you to consider. However, you may want to start thinking more long-term about the Apple Card, and perhaps even transition to another card for all your regular spending.
The Apple Card does offer lucrative rewards when you use it to complete purchases through Apple Pay, but plenty of other rewards credit cards for beginners will let you manage your debt however you want (and without all the red tape).