Your guide to Apple Card’s cash back program

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The Apple Card promises the opportunity to earn cash back on everything you buy, including Apple purchases–and all without any fees. However, the cash back you earn with this card works a little differently than you would expect from a traditional rewards credit card. With the Apple Card, you earn something called Daily Cash, which accrues each day and which you can redeem alongside any other funds you have in your Apple Cash account. 

Before you sign up for the Apple Card, it helps to understand how the rewards program works and the exact redemption options you may be eligible for. Our comprehensive guide goes over all the details of the Apple Card’s cash back program, including potential advantages and whether it’s worth it or not.

The basics of the Apple Card program

The Apple Card comes with no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees and no late fees, as well as a generous rewards program that gives you up to 3 percent back for each purchase you make when you meet certain requirements. Once you sign up, you’ll earn:

  • 3 percent back on Apple purchases and purchases made with select merchants when you use your Apple Card and pay with Apple Pay
  • 2 percent back on all purchases made with your Apple Card and Apple Pay
  • 1 percent back on everything else

The Apple Card, issued by Goldman Sachs, was obviously built to work in conjunction with Apple Pay. However, in instances where you’re shopping with an app or on a website that doesn’t accept Apple Pay yet, you’ll get a virtual card number that operates in the Wallet app. This card is also a Mastercard, so it’s accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world. 

In addition to offering lower interest rates than the industry average, the Apple Card also helps you pay less in interest by estimating how much you would pay on a specific purchase, then suggesting a payment you can make to pay down your debt faster. That said, the Apple Card is fairly limited since you can’t transfer balances to it or use it for a cash advance. It also appears that you cannot transfer debt from your Apple Card to another credit card, including one that comes with a 0 percent APR balance transfer offer.

How does the Apple Card’s cash back work?

When you rack up cash back with the Apple Card, you’ll be awarded what Apple refers to as Daily Cash. For the most part, the term Daily Cash is used only to describe the amount of cash back you’ve accrued in your rewards account. Unlike other cash back credit cards that award you points or cash back once per month when your credit card statement closes, however, Daily Cash accrues every day as you earn it.

As Daily Cash accrues, it is automatically added to your Apple Cash account. Apple Cash is a component of Apple Pay that lets you maintain a cash balance you can use for purchases or send back and forth with friends. When you shop with Apple Pay and have a balance in your Apple Cash account, you can use it to pay for purchases instead of using another form of payment tied to your account.

What can you redeem Apple Card’s cash back for?

Because Daily Cash you accrue is added to your Apple Cash account, the options for redeeming your cash back rewards are nearly endless. With Apple Cash, you can:

  • Send money to friends through Messages
  • Transfer money to your bank account
  • Use Apple Cash to pay down your credit card balance

You can also use Apple Cash to make purchases when you shop by way of Apple Pay. You can use Apple Pay to pay anywhere it is accepted—in grocery stores, boutiques, restaurants and more. You can also use Apple Pay to make purchases on iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store, iCloud, Apple News+ and more.

Pros and cons of Apple Card’s Cash Back program

While the Apple Card offers some generous benefits and rewards, it’s definitely not for everyone. In fact, you actually have to be an Apple customer to get the most out of this cash back credit card. According to Apple Support, accessing all of the card’s benefits requires you to add your Apple Card “to an eligible iPhone or iPad that you own with the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.”

If you’re wondering if the Apple Card’s rewards program is right for you, consider these additional pros and cons:

Pros Cons
  • Top rewards rate of 3 percent is higher than many cash back credit cards offer
  • No annual fee or hidden fees 
  • Cash back rewards accrue daily in the form of Daily Cash 
  • Must use Apple Pay for the best rewards rates to apply
  • No way to redeem your rewards directly for options like gift cards or travel
  • Rewards mix with your Apple Cash balance, which may not be ideal if you’re saving cash back for a specific redemption

Is Apple Card’s cash back program worth it?

If you’re a steady Apple customer who makes a lot of purchases with the brand and already uses Apple Pay, then the Apple Card and its rewards program may be right up your alley. But if you don’t have an Apple device and also don’t plan on getting one, this card and its rewards program are of little value.

At the end of the day, the Apple Card is best for consumers who already operate in the Apple universe and ones who mostly want to redeem their rewards for purchases they make or statement credits.

The bottom line

While the Apple Card can be ideal for Apple enthusiasts, don’t forget to compare it with other options out there. Plenty of cash back credit cards let you earn a similar rate of rewards and they aren’t tied to your mobile device, plus you may have more options when it comes to cashing them in.

As always, you should compare all of the best credit card offers you’re considering in terms of the rewards rates, welcome offers and fees before you sign up.

 

The information about the Apple Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."