The Apple Card* promises the opportunity to earn cash back on everything you buy, including Apple purchases — without any fees. However, the cash back you’ll earn with this card works a little differently than it does with a traditional rewards credit card. With the Apple Card, you’ll earn Daily Cash rewards, which accrue each day and can be redeemed 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 to decide for yourself whether it’s worth it or not.

Apple Card program basics

The Apple Card comes with no annual fee, 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. This includes:

  • 3 percent back on Apple purchases and purchases made with select merchants when you use your Apple Card and pay with Apple Pay; current merchants include Duane Reed, Mobil, Panera Bread, Uber, Walgreens, Exxon, Nike, T-Mobile and Uber Eats
  • 2 percent back on all purchases made using your Apple Card with Apple Pay
  • 1 percent back on everything else

The Apple Card, issued by Goldman Sachs, was clearly 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.

The Apple Card comes with an average variable interest rate range of 19.24 percent to 29.49 percent, but it can help you pay less in interest by estimating how much you’d pay on a specific purchase and suggesting a payment amount to help you pay down your balance faster. Like most credit cards, of course, you can avoid interest altogether by paying your balance down in full each month.

Apple Card users can also access an exclusive high-yield savings account with Goldman Sachs. Once you set up an Apple Savings account, your Daily Cash rewards will be automatically added to your Savings account, which offers a 4.15 percent APY. There are no minimum deposit or balance requirements, and you can withdraw your rewards at any time without paying a fee.

That said, the Apple Card is more limited than other credit cards since you can’t transfer balances to or from it or use it for a cash advance.

How does the Apple Card’s cash back work?

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

As Daily Cash accrues, it will automatically be added to your Apple Cash account or Apple Savings account (if you have one). Apple Cash is a component of Apple Pay that lets you maintain a cash balance you can use toward purchases or sending money to friends, among other options. For instance, 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?

You can use your Daily Cash rewards for:

  • Buying items via Apple Pay
  • Sending money to friends
  • Paying down your credit card balance
  • Growing your savings in a high-yield Apple Savings account

When you use your cash back to make purchases through Apple Pay, the options for redeeming your cash back rewards are nearly endless since you can use Apple Pay anywhere it’s accepted — in grocery stores, boutiques, restaurants and more. You can also use Apple Pay to make purchases in iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store, iCloud and Apple News+.

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, to access and use all of Apple Card’s features, you’ll need to add your Apple Card “to an eligible iPhone or iPad that you own with the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.”

To help decide if the Apple Card’s rewards program is right for you, consider these additional pros and cons:

Pros Cons
  • Up to 3% rewards rate is higher than the rates many cash back cards offer
  • No hidden fees like annual fee, late fees or foreign transaction fees
  • Cash back rewards accrue daily in the form of Daily Cash
  • Cash back can be automatically deposited into a high-yield savings account that earns 4.15% APY
  • 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 devoted 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 fit well with how you already spend money. But if you don’t have an Apple device and also don’t plan on getting one, this card and its rewards program will be of little value to you.

At the end of the day, the Apple Card is best for consumers who already operate in the Apple universe and who mostly want to redeem their rewards toward purchases or for statement credits or deposit their rewards in a high-yield savings account.

The bottom line

While the Apple Card can be ideal for Apple enthusiasts, don’t forget to compare it with other options out there. There are still plenty of top cash back credit cards that let you earn a similar rate of rewards in popular bonus categories. Plus, these cards’ rewards structures won’t be tied to your mobile device, and you may have more options for cashing in rewards.

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

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