Update: This story has been updated to include a new offer from Apple to all iOS 12.4 users as of Wednesday, August 21.
Apple has finally begun to roll out Apple Card, the credit card it introduced back in March, to a small number of customers. If you signed up to be notified when it was available, check your email to see if you've received your invite.
Starting Wednesday, everyone using iOS 12.4 can open the wallet app and select the “+” to add a new card, and select Apple Card. In typical Apple fashion, it’ll pre-populate your information from your Apple ID, and ask you a few simple questions before letting you submit your application directly from your iPhone. I'm sure many of you are deciding whether the card would be a good fit for you, so here are seven things you should know before pulling out your iPhone to apply.
1. It's not a business card.
While the Apple Card will certainly be interesting for a lot of people, it is--at this time-- exclusively a personal credit card, not a business card. While the Apple Card undoubtedly has a "cool" factor, you won't be able to get one for your business and add all of your employees. It also won't have the ability to centralize billing, since it's tied directly to your iPhone and Apple Pay.
2. It's a Mastercard.
That means you can use it anywhere that accepts Apple Pay or chip-enabled cards (which is almost everywhere by now). Interestingly, the physical card appears to have no Mastercard branding, which shows how much influence Apple has, despite being a newcomer to the credit card space.
3. It's designed for Apple Pay.
In fact, according to the terms released by Goldman Sachs, Apple's partner in Apple Card, you don't even get a physical card unless you request it. If you do, the titanium physical card is definitely fancy, but let's face it--the Apple Card is meant to be used with Apple Pay. All of the transaction history and information is on your iPhone, and you get twice the rewards when you use Apple Pay compared with just the physical card.
4. It has no 16-digit credit card number
The physical card doesn't have a 16-digit card number--it's stored within the chip and creates a unique identifier for each transaction. That's certainly more secure since your card number can't be stolen, but it does make it harder to order pizza online if you're used to typing in your card information.
5. It has no fees.
Apple has made a point that Apple Card has no fees at all. According to the fine print, the card has no late fees, annual fee, or foreign exchange fees. It even says it won't charge you a fee for going over your limit or for a returned payment.
At the same time, the app is designed to motivate you to make payments with a variety of graphics that show you exactly how much interest you'll pay when you don't pay your bill in full.
6. It offers cash rewards.
If you travel a lot for business, this card won't earn you points toward your favorite airline or hotel. Instead, it offers what Apple is calling "daily cash." Every day, Apple loads up to 3 percent of purchases into your Apple Pay cash balance that can be used for purchases or applied to your Apple Card bill. You can also use it to send cash via Messages, or have it deposited in your bank account.
You'll get only 3 percent on purchases directly from Apple, but the 2 percent you get for using Apple Pay anywhere else is still pretty generous as cash-back cards go. If you use the physical card, you'll only get 1 percent cash back.
7. You do everything in the app, including applying.
Want to check your balance? Make a payment? There's an app for that. Actually, the Apple Card is more app than a credit card in many ways. It lives in your Apple Wallet, and while there's a physical card, almost every interaction with the card will be on your iPhone.
Apple also plans to introduce an iPad app, since there is no native Wallet feature on that device.
Given what Apple has shown us already, it looks like the app will be packed with tools to help monitor spending, keep track of transactions, and visualize how your payments affect the amount of interest you'll pay.