How To Apply For An Apple Card Directly From Your iPhone
Well, it’s official: Apple has finally released its very own credit card, the Apple Card. But it’s not just any credit card; as you might expect, the tech giant has thought way, way out of the box on this one — even including how to apply for an Apple Card in the first place. Want in on this new venture? You might have to wait; as of Aug. 6, the ability to apply for an Apple Card has been granted to just a limited number of customers. The full roll-out, however, is schedule to arrive later this summer — and given that it’s already August, that means we probably won’t have too long to wait until the new payment option is available to everyone.
The Apple Card builds off of Apple Pay, which was originally introduced in 2014, as a payment option meant to be both easier to use and more secure than conventional credit and debit cards. Like Apple Pay, the Apple Card is primarily electronic and fully integrated with Apple Wallet; indeed, once you have an Apple Card set up, it becomes the automatic payment option used with Apple Pay. More impressive, though, is the Apple Card’s array of financial management tools, which were “designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life” by giving them “a better understanding of their spending,” as Apple’s Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, put it in a press release. With the Apple Card’s tools, you’ll be able to easily track your spending, organize your purchases, and make payments right from your phone.
You’ll also still be able to shop at places that aren’t equipped for Apple Pay with your Apple Card, thanks to the physical card that goes along with the digital one kept in your Apple Wallet. Made of titanium, the physical Apple Card notably doesn’t have a card number, CVV security code, expiration date, or signature on it. It’s not immediately clear how the card works without that info, but according to the press release, “All this information is easily accessible in Wallet to use in apps and on websites”; I’m assuming that means that the information is stored electronically.
Like many credit cards, the Apple Card has a reward system. It’s essentially a cash-back program; however, any cash back you earn is added to your Apple Pay card each day in the form of “Daily Cash,” where it’s available for immediate use. Whenever you use Apple Card with Apple Pay, you’ll get 2% Daily Cash; if you use it to make purchases directly with Apple — that is, at Apple Stores, on the App Store, and in exchange for other Apple services — you’ll get 3% Daily Cash; and if you use the titanium Apple Card, you’ll get 1% Daily Cash.
Although the Apple Card is a bit unconventional — the ad copy makes much of the fact that it was “created by Apple, not a bank” — it’s worth noting that it’s still, y’know, a credit card, which means that there still needs to be a bank behind it to actually issue it. In this case, that bank is Goldman Sachs — and although the company has never issued consumer credit cards before, Apple sees that as a plus: As Apple puts it on the Apple Card website, “They were open to doing things in a whole new way.”
“Simplicity, transparency, and privacy are at the core of our consumer product development philosophy,” said David M. Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, in a press release. “We’re thrilled to partner with Apple on Apple Card, which helps customers take control of their financial lives.”
Mastercard is also involved, “[providing] cardholders the ability to shop at merchants around the globe,” per the press release.
Curious about how to apply? First, you’ll need to have iOS 12.4 installed on your iPhone, so go ahead and make that update if you haven’t already; then follow these instructions laid out by Apple in a handy-dandy video (more details available at Apple's support site):
1. Open Apple Wallet
By default, it’s usually on the first page of your home screen; you might have moved it elsewhere, though, so just go to wherever you keep it.
2. Tap The Plus Sign
It’s in the upper right-hand corner of the main Apple Wallet screen.
3. Under “Payment Cards,” Tap Apple Card
This is where the whole “limited number of customers” things come into play: If you’re not one of those Apple users, then you won’t currently have this option. If you are, though — or if it’s now after the full public launch date for Apple Card — then you should see the option to add an Apple Card on this screen. Tap it when you see it.
4. Tap “Continue,” Then Add Or Confirm Your Information
Your Apple ID information — your name, birth date, email, and phone number — will pop up on the screen then. This is the identification info that will be associated with your Apple Card, so make sure it’s all accurate; then tap “Next” in the upper right-hand corner.
According to Nilay Patel at The Verge, the signup process will also require you to enter your income level and the last four digits of your social security number. All this information will head over to Goldman Sachs for approval, which “should take less than a minute,” writes Patel. Note, though, that you’ll undergo a TransUnion credit check during the process — meaning you'll have to unlock that information if you've had it locked, as Patel notes.
5. Tap “Accept Apple Card”
The next screen will show you your credit limit, your APR, and whether there are any fees. You can also check out the fine print by tapping “Offer Terms and Conditions.” If everything looks good to you, tap “Accept Apple Card.”
6. Tap “Continue”
And then you’re good to go! This screen will tell you that your Apple Card has been added to Apple Wallet, Apple Watch, Safari Autofill, and your Apple ID, as well as let you know that henceforth, whenever you use Apple Pay, your Apple Card will be the default payment option. Here’s where you tap “Continue” to close out the application process. Once you’ve done that, you’re all set.
Once approved, your Apple Card will be available for use in Apple Wallet immediately; additionally, reports The Verge, “you can request Apple’s fancy titanium card for free during setup and it will arrive in the mail later.” To activate the titanium card, all you have to do is tap your phone to the NFC tag included in the envelope in which the card will arrive — no need to call a credit card company, like you do with typical credit cards.
The Apple Card won’t be publicly available for a little while yet — but according to Apple, it’s due out later this summer, which means it’s likely coming soon. To find out more, head on over to the Apple Card website.