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Apple Card Review

Dayana Yochim

Written by Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Andrea Coombes

March 14, 2024

Why trust us? has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.

Instant cash back is cool. Limited rewards opportunities and just so-so cash back rates, not so much. Bottom line: The Apple Card is most worthwhile for frequent Apply Pay users and Apple product loyalists who need a 0% interest financing option.

The physical Apple credit card — elegant, laser-etched, and cast in cool titanium — embodies the company's sleek, minimalistic design ethos. But strip away the Apple Card's pretty looks and limited 2% to 3% bonus rewards earning opportunities, and you’re basically left with a 1% cash back novelty card that’ll probably end up in the discarded toy box with your old iPod Shuffles.

Born from a partnership with Goldman Sachs (which also administers Apple's high-yield savings account), the Apple Card rewards program is most beneficial if you primarily use Apple Pay (2% cash back) or purchase loads of Apple products or services (3% cash back). Consumers who aren't enmeshed in the Apple ecosystem can earn just as much — if not more — with any number of 2% unlimited cash back credit cards (which pay the Apple Pay rewards rate on all purchases) or a bonus category card that pays up to 5% on your top monthly spending categories.

What you should know about the Apple Card: Rumors abound that Goldman Sachs and Apple are looking to end their partnership. If they follow the typical breakup script, Apple Card and Apple Savings customers will be given notice and transitioned into a similar product administered by a different financial institution. My advice: Don't wait around for the details of the uncoupling to be announced. Explore alternatives to the Apple Card now by using a credit card rewards calculator to see how much you can earn based on your typical monthly expenses. And with more than a dozen high-yield savings accounts paying higher interest rates than Apple Savings, its demise won't be a notable loss.

The basics: Earn an unlimited 3% cash back on purchases from Apple and at select merchants when you use Apple Pay. Get 2% cash back when you use Apple Card at merchants that accept Apple Pay, and 1% on all other purchases. Cash back deposited daily (after purchases clear) into your account.

Credit Card Calculator
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dining Dining
theater_comedy Entertainment
local_gas_station Gas
shopping_cart Groceries
monetization_on Other
local_pharmacy Pharmacy
card_travel Travel
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construction Home Improvement
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Best for Apple Stans

Apple Card

Apple Card Logo
Cashback Per Year
Annual Fee
Welcome Bonus
Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Apple Card pros and cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Unlimited cash back deposited daily into account
  • 2% cash back when using Apple Pay
  • 3% cash back on Apple products
  • No fees. Nada
  • Interest-free financing on iPhones, iPads and Macs
  • Can help others build credit

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Reliant on Apple Pay, having an up-to-date iPhone and Apple Wallet
  • 3% limited to purchases directly from Apple and a handful of partners
  • Blah 1% default rate where Apple Pay isn’t accepted
  • No sign-up incentives
  • PC/Android people: Don’t even bother

Apple Card cashback rewards spending categories

The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.

Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (aka the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g., $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”

Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 1.00% - - -
Travel 1.00% - - -
Dining 1.00% - - -
Entertainment 1.00% - - -
Pharmacy 1.00% - - -
Groceries 1.00% - - -
Other Purchases 1.00% - - -

Note: You'll earn 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchase transactions (when you use your iPhone or Apple Watch to pay with the Apple Card), and 3% cash back on goods or services purchased direct from Apple Apple products and select merchants. All other purchases with the Apple Card earn 1%, as reflected in the table above and in our credit card rewards calculator.

What we like

Offers nearly instant cash back gratification — rewards are deposited into your Apple Cash account or credited to your card account as soon as purchases clear.

3% cash back on Apple purchases, including Macs, iPhones, accessories, App Store spending, and services from Apple Music and Apple TV.

2% cash back when you use Apple Pay. Link Apple Pay with your Apple Card to ensure you earn the 2% rewards rate.

No caps on rewards. Just make sure you use Apple Pay via your iPhone or Apple Watch so your spending at least qualifies for the 2% daily cash back rate.

No fees — as in no annual, over-the-limit, foreign transaction or late payment fees. Just remember, you’ll still rack up additional interest on any balances if you’re late with or miss a payment.

Provides a 0% APR installment loan on some Apple products — great if you’re planning an equipment upgrade. (Fine print: Subject to credit approval and credit limit. )

Customizable interest calculations let you see how much interest will cost you if you don't pay off your balance in full. Tap a payment amount and the Apple Card will do the math.

An extra layer of factory-installed cardholder protections include privacy and security settings that go beyond the basics other credit cards offer because they're built into the Apple Pay system. In fact, the physical Apple Card doesn't even feature your credit card number, expiration date, CVV security code or signature.

Apple Card Family allows you to add up to five additional spenders (age 13 and up) as authorized users to widen the net for racking up rewards. (Pro tip: Set spending controls and alerts for hormonal youngins.)

Offers the option of adding an adult “co-owner” (even a non-related one), which helps them build credit.

What we don't like

1% default rewards rate applies at places that don't accept Apple Pay. Luckily the physical Apple titanium credit card works by swiping or inserting it into electronic payment readers. (Tapping doesn't work.) But you'll earn only 1% cash back if the merchant isn't in the Apple Pay network. My advice: Go digital (only use the Apple Card places where Apple Pay is accepted) or go with a different rewards card (like a flat-rate 2% cash back one).

The 3% rewards rate applies only a limited number of retailers beyond Apple-owned properties, such as Walgreens, Exxon, Nike, Panera Bread, T-Mobile and Uber/Uber Eats.

Redemption options limited to either an Apple Cash Card (requires sign-up via Apple Wallet), Apple Savings account (which must be opened through Goldman Sachs), or a credit to your Apple Card account.

No new cardholder sign-up incentives. The Apple Card does not offer a welcome bonus or 0% intro APR on balance transfers or purchases. C’mon, toss us a bone, will ya?

Requires an “eligible device” and installing Apple Card to Wallet to apply for and maintain an account.

If you want a titanium Apple Card, you must request it. I feel old and out of touch for assuming the Apple Card automatically came with an actual Apple credit card to use in the physical world. Obviously, the modern way to settle a tab is to wave around a phone or watch in the general vicinity of the till while the invisible magic glitter takes hold. However, as a service to my fellow Luddites: Here's how to get a titanium Apple Card.

The Apple Card may switch bank partners. Word on the street is that Goldman Sachs and Apple may be headed to corporate contract divorce court. If that happens, the Apple Card rewards program you originally signed up for may morph into something very different in the hands of whatever financial institution replaces Goldman.

During the initial rollout Apple was called out for granting lower credit limits to women than men. I'm still irked about that.

The bottom line

Is the Apple Card the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.

Apple Card fine print

Dig in! Here’s the Apple Card customer agreement (.pdf) straight from the card issuer, Goldman Sachs.

Does the Apple Card charge an annual fee?

No, there is no annual fee for the Apple Card.

tips_and_updates Trivia time!

How common are annual fees? Roughly 17% of the consumer cash back cards we review charge an annual fee. They range from $39 to $99, with an average annual fee of $67.

Does the Apple Card offer a welcome bonus?

No, the Apple Card card does not currently offer a welcome bonus.

tips_and_updates Fun fact

More than half (55%) of the consumer cash back credit cards we track in the database offer a welcome bonus, ranging from $30 up to $300. The average sign-up bonus for new cardholders is $197, with the median being $200.

How much cash back can I earn with the Apple Card?

The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $120.00 in cash back per year using the Apple Card. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.

These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Apple Card depends entirely on your unique spending habits.

Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Apple Card by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.


The results of the Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.

To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:

  • Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
  • Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
  • Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
  • Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
  • Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.

What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)

About the Editorial Team

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool,, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on "Today," "Good Morning America," CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Andrea Coombes
Andrea Coombes

Andrea Coombes has 20+ years of experience helping people reach their financial goals. Her personal finance articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications, and she's shared her expertise on CBS, NPR, "Marketplace," and more. She's been a financial coach and certified consumer credit counselor, and is working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner. She knows that owning pets isn't necessarily the best financial decision; her dog and two cats would argue this point.