3 drawbacks to the Apple Card

Though lauded for competitive perks, there are some downsides to consider before applying


Anyone thinking of applying for the Apple Card should consider the downsides along with the card’s much-lauded perks.

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The Apple Card has certainly turned plenty of heads since it launched last year. Some of the news has been good – like the card offering a new way for users to finance their iPhone purchases over time without paying interest. Other news has been less positive, including a recently launched investigation into claims the card is biased against women.

Despite the hoopla, die-hard Apple fans are still quick to sing the card’s praises. It’s true – the security, account management and financing features can be valuable in the right cardholder’s hands. But there are still quite a few reasons this hyped card might not be the best option for many cardholders.

See related: The Apple Card boasts compelling, user-friendly features: Are they really unique?

While it is easy to hunt down all the perks that come with the Apple Card, getting the full picture of its downsides is not as simple. Before you submit an application, take a look at some reasons the product might not be for you.

Apple Card: At a glance

Apple Card

Why should you get this card?

The Apple Card offers some compelling features in its app that should appeal to Apple fanatics and cardholders looking for a better user experience.

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More things to know:

  • 3% cash back on Apple purchases
  • 3% cash back on Walgreens, Duane Reade, Nike, T-Mobile stores and Uber and Uber Eats purchases when you use Apple Pay
  • 2% cash back on all Apple Pay purchases
  • 1% cash back on other purchases made with physical card
  • Interest-free iPhone financing for 24 months
  • Comprehensive spend tracking tools

Potential downsides to the Apple Card

The first credit card issued by Goldman Sachs, the Apple Card has had some kinks to work out since its launch. For example, early on there were reports that the card was not reporting to credit bureaus – a big red flag to those trying to improve their credit scores. While that issue has since been resolved, there are still some cons to look out for.

No balance transfers

Right now, the Apple Card is not set up for balance transfers, so cardholders eager to reduce debt by taking advantage of a lower APR are out of luck. While the Apple Card isn’t the best option for a balance transfer anyway (since it doesn’t come with an introductory APR), this is still a downside for some cardholders.

Limitations when exporting data to budgeting apps

The Apple Card comes with some top-of-the-line tracking features built right into the Wallet app on iPhone. But cardholders who like to take advantage of third-party budgeting apps might face some limitations. For instance, you can link your Apple Card to Mint, a popular budgeting app, and see details like your balance, available credit, APR and fees. However, there’s no support for viewing Apple Card transactional data – you’ll have to import it manually.

Subpar rewards

For some cardholders, the Apple Card can offer a great rewards rate. If you use Apple Pay for most, or all, of your purchases, you’ll earn a competitive 2% cash back on everything you buy. Plus, you’ll earn 3% on Apple purchases as well as transactions at select merchants.

However, the Apple Card’s rate on non-Apple Pay purchases fails to impress. You’ll earn just 1% on purchases made with your physical Apple Card. If you don’t live near many merchants who accept Apple Pay, you won’t earn nearly as much cash back as you would with many flat-rate cards.

Apple Card alternatives

If these drawbacks mean the Apple Card is not right for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of great alternatives that come with features the Apple Card is missing.

For instance, if you are hoping for a card with a competitive balance transfer offer, consider the Discover it® Balance Transfer or the Citi Simplicity® Card. Both offer some of the longest introductory APRs available on the market, giving you the opportunity to systematically pay down your debt without racking up extra interest charges.

If better cash back is your goal, there are also plenty of great options to choose from. While the Apple Card offers a decent rate on Apple purchases and other purchases made with Apple Pay, the rate on standard purchases is low. For those looking for a card that offers a competitive rate on general purchases, check out popular flat rate cards instead, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Final thoughts

Despite all the reasons the Apple Card doesn’t suit certain cardholders, it might still be a good option for particular spenders. If you spend thousands a year on Apple products or use Apple Pay for the majority of your purchases – the potential rewards can offset some of the other drawbacks.

Nevertheless, anyone considering the Apple Card should keep in mind the downsides along with the card’s much-lauded perks. That way, you can ensure the card is truly a good fit for you before you add it to your wallet.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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