Completing a balance transfer to or from an Apple Card might not be possible. So don’t run up too much debt on this card.
The Apple Card comes with plenty of perks.
Cardholders earn 3% cash back on Apple Pay purchases with select merchants such as Apple, Exxon, Uber and Walgreens. They earn 2% cash back on all other purchases when they use Apple Pay through their iPhones or Apple Watch. And if you use the physical Apple Card to make a purchase at a retailer that doesn’t use Apple Pay, you’ll earn 1% cash back.
Another bonus? The Apple Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, foreign transaction fee or any late fees.
But there is one drawback with this card: Balance transfers either to or from the card are tricky or impossible, depending on which sources you believe.
Apple card balance transfers: Things to know
Can you transfer a balance from the Apple Card to another card?
Many cardholders rely on balance transfers to gain control over their credit card debt.
Say you have $5,000 in credit card debt on a card with 19% interest. You’d apply for a new credit card that offers an introductory 0% interest rate for a certain period of months, usually six to 18.
See related: What is a balance transfer and how does it work?
If you’re approved, you’d then transfer your high-interest-rate debt to your new card. The goal is to pay off that debt before your new card’s 0% interest offer expires. After that offer ends, your card’s interest rate will adjust to its normal one. If you haven’t paid off your debt by then, whatever is left will now carry that higher interest rate, a rate that could range from 15% to 21% or higher.
This can be a good strategy for cardholders who are ready to pay off their credit card debt. They can whittle this debt down without worrying about it growing because of interest.
If you have debt on an Apple Card, though, you might not have this option.
That’s because according to the rules set by Goldman Sachs, the bank behind the Apple Card, cardholders can’t transfer any debt from their Apple Card to any other card.
The problem seems to stem from what Apple considers non-conforming payments. In the cardholder agreement from Goldman Sachs, the company says it might reject any payments that don’t comply, and that might include payments from other credit card companies. That would scuttle balance transfers from an Apple Card.
Why? When you close a balance transfer, the company behind your new credit card pays off the debt on your current card. The new card then charges you for that payment, which you pay off in monthly installments (hopefully before the 0% offer expires). If Apple Card won’t accept payments from other credit cards, cardholders won’t be able to transfer debt from their Apple Cards onto another card.
What’s interesting, though, is that according to comments on myFICO.com forums and Reddit, some users have managed to transfer balances from their Apple Card to another credit card. But on the same forums, others say that they had no success doing this.
It seems prudent, then, to assume that transferring your Apple Card debt to another card won’t work. There are conflicting reports, but it does seem that such a move will at the very least be difficult.
The lesson here? Don’t run up too much debt on your Apple Card. You don’t know if you’ll ever be able to transfer it to other 0% interest cards.
Can you transfer a balance from another credit card to your Apple Card?
If you were hoping to transfer the debt from another credit card to the Apple Card, you’re out of luck again. And this time, there’s no debate.
In its list of fees, features and rates, the Apple Card doesn’t list a balance transfer interest rate or a balance transfer fee. That’s because you can’t transfer credit card balances from any other card to your Apple Card.
Alternative ways to pay off your Apple Card debt
Even if you can’t transfer the balance from your Apple Card to another credit card, there are other ways to pay off this debt.
The old-fashioned way: Create a budget
It’s the least expensive way to pay down credit card debt: Create a household budget listing your monthly expenses and income for each month. Then devote any extra money in that budget to paying down your credit card debt as quickly as you can. With this approach, you’ll hopefully pay off more than your card’s minimum monthly payment on each due date, which will reduce the time it takes to pay off your credit card debt.
There are some warnings here, though. First, you can’t charge more debt to your credit card during this process. If you do, your debt might grow too quickly, overwhelming your efforts to pay it off. And you must commit to using extra money on your credit card debt, instead of other purchases.
Use a balance transfer check
Balance transfer checks might be a way to work around the Apple Card balance transfer problem. These are checks sent from credit card companies that you can use to pay off the balance on one credit card and move it to another.
Say you owe $5,000 on your Apple Card. You might apply and qualify for a new credit card and request a balance transfer check for $5,000. You then deposit that check in your bank account and use those funds to pay off your Apple Card balance.
The negative here? Most credit card providers will charge you a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5% of the amount of your balance transfer check. If you request a check for $5,000, then, you’ll be charged from $150 to $250.
Consider a personal loan
A personal loan is another option for paying off credit card debt. When you take out a personal loan, you’ll receive a single lump sum payment which you can use to pay your cards. You’ll pay back your loan in monthly payments, with interest.
Personal loans can be a good choice because the interest rates attached to them are usually lower than the rates that come with credit cards. If you have $10,000 of credit card debt at 20% interest, it makes financial sense to take out a $10,000 personal loan with an interest rate of, say, 10% – a rate that wouldn’t be unusual for a borrower with solid credit. Experian reported earlier this year that the average interest rate on a personal loan was 9.41% during the second quarter of 2019.
While it might be possible to transfer a balance from your Apple Card to another credit card, this is no sure thing. A better approach, then, is to use your Apple Card to generate cash back bonuses without running up large amounts of debt.
As with all credit cards, it’s best to only charge what you can pay back in full by each due date. That way, you won’t carry a balance on your card into the next month, and you won’t be charged interest. You also won’t build a balance large enough to attempt to transfer.