Now might be a good time to apply for the Apple Card – but consider your options first.
Many rewards credit cards offer the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus. Even some no-annual-fee credit cards offer them, allowing consumers to maximize cash back or points without paying every year for simply having the card.
The Apple Card only started offering a sign-up bonus in June 2020, when Apple cardholders could earn $50 in Daily Cash after spending $50 at Walgreens. This was followed by limited-time offers in September, October, November 2020 and January 2021, most recently including a sign-up bonus of $50 in Daily Cash after you spend $50 or more on purchases with Exxon or Mobil.
Currently, the card is boasting yet another sign-up offer: New Apple Card holders can save 6% when using their card to pay in full for products at Apple through March 31.
See related: Apple Card: One year later
How to get the Apple Card sign-up bonusNew Apple Card holders who open an account between March 1 and March 31, 2021, and use their new card to pay for purchases at Apple stores, Apple.com or in the Apple Store app, can earn 6% back in Daily Cash through March.
Note that certain purchases aren’t eligible for the bonus. For example, you’ll only earn 3% Daily Cash back (the card’s regular offer) if you’re paying for your purchase in installments or if you’re making Apple iPhone payments. Other types of purchases that don’t qualify include iPhone Upgrade Program, wireless carrier financing plans, Apple Media Services and AppleCare+ monthly payments.
Previously, the bonus on the Apple Card ranged between $50 and $75. An extra 3% Daily Cash back will probably bring you less value, unless you’re planning large Apple purchases.
For instance, you’d typically get $30 back in Daily Cash for a $1,000 Apple purchase. With the new limited-time bonus, you can get $60 back, which is only $30 in extra value.
To get an extra $50 back with the new offer, you’d need to spend around $1,670 on Apple purchases. Considering that you only have until the end of March to spend this money, it’s an expensive bonus.
You can apply for the Apple Card using your Apple ID.
Should you apply for the Apple Card now?
If you have been considering applying for the Apple Card, it might be a good idea to do so this month, especially if you commute or drive often enough to spend $50 at gas stations in a month. While the card doesn’t always come with a sign-up bonus, new cardholders currently have a great chance to earn one.
Besides that, the Apple Card offers 3% cash back on Apple purchases, as well as 3% cash back when you use Apple Pay for Walgreens, Nike and Uber and Uber Eats purchases and at T-Mobile stores. Other Apple Pay purchases will earn you 2% in cash back. When you use the physical card, the cash back rate goes down to 1%.
However, the Apple Card might not make sense for everyone. The earning rate is good on Apple purchases, but if you’re looking for a primary cash back card to add to your wallet, there might be better options.
For example, with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express you can earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. All other purchases will get you 1% in cash back.
Another alternative is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns you unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase and doesn’t have an annual fee. Plus, you only need to spend $500 in the first three months with the card to earn its $200 sign-up bonus.
There are quite a few other cards to look into. Shop around before you decide to take advantage of Apple’s offer. The sign-up bonus alone shouldn’t tempt you into signing up for a card that doesn’t align with your spending.
If you’re an Apple enthusiast and have been looking into the Apple Card for some time, now might be a good time to apply. The new limited-time sign-up offer gives you an opportunity to earn an easy sign-up bonus – something the card doesn’t normally have.