Apple unveiled its new credit card with a splashy presentation live from the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California on Monday. The card has been met with much fanfare largely because it carries the Apple logo. Let's find out how it compares to other similar credit cards.
Apple’s new credit card dubbed “Apple Card” is a no-annual-fee cash back credit card. Two popular competitors on the market today are the Citi Double Cash and the Fidelity Rewards cards but there are many others also. Let's see how Apple compares to the other no-fee credit cards on the market on fees, rewards and interest rates.
One unique feature of the Apple Card is that they will not charge a separate fee for late payments, outside of interest. Additionally, Apple claims their card will not have any cash advance or over the limit fees.
Advantage: Apple Card. The Apple card's unique fee structure gives it the advantage on fees.
The Apple Card point system works like this:
3% cash back for Apple related purchases
2% cash back for purchases using Apple Pay
1% cash back on all other purchases
Apple pays its cash back instantly as soon as the purchase is made.
Both the Citi and Fidelity cards give 2% cash back on all purchases. Citi gives 1% cash back at the time of purchase and the other 1% once the balance is paid. Fidelity requires that you deposit the rewards in a Fidelity brokerage or cash management account to receive the full 2% but does not require payment first.
Advantage: Other no-annual fee credit cards. While Apple Pay is gaining in popularity, it's far from common. You are much more likely to earn more cash back with other cash back credit cards.
Apple states that their goal with Apple Card is to provide interest rates that are among the lowest in the industry. But one quick footnote check shows that Apple is quoting interest rates between 13.24% and 24.24% as of March 2019. These rates are par with what most other credit card companies are charging. For example, the Citi Double Cash card is currently quoting rates between 15.74% and 25.74% and the Fidelity Rewards card is quoting an APR of 16.24%.
Advantage: This one's a wash. Apple's rates are not that different from the other major cash back cards. However, as I tell all my clients, you should be paying off your balance every month so interest rates should be irrelevant anyway!
As expected with any Apple product, the physical Apple Card will look cooler than all other competitors. It will be made of titanium and laser-etched. The card will be backed by Goldman Sachs, and this will be Goldman's first consumer credit card ever. Apple is also suggesting greater security when using digital payments, improved customer service through its text messaging service feature and better budgeting tools.
Credit card companies will continue to vie for your dollars and loyalty but the most important thing to remember is to use credit cards as a tool to build your wealth - not theirs!
Breakwater Financial, LLC is a registered investment advisor. The content of this blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered investment advice. If you have any questions regarding this Blog Post, please contact us.