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A year ago we learned that Apple was dropping its co-brand relationship with Barclays and launching a new Mastercard with Goldman Sachs. That didn’t matter much since their existing card wasn’t particularly strong. There was hope the new card would be much better!
The old card had a typical 3-2-1 formulation with points redeemable for Apple and iTunes gift cards:
- 3 points per dollar spent with Apple
- 2 points at restaurants
- 1 points everywhere else
The new card was just launched and has.. a typical 3-2-1 formulation, with rewards in cash:
- 3% on Apple spend
- 2% on Apple Pay spend
- 1% everywhere else
That’s marginally better because you can get cash instead of gift cards, and 2% wherever you use Apple Pay. But who needs to go out of their way for 2% cash? It’s available already without the hassle.
Via Wikimedia Commons, Credit: Calerusnak
So why on earth would anyone get this card? Because reasons.
- They’ll categorize your spending, which they say makes it easy to understand where your money goes
- The card is integrated into their mobile wallet seamlessly
- Cash back is available immediately (like awards are with Capital One), and can be sent to others [I can see problems developing with big charges that are cancelled or returned, like refundable airline tickets]
- “no annual, late, international or over-the-limit fees”
- It’s a titanium card with “no card number, CVV security code, expiration date or signature on the card” as though most credit cards are compromised by servers jotting down your number as opposed to through massive breaches of Marriott’s database.
Because it’s from Apple some of you will think it’s amazing, of course.
However there are no ‘benefits’ for being an Apple cardmember like early access to products, special activations at Apple stores, some form of better treatment for cardmembers. This is a huge missed opportunity because there’s more or less no reason to get this card as a result.