It’s a weak cash back card. It offers 3% on Apple spend, 2% on spend using Apple Pay, and 1% everywhere else. When you can get a straight 2% on everything (not just Apple Pay) and other cash back cards offer broader 3% and higher earn categories.
The new Apple Card’s earning isn’t even that different than the old earning from the Barclays Visa with Apple Rewards (points redeemable for Apple and iTunes gift cards). It’s cooler-looking, with limited fees, and new privacy features that do nothing to combat how credit card fraud happens today, from massive data breaches rather than restaurant servers copying down your number.
Apple’s former creative director has now revealed that that old Barclays card model of earning points towards iTunes music was actually the original Apple Card vision of Steve Jobs.
The year was 2004, when Apple was a very different company. It had only recently reinvented the music industry with iPod and iTunes, forever changing the way we buy and discover music.
Steve thought the time was right for Apple to offer its own credit card. He would call it … (drum roll)… Apple Card.
…Purchases would earn iPoints, which could be redeemed for your favorite music on iTunes.
…Alas, the Apple Card never saw the light of day. Steve worked to create a partnership with MasterCard, but apparently he couldn’t get the terms he wanted—so he pulled the plug.
The creative teams at Apple had already developed creative for the card. Under the slogan, “With the Apple Card, every purchase counts towards free music” they had mocked up:
- Buy bed, get R.E.M.
- Buy balloons, get Zeppelin.
- Buy lipstick, get Kiss.
- Buy raincoat, get Weather Report.
- Buy airplane ticket, get Train.
When the new Apple Card becomes available this summer, dedicated Apple fans may rush to it. It’s worth knowing that the card isn’t as good as competitor products in the market and actually moves away from Steve Jobs’ original vision which was points for Apple products, not cash back.