Apple's announcements yesterday were, in total, stunning. Taking on the gaming front, a curated news and magazine offering, original content creation and curation solution, oh, and offering a credit card, all in a single day? All this stuff takes a gargantuan effort to pull off, and it looks like Apple is poised to be highly successful. As for the naysayers, it's the same folks that said Apple Music would be a flop, that it couldn't ever reach 10 million subscribers, yet it is now on its way to a pay-to-play 60 million subscriber base. With 1.4 billion active Apple devices world-wide, in a majority of hands that have disposable income, the new initiatives will aid in giving Apple financial balance against iPhone. But in the short term, it is Apple's credit card announcement that intrigues me the most.
Apple's credit card, aptly named Apple Card, expands their Wallet app by adding what is essentially a digital credit card. Yes, a physical card is provided, but it need only be used at locations where Apple Pay is not available (yet). If you are into cool looking credit cards, this enters the infamous "Black" credit card territory, made of titanium with only your name and an Apple logo gracing the front.
Apple has leaped over the typical credit card industry in a few areas that the industry hast been slow, if not outright negligent, in addressing. Apple Card is simple. It has no annual fee, no late fees, and provides 2% cash back. While many cards offer no annual fee and cash back, Apple provides cash back instantly, which is dubbed Daily Cash. It can be spent, deposited or shared to others at any time, or it can simply be allowed to accrue. No waiting for an annual check to arrive (Costco anyone?). The card also shows your bills with easy to read information on where you spent the money instead of a spending amount followed by some cryptic number and letters. Every spend instantly shows up as a notification on your iPhone. Talk about instant fraud protection.
Most of this seems like nagging rudimentary stuff that should have been addressed long ago, but it took Apple to come along and make it consumer friendly and simple, in typical Apple fashion.
Apple Card won't become my only credit card, but it will supplement my Costco Citi Bank card. Analyzing my Citi Bank spending habits, only a 1/3rd of my spend take place at the 4% or 3% cash back levels, while some is at 2% and a large majority at 1%. For the 2% and 1% spending, I'll use Apple Card. The cash comes back to me instantly with every purchase, the data on my spending habits is easily curated and understandable, and the cash back is easy to move, spend or save. It should save me an extra $150 or so a year, and that's simple Apple value that makes sense.
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