After a soft launch over the past couple weeks, the Apple Card is now available to all takers. Apple’s Goldman Sachs-backed credit card offers transparent transaction histories, no fees, and a variety of cash back incentives for Apple products and Apple Pay usage. Apple has also added Uber and Uber Eats to the 3 percent cash back tier.
On the one hand, I applaud much of what Apple’s doing here, including making credit cards more accessible and understandable to customers and providing a simple and streamlined process for signing up.
On the other, this is still a credit card, and marketing it as a product is deeply weird. There are plenty of other co-branded cards, but the Apple Card strikes me as something different—it is first and foremost an Apple card, after all, with the logo clearly emblazoned on the front, and the company’s aesthetic sensibilities evident throughout the design. Should credit cards—and all the attendant effects they can have on people’s live—really be pushed as a product like an iPhone or AirPods?
I haven’t yet decided if I’ll be signing up. I don’t particularly need another card, but I spend enough money in the Apple ecosystem that the cash back is appealing. I’m also hopeful that the introduction of the Apple Card might further push the adoption of Apple Pay—my recent trip to Europe has only reinforced how good contactless payments are, and I’d love to see them gain more ground here at home.