Credit by Karissa Bell
Apple wants a permanent place in your wallet, and beginning this summer, you'll be able to give it one.
The company announced Monday that it's launching Apple Card, a new credit card made for the iPhone. The card, which is both a digital card in the Wallet app and a physical MasterCard, is meant to be easier to use and understand than most conventional credit cards, according to Apple. And it boasts some intriguing benefits, like no fees and a daily rewards program.
A digital card and a physical card
A shiny, laser-etched titanium card with an Apple logo may feel like the ultimate status symbol, but Apple Card is really optimized for mobile payments. This means you can use it anywhere that takes Apple Pay, and there are some pretty big incentives to do so.
That's because purchases made via Apple Pay — either in apps or at businesses' NFC terminals — earn 2 percent back in "Daily Cash" rewards, while old-fashioned credit card swipes only earn you 1 percent. (Apple Pay purchases directly from Apple earn the most at 3 percent back)
You don't need to worry about the actual card number
Speaking of the physical card, one of the more interesting aspects of the card itself is that it has no numbers on the front or back. While this helps give the physical card an Apple-worthy minimalist look, it's useful in a practical sense as well.
Because your actual credit card number is generated in the Wallet app, this means you can change the number on your own, without needing to make any phone calls or have a whole new card issued. So, the next time you hear about a retailer with a big credit card breach, for example, you can simply go into the Wallet app and get a new number.
Another benefit: if you are using your Apple Card on a website or app that doesn't accept Apple Pay on its own, entering your credit card number should be a bit easier than usual. If you're using Safari on your phone or Mac, the browser will be able to automatically fill in your credit card credentials.
Apple Card comes with a rewards program called Daily Cash. It's fairly straightforward and potentially enticing, depending on your spending habits. As discussed above, you get 3 percent back on purchases from Apple (when you use Apple Pay), 2 percent back on Apple Pay transactions, and 1 percent back when you pay with the physical card. Again, it's worth repeating: you're going to want to use Apple Pay as much as possible if you want to maximize your rewards.
But there's another aspect Apple hopes will set it apart from other rewards programs: you get those rewards each day. While most credit cards require you to wait until the ned of the month to cash in on awards programs, Apple Card makes Daily Cash available at the end of the day, when funds are deposited to an Apple Pay Cash card.
You can't add authorized users
This might come as a surprise, considering Apple has been hyping Family Sharing for most of its new services, but if you get the Apple Card, you will not be able to add a family member as an authorized user.
While not a major dealbreaker, it's a drawback if you tend to share accounts with a spouse or other family members.
Keeping track of your spending
One of Apple's big selling points of its new credit card is that it aims to improve financial health by making the information around payments and transactions easier to understand. When you look at your transaction history, the app will pull in information from Apple Maps to make merchants easier to identify. The app will also help you understand your spending habits with color-coded charts that will look familiar to anyone who has used a budgeting app like Mint.