The Apple Credit Card Will Be Extremely Popular Even Though It Is Junk

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You Can Do Better Than The Apple Credit Card

Dear Apple Fans: You Can Do Better Than The Apple Credit Card

We covered the news about the upcoming launch of the new Apple credit card a little while ago.  My first impression was so what?  This thing is a dog with fleas.  Maybe calling it junk is going too far but I bet 10’s of millions of people will get the card even though they could do better.  And there probably won’t even be a welcome offer on the card.

Why I Don’t Like It

The card will earn the following rates:

  • 2% when using Apple Pay
  • 3% on Apple purchases
  • 1% back on everything else

Blah…those are pretty paltry.  You can easily earn 2% on everyday purchases with or without Apple Pay.  And unless you are buying an Apple computer every few months or accessories often you won’t use the 3% back much.  And in app purchases, who wants 3% when you can get 15% off those purchases pretty much all the time, plus 2% or more from your credit card on top of that.

Even if you are purchasing Apple products you can do better using a business card that earns 5X when purchasing it from the cell provider.  And Apple computers are for sale everywhere. You can even stack portals, rewards points, and better earning rates when you purchase them outside of Apple.

You Can Do Better Than The Apple Credit Card

What About Their Other Claims?

Don’t get me wrong instant rewards sound pretty cool.  But it isn’t anything new really.  The Barclay Arrival+ card has had you earning points as soon as your charge posts for years now.  The redemption is more restrictive but it is about the same thing.

Who cares if the card is “digital” if you can add any card to virtual wallets as it is.  I don’t see the “hype” there.

Using your card right after approval, as if we need to get less than optimal rates right away.  But even if that were the case American Express and some other banks will give you a virtual credit card number right away for online purchases. Trust me, better earnings are worth the wait anyway.

Unless this thing comes with a free Apple Watch or an iPhone I don’t see the attraction.

Then Why Will It Be Popular?

Then why will it be popular, because it is Apple.  People will pay more for similar performance, or even worse performance, just because it has an Apple logo on it.  People also like to keep everything in one family.  They become loyal to a brand that won’t be loyal to them in return. Overall most people are sheep and will go where everyone else will go. That leads to a ton of consumers using inferior products.  But the card is Titanium! They can now feel good when they rip it out of their wallet instead of using their cracked iPhone screen to pay for their coffee I guess.

Don’t be a part of the flock, demand better! Just so you don’t think I am a Apple hater or Android lover etc. I do own an iPhone :).

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I HATE the Apple Card – got convinced to get it through hard sell at the Apple Store. Posted an honest factual review and Apple took it down as it wasn’t positive….

    1) I was told that Quicken would be supported – blatantly false and a deal breaker for me. Full Stop – this is a step BACKWARD apple – being exclusive and not supporting a portfolio aggregator.
    2) I was forced on ALL devices to start using Apple 2 factor. PLUS – now my watch AND my ipad – used totally at home, force an instant password re-log in no option for a 5 minute delay or anything
    3) There is almost ZERO information on how to log in to the Goldman site – pay outside of the phone- it is Apple’s way or the highway.
    4) Compare card benefits – this is no winner. Middle of the road AT BEST.

  2. Exactly – pay for Apple products with a 5x Ink Cash card (carrier or office supply store) & everything else on a 2x Citi Double Cash. From an Apple Wallet. Done.

    I always feel iPhones are worth paying more for because they work better & faster than their competition, the credit card not.

  3. I find it interesting how some have gotten bent out of shape over the Apple Card. It really doesn’t matter how good or bad it is…well, within reason that is. Most who will get it aren’t churners but if a lot jump on it, business practices 101 says that competition will step things up to attract people to their cards. This makes it a win for many.

    Love them or hate them but with Apple being as big as they are with a very large customer base that enjoys their products, doing this just might be a good thing for the industry. I know some won’t or can’t accept that but my bet is on that it will be.

    • That is true Jim it could make others make their cards better which would be good for us. I just cringe thinking of how many people will sign up for this when there is so much more/better out there. But many people use 1% back or debit cards so I should just accept it I guess.

  4. Alot of places areound me dont take Apple Pay. Frankly if it was 2% Cashback on all spend I would probably get it and use it for certain personal spending. I like the idea on the reporting and I think the majority of the card companies can step up their game as far as better reporting/managing for personal and business cards. Most of the card websites are also in my opinion somewhat clunky. Although a few have gotten better over the years. Chase and Amex care about customers while BOA has the worst garbage system that has not been improved in EONS.

    • BOA’s system is atrocious. Especially if you throw a business card in the mix. It is like reading hieroglyphics trying to pay a business card bill online.

    • 🙂

      You just have to buy $100,000 worth of Apple products and then you are there…well maybe not on the beach but Hawaii somewhere

  5. Mark, calling it “junk” and “a dog with fleas” is awfully extreme and what I would characterize as sensationalism. The card is by no means a game-changer (nor did I expect it to be), but for the average consumer who doesn’t care to maximize earning potential via the mechanisms all too common in this “hobby” (looking for loopholes, buying and keeping track of gift cards, churning, manufactured spending, etc.) it’s really not bad. Sure, you can do better, but believe it or not a lot of people value convenience and simplicity.

    Your jab on Apple’s security made me laugh and indicates to me you don’t really understand security. Those leaked celebrity hacks were due to successful phishing attempts and not because any hackers were able to penetrate Apple’s iCloud servers. I’m not saying Apple’s security is perfect, but in the consumer space they have among the best security out there.

    • Simplicity is a Citi Doublecash or Fidelity Amex etc. for 2% back earning which would net pretty much everyone a better return than this. I am saying people will fall for the marketing and the hype when it would be towards the bottom half of no annual fee cards I would recommend. I mean Uber launched a better card than this…just think about that.

      For a company that looks to revolutionize a segment when they enter it they fell about as short as they could have imo.

      • I think you mean the Fidelity Visa card (they switched from Amex years ago). I do agree those would be better options if looking solely at earning potential, but that doesn’t factor in other considerations such as completely fee-free, near instant rewards, security, etc. Those might be low priority items to your typical “churner,” but to others those are very appealing features. To be clear, I’m not arguing that the Apple card is the best choice for most people. I’m simply saying it’s not as bad as you’re attempting to portray it to be.

        • The point of the piece was to say that pretty much everyone (99.9% of people) can do better than this card.

          Did I take it too far? Maybe. But I find their claim to be cutting edge to be taking it even further than I have and it rubbed me the wrong way.

  6. Spot on! I was going to write “Because sheep” but you beat me to it. There’s little I’m blindly loyal to outside of my family. A stagnant brand ain’t one of them!

  7. Everything you said is correct other than the aspersions you cast on Apple’s security.

    Every time a person’s iCloud account’s contents has been leaked it has been traced to the user having the same password for iCloud as their hacked Target/Home Depot/Yahoo/etc account. People are told over and over again not to use the same password in more than one account for this very reason. Saying Apple has poor security because a hacker cracked the user’s Yahoo password and used it to get into their Apple account ignores the real problem: users sharing their passwords between weak and strong systems.

    Your arguments against the new Apple credit card are well thought out, true and presented clearly and concisely. It’s just a pity you spoiled them with that one uninformed attack on their security.

  8. I assume you’re basing your blog post on the fact that it does not have miles and therefore no hacking? In actuality it just might be a wave of the future.

    • Apple hasn’t had a legitimate wave in the post-Jobs era and as of right now is solely relying on their brand and their loyal ba-aaa-aase to keep the titanic afloat.

      • Your definition of afloat is a strange one when talking about a company hovering around the trillion dollar mark and has growing services that would make most businesses drool.

        The same goes for “legitimate wave”. The Apple Watch is actually doing quite well. Same for their AirPods. Both have helped usher in better competition than before whereas earlier it was looking pretty dull, slow, and stagnant. People are being unrealistic if they expect something of the caliber of an iPhone to be what defines wave of the future.

        • Best to let this drop and not let it degenerate into an Apple/Google/iOS/Android holy war. The last time I got into a discussion with somebody about Apple hardware (specifically the newest watch) he didn’t even understand the difference between measuring a pulse and an ECG.

          • It’s not about just one product and I assure you I’m not going to delve into this any further than I have. Perhaps we can look back on this post in a few years. I doubt any of us will remember it though.

        • We can agree to disagree. Just look at their stock over the last year. Doesn’t exactly exude confidence going forward.

          • Stock price is a poor representation of a company’s image. In most cases it doesn’t represent much more than specific types of growth and has little to do with how well they’re turning in a profit. That’s not to mention how much China hurt sales growth which affected their stock.

    • Not at all. I based it on there being much better options out there in the no fee space, even cash back cards. But people will get it based on it having an Apple on it not because it offers them the best value. I also think their sales pitch about it being the future is overblown. Virtual wallets have been around for years now and this is no different than adding a Chase Freedom to Apple Pay imo.

      • That might depend on how easy it is to get a Chase Freedom compared to an Apple Card. It’s been well documented how tough it can be to get Chase cards. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple compares.

        • I am talking more about the regular Joe that doesn’t have an issue getting a Chase card. I doubt anyone in our area will care about this card unless it has a substantial bonus which I personally don’t see happening.


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