Microsoft copies Apple again, this time with an Xbox-branded Apple Card wannabe

Apple Card promotion for December 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Not content with borrowing from the Macintosh OS to build Windows back in the 1980s, Microsoft has once again drawn some inspiration from Cupertino. It was the graphical user interface back in 1988. This time, it's the Apple Card.

Introducing Xbox Mastercard, a new credit card backed by Barclays that will give gamers the chance to earn points when spending money. Those points can then be used to buy games and add-ons at, Microsoft says.

The new Xbox Mastercard won't be available to everyone, however. Microsoft says that it's going to be offered to Xbox Insiders in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii beginning on September 21.

Spend more, play more

Announced via press release, the Xbox Mastercard will eventually roll out to all Xbox gamers in the 50 United States starting at some point in 2024. Once they do get it, they'll be able to earn card points for every $1 they spend including 5x points on eligible products at the Microsoft store and 3x points on streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus.

Other bonus points will see people earn 3x card points on eligible dining delivery services like Grubhub and DoorDash, while points will also be collected on all other everyday purchases.

A slew of other benefits include a choice of card design, fraud liability protection, and online access to the cardholder's FICO Credit Score.

A lot of that will sound familiar to Apple Card customers who gain Daily Cash Rewards when making purchases. Apple often runs promotions that give people more back when they spend money at specific locations while those buying at Apple Stores also get a Daily Cash boost.

Xbox Mastercard looks set to remain a U.S.-only affair for now, much like Apple Card. Rumors of an international launch pop up from time to time but so far they're yet to come to fruition.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.