Opinion: Immediate access to cash-back rewards from Apple Card is a huge benefit

The Apple Card has been available for everyone for a few weeks now (here's how to apply for one), and the general consensus among cardholders is that it's a pretty good card with an intuitive app interface. In fact, our own Lory Gil gave the Apple Card a glowing review, and I've been using it as my primary method to pay for things (unless I get better rewards with another card) ever since I got it.

How to apply for Apple Card

One of the perks of the Apple Card is the fact that you get Daily Cash back on all of your purchases with the card, either through Apple Pay or with the physical titanium card. Remember, you get 3% cash back on purchases through Apple (Apple Store, Apple services, including iPhone Upgrade Program) and Uber/UberEats (possible rotation of merchants), 2% on all Apple Pay purchases, and 1% on purchases made with the physical card (unless it's with Apple, then it would still be 3%).

How to make purchases with Apple Card

Yes, while the percent of cash back isn't the highest, and some dedicated credit cards offer big rewards, like points toward airline tickets, I think being able to access that Daily Cash back immediately after the transaction clears is a very nice perk that people will appreciate.

You never have to wait to use it

Apple Cash Card

How to send money with Apple Pay Cash in the Messages app (Image credit: iMore)

This isn't my first credit card, and while I'm no financial expert, I understand the basics of how they work.

With my Chase Freedom card, I get 5% cash back (up to $1500) on certain categories of purchases every quarter, and then 1% on everything else. I primarily use this card only for the 5% cash back categories to maximize my benefits. I also have an Amazon Prime Visa, which gets me 5% on all my Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% on everything else. I basically just use this for Amazon and gas purchases, though I could also be using it for when I dine out.

But the problem with these types of reward systems is that, while the rewards are nice when it's 5%, you are unable to redeem your points until the statement closes. For me, this is around the end of the month. And since I don't use these cards a lot, the number of points I can redeem at the end of each statement is maybe 500 or less. I don't consider that small amount worth redeeming, so I usually just wait a few months to let it add up. So realistically, I only redeem my cash back or Amazon credit a few times per year.

Apple Card wallet

Apple Card in Apple Pay with a wallet bling bling make it rain (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The rewards are nice, but you need patience to use them. That's not the case with Apple Card. I've been using my Apple Card pretty much every day for things I would normally use my debit card on, and even replacing most of my auto-pay subscriptions. And when you use the Apple Card as your primary form of payment, the Daily Cash rewards really start to add up.

The "Daily" part of Daily Cash rewards is a little generous. You need to wait for the payment to post and not be in "Pending" status before it becomes available to you. Sometimes it takes just a day, but I've had transactions sit as "Pending" for about three days before they clear. Still, a few days is much faster than once per month, right?

If you want to use your rewards more frequently, rather than saving them up to use for something big, then Apple Card is perfect for that. But it also works for those who just want to watch all that cash back add up so they can spend it on something nice.

You don't have to do anything extra

Apple Card and Apple Cash Card

One thing I hate about redeeming rewards with my other credit cards are the hoops that you need to go through. I need to log on to my bank's portal and then go to my credit card, go to the rewards, and then either choose gift cards or just get cash back, and then redeem. After all that, I need to wait a few days before I see it in my bank account.

With Apple Card's Daily Cash rewards, I don't have to do anything. It just happens automatically once the payment clears. My Daily Cash gets deposited to my Apple Cash Card, and it's ready for me to spend on whatever I want. No extra steps or hoops to jump through to get access to your cash — I love it.

How to find your Apple Card Daily Cash

Every day, I just like to pop in to my Wallet app and check out how much Daily Cash I have accrued so far. I haven't spent any of it yet, but I like to know that it's available if I need it if an emergency comes up, use it to knock some money off my Apple Card balance, need to send someone money through Apple Cash, or just treat myself to something nice.

How to redeem Daily Cash Rewards for Apple Card

With the upcoming release of new iPhones, Apple Watches, and other Apple hardware, I could even use my Apple Card to get that 3% cash back, then use the Daily Cash towards my payment, essentially giving me a discount on my hardware purchases.

Daily Cash isn't without its own drawbacks

Apple Card and physical card

Apple Card physical and virtual (Image credit: Lory Gil / iMore)

This isn't exclusive to just Apple Card, but if make a return, your Daily Cash balance will be adjusted to reflect the refund. This means that if you preemptively spend your cash rewards, then get a refund, you will see a charge on your account for that amount to offset the rewards you spent but didn't get to keep.

This isn't just with Apple Card, though, as pretty much all credit cards will adjust your reward balance when you get a refund.

Of course, Apple Card's cash back percentages aren't the highest. If you have a card that gives you a bigger cash back bonus for certain things, then by all means, use that over Apple Card. For example, I certainly won't be using it for my Amazon purchases. If you have something like Chase Sapphire Reserve, continue using that for your travel-related purchases. I am just using my Apple Card as my primary card when it makes sense to do so, and seeing that Daily Cash add up is nice.

How are you using your Daily Cash so far?

How are you using your Daily Cash rewards from Apple Card so far? Sound off in the comments!

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.