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The credit card industry has been long overdue for a new player to come in and disrupt the marketplace with new ideas and innovations that make things better for consumers. Apple Card is bringing three huge changes to how people apply, use, and manage their credit card that is so great that we wish every other credit card provider would blatantly plagiarize them. Here are the top three features of Apple Card that we wish other credit cards would steal.
While Apple Card's rewards categories are pretty standard (3% cash-back on purchases made directly from Apple, 2% cash-back on all purchases when you pay with Apple Pay, 1% cash-back when you pay using the physical card and 3% cash-back on purchases made directly from Apple) the way you receive those rewards is different than any other credit card on the market. Most cards delay giving you your rewards that for some can take upwards of two months. Sometimes it can seem like you're waiting so long for rewards that you don't even remember how you earned them.
Apple Card is going in the completely opposite direction and instead of waiting forever for your rewards, you earn them every day with Daily Cash. Every purchase that you make earns rewards that are deposited into your Apple Cash Card the next day. There are no restrictions on what kinds of purchases will earn you rewards and no limit to how much cash back you can earn. Once the cashback has been deposited onto your Apple Cash Card, you can use those funds to pay your Apple Card bill, make purchases in-store and online, and even send friends money using Apple Pay Cash. If you don't have an Apple Cash card, the money will be given to you in the form of a statement credit.
Except for a few notable outliers, most credit cards still have an antiquated process when it comes to getting to use your newly approved card. Most companies still require you to wait for your new credit card in the mail in order to activate it and use it for the first time. There is one exception with American Express, who does provide a temporary card number to use while you are waiting for your permanent card in the mail. This temporary card, however, will become essentially useless after you receive your physical card, so it's not something you should use to sign up for any kind of subscription or service that has a recurring bill.
Apple Card is taking the approval process to a new level. When you are approved for your Apple Card, Apple will still send you the physical card in the mail that you will need to activate once you receive it. However, you will also have immediate access to the digital version of your card in the Wallet app. On approval, your digital Apple Card will show up in the app and can be used to purchase anything in-store or online with merchants that accept Apple Pay. Something that sets Apple Card apart from every other card provider is that this is actually the permanent version of the card and can be set as the payment method for your subscriptions.
One of the things that most credit cards lack are solid money management and don't go much further than showing you a transaction history and a statement when it comes to your purchases. Many of us resort to third-party services like Mint to connect our credit card to in order to get a better understanding of our spending habits. The card and money management tools built into the Wallet app for your Apple Card may be its most underrated and beneficial feature of the card that goes further than any other credit card, and even more than most checking accounts, in helping you manage your finances.
You can quickly look at weekly or monthly summaries that not only allow you to see what categories you are spending in (Food and Drink, Entertainment, Shopping, etc.) but also let you spot trends to better understand and make adjustments to your overall spending. Apple Card is fully integrated with Apple Maps so that every purchase lists the actual merchant name along with its location on the map, as well as a full transaction history and monthly total spent with each merchant. When you make a payment, Apple will show you in real time how much interest you will save depending on how much you pay off. They are also allowing weekly and biweekly payments to help you save more on interest, as well as sending bill reminders to make sure you don't miss a payment.
While many credit cards have a ton of extra benefits and in certain cases more impressive rewards programs, Apple Card is set to differentiate itself from every other credit card in existence with these three features. Like many things, Apple has built an entire ecosystem around Apple Card to make the overall user experience completely unique and capable as only an Apple product could be. We can hope that this may serve as a shock to the rest of the industry to create more consumer-focused experiences.
Our favorite card
With its sign-up bonus having just jumped to 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, now's the time to add the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to your wallet. Even better, future travel and dining purchases earn 2x points per dollar spent and it includes valuable travel benefits like primary car rental insurance. All of these extras make its $95 annual fee easy to justify.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.