A recent Wall Street Journal article reviews the new Apple credit card and offers a largely lukewarm assessment.
Having used the Apple Card for a few days now, I find the review largely accurate, although I think the review is correct that this card is really more for people who spend a lot in the Apple ecosystem, and is not for people who are points junkies.
The lack of interoperability with Quicken and other PFM programs is a real problem. The application process was instantaneous, as described (I did have to go and lift the freeze on my TransUnion records for a few minutes). In fact, it was so easy, it made me a little worried.
As with Marcus, it appears that Goldman Sachs is being very aggressive, with reports circulating that even subprime credits can get the card (albeit with a higher interest rate and lower credit limit). No doubt our analyst Brian Riley, Director of Credit Advisory Services at Mercator Advisory Group, will have something to say about that! However, it will buy a lot of market share very quickly, so I expect we will see good adoption.
Getting 3% back on your iTunes, App Store, Apple News (which is how I read the article – annoyingly, the WSJ paywall is extremely tight), Apple Music, iCloud, etc., is pretty cool; it goes straight to your Apple Cash account, which you can now link to iTunes to use on MORE Apple purchases. I might suggest just using it for that, as it is basically a store card. That also takes care of the PFM issue; whenever you pay it off, you can just categorize it as “Apple.”
Technically, it is still in beta, so I expect more features will be made available. It’s a success for me, because I’m heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. Will it change the world? No, but I do think it has set a usability benchmark for other issuers to copy.
Score: 7/10 – good initial implementation, but lots of room to grow.
Overview by Aaron McPherson, VP, Research Operations at Mercator Advisory Group