What You Need to Know About the New Apple Credit Card

Man in light green shirt shopping on a tablet with his apple credit card

UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned here.

The Apple credit card launches this summer, and it pairs the high-tech, app-based culture of the brand with some favorite credit card user perks. Before you join the flock likely to flood Apple with credit card applications, do your homework to make sure this card will meet your needs. Check out the details about the Apple credit card below, as well as some alternative credit cards you might apply for.

What’s the Apple Credit Card?

The Apple credit card is a payment card offered by Apple and issued by Goldman Sachs. Despite the Apple name on the card, whether or not a consumer is approved and the day-to-day financial management of accounts is handled by Goldman Sachs.

The design of the card and all its cash-back credit card perks, however, are courtesy of Apple and include:

  • Integration with Apple Pay and Apple Wallet
  • Integration with your iPhone or another iOS mobile device to support phone-based payments and access to accounts
  • Apple’s customary security and privacy levels
  • Cash back offers that are especially useful to Apple fans

Basic facts to know about the new Apple credit card include:

  • It comes with a 49% to 23.49% variable APR (as of 12/19/2019) depending on your creditworthiness.
  • You earn 1 to 3% cash back on purchases.
  • The Apple credit card doesn’t come with any fees—that includes no annual fee, late payment fees, foreign transaction fee and over-limit fees.
  • Though you do receive a physical card whose number you can use in Google Wallet, the Apple credit card also comes as a virtual card number designed to live in your Apple Wallet.

The wide range APRs suggest so some that the card may be available to people with a fair credit score.1 No one will know until the card actually launches though.

Benefits and Perks of the Apple Credit Card

While interest rates and credit limits are important, most consumers also choose a card based on the perks its rewards program affords them. Intelligent use of perk-related cards, such as travel rewards cards, can help you save money or earn extra pennies on cash you already plan to spend. Here’s a look at how Apple credit card perks stack up for users.

Expense and Spending Organization in One Place

Apple is making a big deal out of the user experience element of this credit card, which involves heavy integration with iPhones. The card itself is housed in the Apple Wallet app on your iOS device. Since you can only use the digital version of the card where Apple Pay is accepted, you also get a unique physical card that’s as sleek and high-tech as any Apple device.

The card’s digital component offers specific benefits:

  • You can apply for the card and, if approved, it’s immediately in your Wallet app. You can start using it the same day without waiting for a card to arrive in the mail.
  • Without using a physical card, you don’t have a card number or other elements that can be stolen, which increases the security of your account.

Apple also provides an app that lets you manage your spending and account in a single location. You can view charges based on a map to figure out where money was spent, get a color-coded breakdown of your expenses to help you budget and view visual and numeric information about how various payment amounts impact the total owed. Log in to the app when you’re ready to make a payment on your account, and you’re also provided with estimates on how much interest you’ll be charged and can see how much interest you’ll pay if you pay your card off sooner than later and vice versa.

Cash Back and Daily Cash Back with Some Purchases

The card gives account holders the chance to earn cash-back rewards too. And you get even more cash back rewards when you spend with Apple.

  • You get 3% cash back on all purchases from Apple. That includes purchases at apple.com, Apple stores, iTunes and the Apple app store. You earn cash back on the game, app and in-app purchases, including music, storage plans and books.
  • You get 2% cash back on anything else you purchase and pay with using Apple Pay.
  • If you have to break out the physical Apple Card to make a payment, you still earn 1% cash back.

Cash back is always a great perk for a credit card, but it’s especially nice when the card doesn’t have an annual fee. The Apple credit card makes cash back even more of a perk by awarding it to you the day after you spend rather than waiting for the statement cycle to close.

To make use of cash back the next day, you do have to have an Apple Cash card, which is how Apple transmits rewards to you. If you don’t have an Apple Cash card, then the cash back rewards are applied as a statement credit on your Apple credit card account.

Who Benefits Most from This Credit Card?

Because of its heavy integration with iOS technology and the Apple Wallet, the Apple credit card is more likely to be useful to Apple customers. Individuals who carry Android or other devices won’t be able to access many of the features available with this card. And if you’re not shopping with Apple or using Apple Pay, you miss the top tier cash-back rewards.

You might benefit from this card if:

  • You have an iPhone, especially if you’re prone to or like the idea of handling your finances via a single app on your device.
  • You’re an avid user of Apple technology and have already adopted Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.
  • You make a lot of purchases at Apple’s stores or using Apple subscriptions or the Apple app stores.

Alternatives to the Apple Credit Card

The Apple credit card is obviously not right for everyone. If you don’t have an iPhone, prefer Android or aren’t interested in using any or much technology for your financial management, you may want to opt for a different kind of credit card account.

For those who don’t fit the target audience for the Apple credit card, plenty of other rewards cards are available. Here are a few you might consider.

  • The Chase Freedom® Unlimited card comes with 3% cash back on your first $20,000 in purchases your first year as a cardholder. After that, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.The extra cash back your first year makes this card ideal in order to maximize your rewards. And the 1.5% after that is nothing is nothing to sneeze at.
  • The American Express® Gold card, which does require decent credit but offers some spectacular perks for those who love a fine dining experience or are always chasing the next fun foodie adventure. This card is also known as a great travel rewards card.
  • The Capital One® Quicksilver® card, which offers unlimited 1.5% cash back without limits. That makes this card an ideal daily swiper. And an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months lets you double your rewards by making a large purchase and paying it off without interest in the first year or so.
  • The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards is a rewards card option for people with bad, poor or fair credit. It lets cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase (some terms apply).

Apple isn’t the only—or first—company to enter the market of branded credit cards. If you like the idea of rewards that are brand-based, but you don’t use an iPhone or spend a lot at the Apple store, consider some of the options below.

  • The Montgomery Ward credit card that lets you buy now and pay later for hundreds of brands at Montgomery Ward.
  • The Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa® card that lets you earn rewards to use for free groceries and to save on gas.
  • The Official NASCAR® Credit card from Credit One Bank® that pays you double cash back on items purchased from the NASCAR.com Superstore (terms apply) and 1% cashback on all other purchases too.

Ultimately, there’s a credit card option for almost any spending or financial goal. Browse the selection of offers on Credit.com to find a card that works for your needs and preferences, including:

  • Cards for building or repairing credit, which usually start with lower limits that grow as you handle the account responsibly.
  • Balance transfer cards, which let you move balances from higher-interest accounts and pay them down faster to save money.
  • Rewards cards, which let you earn money on expenses you would be paying anyway, including travel, utilities, food and clothing.
  • Cards with no annual fee that let you avoid paying the card issuer to use your credit card.

Whether or not you’re approved for the Apple credit card or any of these other card offers depends on your creditworthiness. Review the information about each credit card carefully, ensuring you understand the offers, fees and rewards structures. Then, check your credit score—for free—and apply for a credit card on Credit.com.

1 https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/26/apple-credit-card-read-the-fine-print.html

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post What You Need to Know About the New Apple Credit Card appeared first on Credit.com.

Source: credit.com

Aspiration Review: A Neobank Working For Social Change

Aspiration provides members the tools they need to reduce their carbon footprint and make a social impact. Your account will allow you to support purpose-driven businesses and watch the difference your purchases make. At the same time, you’ll also benefit from cash back rewards, fees you choose yourself, and access to more than 55,000 ATMs.

Source: moneyunder30.com

5 Credit Cards for the Avid Nature-Lover

Even better than the great outdoors? A credit card that rewards you for loving them.

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

If the great outdoors is your ideal destination, the world is full of opportunities for your next vacation or weekend activity. But while your hobbies may be cheap compared to luxury hotels and shopping trips, you still have to pay for outdoor gear, gas and more.

Certain credit cards can help you fund your outdoor adventures and make them more affordable. Here are five credit cards for the nature-lover.

1. Cabela’s Club Visa Classic

Rewards: 2% points back on Cabela’s purchases and at participating Cenex convenience store locations, 1% points back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $25 in points upon approval and $10 in points when you make five purchases in 30 days
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 9.99% on Cabela’s purchases. 16.99%, 19.99% or 25.99% for other purchases, based on your creditworthiness (as of 12/19/2019).
Why We Picked It: Cabela’s shoppers earn points good for purchases at the outdoor supplier.
For Your Outdoor Needs: The card earns 2% points on all Cabela’s purchases and 1% points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for free gear and outdoor experiences at Cabela’s.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend thousands of dollars a year at Cabela’s, keep looking.

2. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard

Rewards: 5% points on Bass Pro Shops purchases, 1% rewards points on everything else
Signup Bonus: $20 statement credit when you spend $100 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 9.99% for purchases at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. 16.99%, 19.99% or 25.99% for other purchases, based on your creditworthiness (as of 12/19/2019).
Why We Picked It: Shoppers earn points for future Bass Pro Shops purchases and get access to special discounts all year round.
For Your Outdoor Needs: Cardholders earn 5% points on Bass Pro Shops purchases and 1% points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for goods and merchandise at Bass Pro Shops’ retail locations, website and catalog.
Drawbacks: If you aren’t a die-hard Bass Pro Shops customer, this card won’t provide much value.
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3. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year, 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (you will need a paid Costco membership)
APR: [carddata api_url=”https://static.ccom-cdn.com/credit/api/creditcard/v2/offer/citi-costco-citibankcreditcardoffers?af=32806″ option=”onGoingApr”]
Why We Picked It: Costco offers a wide variety of outdoor and sporting products and cardholders can earn big cash back rewards. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your Outdoor Needs: With this card, Costco members can get 2% cash back at Costco, which stocks supplies including camping gear, groceries and outdoor apparel. The additional cash back rates provide many ways to earn cash back on your excursions.
Drawbacks: The card is only available to those with an active Costco membership.–>

3. REI Co-op Credit Card

Rewards: 5% back on REI purchases, 1% back on all other purchases
Signup Bonus: $100 REI gift card upon your first purchase
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 12.49% – 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness (as of 12/19/2019).
Why We Picked It: REI shoppers can earn annually distributed rebates on all purchases on top of REI’s member dividend, a profit-sharing program.
For Your Outdoor Needs: The card earns 5% back on REI purchases and 1% back on all other purchases, with rewards distributed annually in the form of a rebate. That’s on top of your REI member dividend, a profit-sharing feature that typically earns you 10% back on your annual REI spending. Plus, every time you use your card, REI will make a donation to the National Forest Foundation.
Drawbacks: This card is only valuable if you spend a lot at REI.

4. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at U.S. supermarkets, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and 1% cash back on everything else
Welcome Offer: $250 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offer may vary)
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases , then 13.99%-23.99% Variable
Why We Picked It: If you travel by car and do your own cooking, this card can earn a lot of cash back.
For Your Outdoor Needs: With 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, you’ll put money back in your pocket every time you gas up or stock up on s’mores supplies. There’s also a nice $250 welcome offer.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.

How to Choose a Card for Your Next Adventure

When you’re choosing a card for your outdoor adventures, try to identify the cards that best reward your spending habits.

If you spend thousands of dollars annually at one outdoor supplier, a store-branded credit card may provide a good return. But if you tend to spread your purchases around, you should look for a card that isn’t tied to one store.

Try to choose a card that will reward the way you like to travel. For example, if you like taking road trips to camping destinations, a card with strong cash back rates on gas and groceries might be the right fit. Also be sure to check the redemption options for all rewards, as they vary between cards.

What Credit Is Required for an Outdoor Credit Card?

Store-branded credit cards tend to have looser credit requirements, though this isn’t always the case – for instance, the Costco credit card requires excellent credit. General credit cards with cash back or travel rewards tend to require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you should check your credit score to make sure you have a good chance of approval. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: pixdeluxe

At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi,Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 5 Credit Cards for the Avid Nature-Lover appeared first on Credit.com.

Source: credit.com

What Is Cash Back?

What Is Cash Back?

Cash back is a rewards benefit that many credit cards offer to cardholders. By taking advantage of it, you’ll receive back a prespecified percentage of certain purchases you make. Many credit card companies will provide higher cash back rates on certain types of purchases, such as airfare, gas, food and more. Cash back is just one way that credit cards offer rewards, as mileage and points are some alternatives.

Before you spend too much money with your credit cards, make sure you have a financial plan in place. Speak with a financial advisor today.

What Is Cash Back?

The most commonly recognized style of cash back is what you have likely seen advertised as cash back credit cards. This specifically refers to earning a certain percentage of your credit card purchases back as cash rewards. However, cash back rates vary widely, as do the categories that they apply to.

You usually won’t see credit card cash back rates higher than 5%, while 1% is the typically minimum you will earn. Cash back categorization is significantly more complex though, with a merchant category code (MCC) system being the main organizing force.

MCCs run the entire cash back industry, as they ultimately decide how each purchase you make is classified. These designations coincide with cash back rates set by the issuer of your card. For example, you could use your card for a $50 dinner at a steakhouse, which has a “restaurant” code. If your card offers a 2% cash back rate on all spending at restaurants, you’d earn $1 cash back.

Familiar alternatives to cash back include point- and mile-based programs, though many cardholders are partial to cash back. Cash back affords cardholders an independence that is ideal, since you can redeem it for nearly anything.

Popular Cash Back Credit Cards

What Is Cash Back?

Discover, American Express, Mastercard and Visa all have cash back rewards credit cards available for prospective cardholders. Each abide by their own set of regulations, though card issuers decide on cash back rates, promotions and bonuses. Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Capital One represent some of the most active card issuers on the market today.

Below are a few examples of what you can expect to earn when looking for a cash back credit card:

Cash Back Credit Cards Card Name Cash Back Rates Cash Back Bonus Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi 4% cash back on eligible gas up to $7,000 per year, 3% cash back on eligible travel and restaurants, 2% cash back in-store and online with Costco and 1% cash back elsewhere None Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card 3% cash back in a category of your choosing, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases (up to a quarterly cap of $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/choice category purchases) $200 bonus cash back for spending at least $1,000 over your first 90 days Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Unlimited 1.5% cash back everywhere $150 cash back bonus when you spend $500 during your first three months Citi Double Cash Card 1% cash back on your purchases and another 1% cash back when you pay your bill None Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back elsewhere $300 cash back bonus for $3,000 spent over your first three months TD Cash Visa® Credit Card 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back at supermarkets and 1% cash back on everything else Earn $150 cash back when spending $500 within the first 90 days (See Terms) USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything None Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on other purchases $150 bonus cash back for spending $1,000 over your first six months Getting Cash Back at Retailers

What Is Cash Back?

Picture this: you’re buying some groceries on a Sunday morning, but know you’ll need $40 cash to fill up your car with some gas later. You could swipe your debit card at the supermarket and then head over to the ATM. Or you could ask for cash back right from the cashier, eliminating the extra errand.

The above situation represents the alternative definition of cash back. It’s ultimately the use of a cash register as if you were swiping your debit card at the ATM. When you request cash back from a cashier, your bank account will be charged the amount you asked for. This enables the funds to be pulled from your account so the cash can be placed in your hand.

Although this generally only applies to debit cards, there are a few exceptions for credit cards. Discover® allows cardholders to ask for cash back at more than 50 large retail stores without a transaction fee.

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to utilizing credit card rewards programs. But spending money that technically isn’t yours will always involve some level of risk. If you’re in good financial shape, though, cash back and other types of credit card rewards can help you take more vacations, save money on purchases and more.

Credit Card Tips

  • Managing your credit cards and any debt you accumulate using them is a major part of your long-term financial outlook. Consider working with a financial advisor to make sure you’re managing your money with your goals for the future in mind. SmartAsset’s free matching tool can connect you with up to three advisors in your area. Get started now.
  • If you’re someone who wants freedom when spending credit card rewards, you may prefer cash back to a points- or mileage-based reward system. However, keep in mind that cash back rates are sometimes less than those in point-centric programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which SmartAsset.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). SmartAsset.com does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

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