It's hard to imagine a company like Apple topping itself in terms of surprises. We're talking about the people that invented the iPhone, popularized keynote speeches for the tech industry and coined the famous "One More Thing..." teaser at the end of its massive events, after all. And yet, come WWDC2019, Apple does the unthinkable and debuts an unusual new product: A credit card.
Apple Card, Apple's first foray into the world of banking, made quite a splash when it was first unveiled. Fans and analysts cited its robust privacy features and integration with Apple Pay as interesting highlights, while critics took the company to task for working with famed investment bank Goldman Sachs.
But now, Apple has confirmed that it has finally opened up applications for Apple Card to the general public -- and nobody's sure what to expect! We have the latest information surrounding Apple's mysterious new card and what you need to do so you can try it for yourself.
Apple begins testing its new card with "select customers"
Updated August 20, 2019: Apple has finally opened applications for Apple Card to the public at large. Customers can now use their phones to apply via the Apple Wallet app, and if approved, will have immediate access to their card within the app itself.
The card, which is Apple's first official venture into financial services, gets daily cashback benefits on all purchases up to 3% -- and provides a number of incentives for invoking Apple Pay and App Store transactions. The Apple Card is backed by investment bank Goldman Sachs, and uses the MasterCard network for payment processing.
Apple has taken some criticism for employing Goldman Sachs to work on the card, with critics arguing that credit opportunities will be scarce for lower-income and underqualified customers. Although the card has no annual or monthly fees, the interest rates can be quite high for customers with lower credit scores -- even reaching as high as 24.24%.
How can I apply for Apple Card?
The exact process is still somewhat vague, as many of the early adopters have yet to post about their experience applying. Per Apple, when the card enjoys widespread availability, users will be able to open the Wallet app and apply right inside to receive an instant credit decision. The card will then appear alongside any existing credit or debit cards that have already been set up with Apple Pay.
Apple is aiming for a late-August release window, so if you're excited to start earning cashback for all your in-app purchases, keep an eye out for any notifications or updates from Apple. Odds are, they'll either send a notification like the early adopters received, or the rollout will be accomplished via an iOS update.
Beware of the arbitration clause
Before you sign up, you should know there’s an arbitration clause buried in the Apple card agreement.
These clauses come standard when dealing with all kinds of businesses, especially financial services. Here's the red flag when it comes to these agreements: if you agreed to an arbitration clause and a legal issue arises, you’ve basically put the final say into the hands of an arbitrator who was picked by the company. Who do you think they’re going to side with?
That, and most clauses take away your ability to sue a company or join a class action lawsuit.
The good news is, you can opt out of the arbitration clause for the Apple Card, although it's not very intuitive. Here are some of the steps you can take:
- Open the Wallet app on your iPhone and tap on Apple Card
- Look for three dots at the top right of the page that comes up, then tap Message
- Compose a brief message stating you would like to opt out of the Apple Card's arbitration clause
There are also a couple of other options, which includes calling Apple toll-free at (877) 255-5923 or mailing a physical letter to:
P.O. Box 7247
Philadelphia, PA 19170
Also keep in mind that you can only manage the card through an iPhone or another i-O-S device. And if you thought it was odd that Apple went into the credit card business in the first place, it’s not strange at all. It's just part of their greater plan to keep you from switching, no matter how much better other smartphones are becoming.
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