Apple announced a virtual credit card in March this year. Yes, really. The Cupertino company teamed up with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard to launch the Apple Card, designed to offer users a "healthier financial life".
This is everything you need to know about the Apple Card, including how it works, when it will be available and what features it offers.
When will the Apple Card be available?
The Apple Card has started a "preview rollout" from 6 August 2019. The Verge says a random selection of people who signed up to be notified when information was available about the Apple Card will be invited to sign up for the credit card in the preview rollout. It's not clear how many people are in the preview rollout though.
With the rollout starting though, the Apple Card is expected to be coming to qualified users in the US over the next couple of months. Availability in other countries has yet to be announced.
You can sign up to be notified when more information is available on the Apple US site.
How do you sign up for Apple Card?
Apple has attempted to simplify signing up for a credit card, allowing users to simply sign up for the Apple Card on their iPhone. According to The Verge's report, sign up requires iOS 12.4 and you'll need to enter your address, birthday, income and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
The information is then submitted to Goldman Sachs to approve or decline your application in real time. It's said to take less than a minute but you will be submitted to a TransUnion credit check.
if approved, Apple Card will then appear immediately in Apple Wallet and you'll be able to start using it straight away.
Where will you be able to use Apple Card?
You'll be able to pay with your Apple Card worldwide, anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted, thanks to the MasterCard backing.
Apple Pay is currently available in over 40 countries, and in 70 per cent of merchants in the US, 85 per cent in the UK and 99 per cent in Australia.
You'll be able to access a virtual number in the Wallet app that can be used in places contactless payments aren't accepted. You can request a new virtual number at any time.
What interest rate will the Apple Card have?
The Apple Card fine print says variable APRs will range from 12.99 per cent to 23.99 per cent, depending on your credit rating. These rates were as of 2 August 2019 and may change by the time Apple Card launches.
The Apple Card will make interest more transparent in Apple Wallet though, breaking down transactions and showing you exactly how much interest you will be paying in real time.
What rewards will you get with Apple Card?
Some credit cards offer cash back, some Avios, others vouchers. The Apple Card will offer what Apple is calling Daily Cash. Users will receive immediate cash back everyday.
You'll get 2 per cent cash back on all purchases through Apple Pay, which will appear daily in your account for you to do whatever you want with. For Apple Store, App Store and Apple Services purchases, you'll get 3 per cent cash back.
If you use the physical Apple Card - more on that in a minute - you'll get 1 per cent cash back.
Daily cash is unlimited so there is no cap on how much cash back you can make.
How do you pay your Apple Card bill?
Most credit cards offer a monthly statement, after which you pay a specific amount by a certain date before interest starts. It is typically possible to pay money off whenever you like of course, but it isn't always easy to see what's coming and going.
With the Apple Card, you can choose to pay more often, whether that's weekly, monthly or fortnightly, and the real-time interest is designed to help you make more informed payment decision.
You won't be able to pay your Apple Card bill online though - you'll need an iOS device for that. Currently, it's claimed the only way you can pay your Apple Card balance if your iOS device is lost or stolen is through another iOS device connected to your account or by calling Apple Support and verifying yourself to pay the balance on the phone.
What about fees on the Apple Card?
According to Apple, there are no fees for the Apple Card. No late payment fees, no annual fees, no international fees and no over limit fees.
Late or missed payments will result in additional interest accumulating towards your balance.
Is there a physical Apple Card?
Yes, but it isn't plastic. The Apple Card is made from titanium, because you know, why not? It doesn't have a long number on the front, nor an expiry date or a CVV number and there is no signature strip either.
Instead, Apple Card details can be found in Apple Wallet. The physical titanium card only has a chip, along with a laser-etched Apple logo and your name. The Verge's report says you can request the titanium Apple Card when you sign up for the Apple Card and the envelope it comes in has an NFC tag that you'll just need to tap your iPhone against to activate.
The titanium Apple Card doesn't support contactless payments.
Is the Apple Card secure?
Your Apple Card's unique card number is created on iPhone and stored in the device's Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay.
Apple also claims the security and privacy architecture created for Apple Card means Apple doesn't know what you have bought, where you bought it, or how much you spent.
Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, says it will never share your data with third party companies for marketing or advertising.
What other features does the Apple Card offer?
The Apple Card is designed to offer simplicity. The Apple Card section of Apple Wallet will offer clear indications of your transactions, how much you owe, when your payment is due and how much you have spent.
Apple Card uses machine learning and Apple Maps to label transactions. All transactions will display names and locations you recognise, with Apple Maps showing where you spent it.
Categories will also be colour-coded to help you quickly see what you have spent money on. For example, food and drink is orange, shopping is yellow and entertainment is purple. You'll get spend trends every week and month too so you'll know straight away if you've spent a lot of clothes that week or month, for example.
You'll also be able to message Apple Card Support through Messages, 24/7, and ask any questions you might have.