Snippet: Apple Card: What vs. How ☇

Shared on August 26, 2019

Jean-Louis Gassée:

When it comes to rewards, the critics are correct: None of the Apple Card features and benefits top what other credit cards offer in this very diverse and fast-moving industry. And this is where the kommentariat get it wrong. Rewards isn’t the game that Apple Card is playing.

For a sufficiently large number of Apple customers, the new payment system is a classic How vs What proposition — and the “How” wins. The Wallet app offers complete control over purchases, payments, rebates, timing, and security, all in one place. As for security, three different card numbers track purchases made with the physical card, with a card number on line, or with Apple Pay on your Watch or iPhone. No need to use a special third party app, such as the excellent Mint. Everything is built into the Wallet, itself built in every iPhone and iPad.

I’ve dabbled in the credit card rewards game (always pay your balance off in full, kids!) and thought the Apple Card checked many of the boxes for me—most of my monthly transactions are with Apple Pay. Critics on blogs, discussion boards, and the like tend to focus on how the rewards and features aren’t there compared with some of the transfer-for-travel points cards, but it’s like many other Apple products—a nice interface, good design, and a pleasant experience.

Will I be canceling my other cards? Certainly not, but the Apple Card has taken a spot as my go-to default card, unless another one earns higher (my others have 4% or 5% on specific categories) or the merchant doesn’t take Mastercard. I’m also excited to see what changes come along in the future, like the surprise 3% back on Uber and Uber Eats.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.