Apple Card is coming. I want one. Why? Well, it’s not the low interest rate or the cash back feature. The former is not competitive, the latter more so. What I look forward to is what is not being mentioned much among members of the technorati elite politburo and their view of all things Apple.
Is Apple Card the best cash back credit card that keeps your interests at heart? I think there’s already a card that’s been doing this for years, and here’s why I’d choose it over Apple Card.
Before you jump on board realize that many of today’s Apple-oriented technology sites get money when they promote a company’s products, and in this case it’s an American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card.
What’s not to like?
An app to manage the card, Apple Pay experience, spending bonus, cash back, and more.
This card gets you 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S gas stations, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Unlike Apple Card, you’ll earn a valuable sign-up bonus to the tune of a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months.
What about comparing annual fees? Amex? $95. Apple Card? Free.
What about privacy?
Apple Card might be the most private card you can use so I consider that a plus.
What about perks?
Apple Card does not match this list:
Travelers can benefit from car rental loss and damage insurance, accident insurance, roadside assistance, and a global hotline built to connect to an expert for help in a number of emergency situations. Shoppers get access to 2 years of additional warranties, return protection up to 90 days, and theft and accidental damage protection for phone purchases up to 120 days. All customers also get ShopRunner, an expedited shipping service, and Entertainment Access for exclusive presales to concerts, sporting events, and more.
What’s not to like?
For one, American Express is not MasterCard. Visa and MasterCard are the credit card industry leaders among merchants. I’ve never come across a merchant that did not accept both, but plenty of merchants do not accept American Express.
Consumers will find it more difficult to find merchants that accept Amex cards than any of the other networks. This is true both domestically and abroad.
What’s the problem?
Some merchants refuse to work with American Express due to how expensive it is to process their transactions. Most Amex cards offer premium rewards, and each swipe from these cards can cost merchants 2.5% of the sale or more. In contrast, Visa, Mastercard and Discover can charge fees of between 1.7% to 2%.
One of the basic tenants of good financial management is to have backup credit; which can be taken as multiple credit cards.
I want Apple Card because of the benefits. I use the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express because we buy enough to make the annual fee a worthy expense. Apple Card has perks but when features are compared to competitors, the card is as much agony as it is ecstasy.