Aug 6, 2019

Apple Cards begin to arrive in customers' phones and hands

Ina Fried, author of Login

An iPhone owner using Apple Card to make a payment. Photo: Apple

Apple today begins processing the first applications from consumers to get the new Apple Card, the credit card it is debuting in conjunction with Goldman Sachs.

Why it matters: It's part of a broader push into services from Apple, but also puts the company in direct competition with the banks and credit cards already part of Apple Pay.

  • Apple won't say how many people of those who pre-registered will be getting the cards Tuesday in the first part of what it's calling a "preview" of Apple Card.

How it works: At its base level, the Apple Card is an "iPhone-first" MasterCard that can be used anywhere Apple Pay or MasterCard is accepted. However, there are several things that make Apple Card distinct from other credit cards out there.

  • Although you can get a companion physical card, it's mobile-first and customers use an iPhone to sign up for the card, view their transactions and pay their bills.
  • The physical card has a traditional credit card number on its chip and magnetic stripe, but that number isn't on the card or otherwise visible. If they need a numeric credit card number to give out, customers can provide a different one stored on their iPhone.
  • Apple says its card has no fees including no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and no late fees. Also it doesn't boost its interest rate if customers miss a payment. (There's no cash advance/ATM fee — because the Apple Card can't be used that way.)
  • The Apple Card rewards come daily in the form of a credit to an Apple Cash account that can be spent at merchants, sent to a friend over iMessage, used to pay the credit card balance, or transferred to a bank account. Customers get 1% back on traditional card purchases, 2% on Apple Pay transactions and 3% on goods and services purchased directly from Apple.

Go deeper: Apple's growth areas rely on its shrinking iPhone business

Go deeper

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.

American society is teetering on the edge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment and escalating social unrest are all pushing American society close to the breaking point.

The big picture: Civilizations don't last forever, and when they collapse, the cause is almost always internal failure. Even in the midst of one of our darkest years, the U.S. still has many factors in its favor, but the fate of past societies holds frightening lessons for what may lie ahead.