Apple’s new Apple Card credit card is here. Well, at least in the U.S. of A. Other locales may have to wait, but it’ll get there. Apple has more than a billion customers and it needs the extra money however it comes.
We have Apple Card for every member of the immediate Mincey Plantation. Interest rates and spending limits vary, of course. I view Apple Card much like I viewed iPod and iTunes. Yes, there are alternatives, but there is a problem.
First, let me start with a little history lesson. Apple’s iPod was not the first portable music player to hit the streets, but it was nearly the last (think Zune) because it brought together into a single device what music listening customers really wanted.
A portable device that could fit into a pocket and hold more than 12 songs. iPod started off with 1,000 songs in your pocket and became a massive success because Apple did what Apple does; cobble together all the right pieces to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Apple does that with regularity and did it with iPhone, iPad, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, and now with Apple Card.
Here’s what’s happened. Whenever Apple does something new, members of the technorati elite politburo pounce on the company’s fledgling product with competitors that are, well, better. That happened with iPod, iTunes Music Store (Mac only at first), then iPhone and iPad– well, you get the idea.
Nattering nabobs of negativism love to point out where Apple does not stack up against the competition. With Apple Card, Alaina Yee did just that and found better alternatives.
Best Apple Card alternatives: 5 existing credit cards that outdo the new kid
Yep. There it is. Five cards that are better than Apple Card in every way possible. Every way? Not so fast. Some ways. Collectively.
You’ll find better interest rates and higher cash back if you venture beyond the Apple Card
Yep. There it is again.
However, better interest rates depend upon your credit score, so that’s a ‘it depends’ issue. Higher cash back? Sure. Some cards pay more, but often have a higher interest rate to match.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Apple Card isn’t exactly shabby, but has more than just the basics of credit card usage.
People mastering the basics of paying statement balances on time each month get a more generous deal than with a big bank: bigger rewards, a break on foreign transactions fees, and more leeway if they forget to pay on time.
Yee goes on to list five credit cards that each have a feature or two better than Apple Card; lower interest rates, higher cash back, and other features like a sign-up bonus, and more rewards.
So, what’s the problem?
To get all those advantages that top Apple Card you have to get all five cards. That’s five credit cards that collectively give you more than Apple Card. Or, you could just use Apple Card by itself and see why it’s the iPod of credit cards, or iPhone of credit cards– where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Apple Card combines with Apple Pay to make purchases drop dead convenient and highly secure– not something you find in most competitor cards. Here’s something we should have anticipated in our first week of using Apple Card. Jesse went on a spending spree. No, not spending more than normal, but just using Apple Card because the feedback for each purchase was instant.
What got spent, where it got spent (damn, there’s a map), how it is categorized, how much cash back came back, and, well, you get the idea. iPod was the portable music player that people wanted to use. iPhone was the smartphone people wanted to use. Watch is the smartwatch that people want to use.
Apple Card is the one that will get used. All those slightly better features that other cards have don’t matter because no single card has them all. Use five cards? Or, use one card? That’s how Apple rolls.