The much-awaited Apple Card is here. The Cupertino company has been sending invites to people in its ecosystem to sign up for its credit card. But Apple is not the first technology company to dive into the world of credit cards. Amazon has been offering the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card for a while. Let’s check out how the Apple Card stacks up against the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card.
Looking at the basics
The Apple Card is paired with the Wallet app on your iPhone or iPad. You can use it to make payments at outlets that accept Apple Pay via your iDevice. The Cupertino company also sends you a physical card that you can swipe like a regular credit card. It’s a titanium card with your name laser engraved on it. The card number is not printed on the physical card, though a virtual card number is there in the Wallet app.
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The Wallet app presents a neat summary of how much you have spent and where you spent it. It also shows you how to save on interest while you are making a payment. Since the Apple Card works only with Apple devices, you are out of luck if you are into the Android ecosystem. You need the Wallet app and an iPhone to sign up.
Amazon also sends you a physical credit card made out of shiny metal. The Amazon cards do almost the same thing. The e-commerce giant offers two Visa cards. One is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which requires you to have an Amazon Prime subscription.
For non-Prime users, there is the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. We are comparing the Prime one with Apple Card. The Prime one offers more rewards and cashbacks than the non-Prime card. The Amazon Prime subscription costs $119 per year, and is totally worth its price. It includes free and expedited shipping, Prime Video, and Prime Music services.
Fees and charges
Apple has kept it pretty simple. There is no annual fee and it doesn’t levy a fee if you miss a payment. However, you still have to pay the interest as well as the principal amount you owe. The Cupertino company’s APR varies between 13.24% and 24.24% depending on your credit score. The Apple Card is aimed at people with relatively longer credit histories.
Amazon has partnered with Chase to offer the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card. There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. But Amazon charges late fees of up to $38 plus interest if you miss payments. The APR on Prime Rewards Visa card ranges between 16.49% and 24.49% based on your creditworthiness.
Also, you must have an Amazon Prime membership to be eligible for the Prime Rewards Visa card, which costs $119 per year. As a credit card user, you should always aim to pay off your entire balance every month to avoid late fees and interests. Then the fees and charges become irrelevant.
Cashback and rewards
Apple doesn’t offer you a signup bonus. But it does offer a decent cashback that you can use to pay for purchases, pay down your credit card, or send money to your friends or family. And you don’t have to wait for the cashback as it is automatically added to your Apple Cash or the Apple Card balance.
The Apple Card offers 3% cashback on purchases from Apple stores such as Apple’s website, the physical Apple Stores, iTunes, and the App Store. Yes, in-app purchases and subscription to Apple’s services are also eligible for cashback.
You’ll earn 2% cashback when you make payments using Apple Pay via your iPhone at other stores. If a store doesn’t accept Apple Pay and you are forced to pull out your physical Apple Card to make payments, you’ll get only 1% cashback.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card gives you a $70 Amazon gift card when you are approved for the card. The gift card effectively brings down the price of Amazon Prime subscription from $119 to just $49. It also has a much better cashback program, especially if you happen to buy a lot from Amazon.
For purchases made on Amazon or Whole Foods, you get 5% cashback, which you’ll see in your account at the end of the month. But you can choose to use the cashback even before the month-end on Amazon at checkout time. Purchases at other common outlets such as restaurants, gas stations and drug stores earn you a 2% cashback. On all other purchases, you get a 1% cashback.
Amazon also offers reward points that you can redeem towards a purchase through Amazon.com or Chase. Each point equals one cent. On top of that, you can use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card for premium perks like room upgrades and VIP guest status at luxury hotels. The Amazon card also offers complimentary concierge service for arranging dinner reservations and tickets to major events.
In terms of cashback and rewards, Amazon’s card appears to be much better than the Apple Card. Even buying Apple products from Amazon will save you more money than buying them from Apple stores. That’s not only because Amazon gives you a 5% cashback but also because the products are often available at a discount on the e-commerce platform.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card offers much better rewards than the Apple Card, but you can reap all the benefits only if you are a Prime member. The Apple Card focuses on convenience and budgeting, and it’s only for Apple users.