Here’s why you’re only getting 1% cash back with the physical Apple Card

Created by Apple and designed for iPhone, Apple Card brings together Apple’s hardware, software and services to transform the entire credit card experience.
Created by Apple and designed for iPhone, Apple Card brings together Apple’s hardware, software and services to transform the entire credit card experience.

Now that you’ve got your Apple Card, you might be wondering why you’ve only been getting 1% back in Daily Cash…

Amber Neely for AppleInsider:

If you’re looking to get the full 3% cash back from Apple Card purchases, you’ll only be able to get that from buying something from Apple directly. Snagging yourself a new $1,299 MacBook Pro will get you just under $40 in Daily Cash, for example. Notably, purchases from both iTunes and the App Store, as well as your subscription to Apple Music, and likely Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, will also get you 3% Daily Cash.

Using Apple Pay, on your iPhone or Apple Watch for instance, will net you back 2%. Not only is this great incentive for using Apple Pay, which is fast and convenient, it helps to keep your physical Apple Card in pristine condition.

MacDailyNews Take: Deploy your physical Apple Card only as the last resort. Use your virtual Apple Card via your Apple Watch or iPhone for the best experience and the most cash back.


  1. The Card has a nice app and a pretty card, but depending on where you shop, the cashback can be pretty bad…

    This is compounded by the fact that not all places support Apple Pay—Walmart being a big one.

    Meanwhile, Discover currently has 5% cashback for anything purchased using PayPal, this includes Netflix, all Apple purchases (including Apple Store, iTunes, App Store, and so on), various retail stores including Best Buy…

    Since I probably won’t be able to buy the new iPhone unlocked from an Apple Store, my next best option would be purchasing it from Best Buy while getting around $50 cash back in the process

  2. Four years ago, I upgraded my iPhone so I could get a new Apple Watch, mostly so I could easily use Apple Pay.

    Now I have an Apple Card that doesn’t work with me watch. I have to pull my XS Max out of my pocket.

    Funny how every other credit card works, but not Apple’s own card

  3. The title of the article is “Here’s why you’re only getting 1% cash back with the physical Apple Card”. Unless the reason why is to encourage the use of ApplePay and to keep the card pristine, I could not find any reason stated in the article.

    I cannot use ApplePay at my neighborhood ice cream shop, Home Depot, any gas pump or my doctor’s office. I cannot use AppleCard at Costco because they only accept Visa. There are online sellers who sell Macintosh computers cheaper than Apple. AppleCard doesn’t offer any purchase protections or travel benefits such as extended warranty or worldwide travel accident insurance.

    My Citi DoubleCash card pays 2% on all purchases whether I pay with ApplePay or not. My Costco Visa pays 2% at Costco, 3% at the ice cream shop (and all restaurants and travel), 4% at the gas pump, 1% everywhere else.

    My Costco Visa gives a 2-years additional warranty on everything I buy, so if I buy a Macintosh from a lower priced online seller, I’ll not only save money, but I’ll get a cumulative 3-years of hardware warranty and not need to pay for AppleCare.

    If I buy a MacBook Pro from Apple for $1299 with AppleCard so I get 3% cash back here is my out the door price tag:
    MacBook Pro: $1299.00
    AppleCare 3 years: $269.00
    Calif Sales Tax: $160.72
    California Recycling Fee: $5.00
    Subtotal: $1733.72
    3% AppleCard Cash Back: $52.01
    TOTAL: $1681.71

    If I buy a MacBook Pro from an online seller for $1224.99 with Costco Visa so I get 1% cash back and 2 years of additional warranty for free, here is my out the door price tag:
    MacBook Pro: $1224.99
    Warranty 3 years: $0
    Sales Tax: $0
    Recycling Fee: $5
    Subtotal: $1229.99
    1% Cash Back: $12.30
    TOTAL: $1217.69

    Total Savings by NOT buying from Apple with AppleCard: $464

    Rather than “boo hoo” me in the comments, please provide intelligent reasons how I would benefit from an AppleCard. Thanks a lot guys and gals!

    1. Bryan, if you’re a resident of California I wonder how you’re able to purchase a MacBook Pro from an online seller without running afoul of the law. Your state requires you to pay sales tax.

      1. Hey cjboffoli, that’s a good point. If an out of state seller does not charge California Sales Tax, then the tax payer must report the out of state purchase on his California Income Tax Return. That would be about $104. So it is still $360.94 less expensive to purchase a MacBook Pro 13-inch from an online seller than to buy the MacBook Pro and AppleCare from Apple using Apple Card.

    2. You wouldn’t benefit, so why would you? Like do you want an Apple Card soooooooo much that you want someone to convince you of it?

      Like pretty much everything you don’t like, there are others out there that like the exact same thing. And that’s OK 🙂

      1. Hi Wrong Again! You’re right. I cannot see a benefit to the Apple Card. I only was rhetorically asking someone to convince me of it because there has been so much hype about the new Apple Card that I thought that someone in this forum might have noticed something that I missed to make having the card worthwhile. I appreciate your comment.

    3. Some good points. You might check your CDW coverage on the Citi card; they have eliminated it on several of their MC cards. Also, the Citi card charges 3% foreign transaction fee.

      Having said that, the benefits on the Apple card are disappointing, especially the lack of CDW. We really need that when renting a car outside the country; it’s not easy or cheap if the card does not cover it.

      1. Hi Paul. Citi did not remove extended warranty from their Costco Anywhere Visa Card. suggest this card for purchases of MacBook Pros from online sellers in order to take advantage of free 2 years additional warranty.

        Citi’s Costco Visa is also a good choice for travel purchases because it pays 3% rewards, Citi did not remove collision deductible waiver and travel accident insurance benefits from this card and it does not charge an international transaction fee.

        Citi did remove most of their card benefits from the Citi DoubleCash card, which was an unfortunate move on their part. However, I still use this card to get 2% cash back on things like paying for auto insurance, homeowners insurance, prescriptions, doctor appointments, utility bills, clothing and other items that wouldn’t be eligible for an extended warranty.

  4. I use the Apple Card in restaurants. I’ve had waiter say “never seen one like that” I said, yes, it’s a near theft proof card. Perfect for when the waiter disappears with your card.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.