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INSIDER SECRET: Cash back is a simple and easy to use reward, but earning transferable bank points can be much more rewarding because it gives you the flexibility to take advantage of the best miles and points sweet spots.
After a long wait the Apple card is open for business, and while it has the sleek design you’d expect from an Apple product, it isn’t exactly the best cash-back credit card out there. Not only does the card have no intro bonus, it only earn bonus cash back on Apple purchases or purchases made with Apple Pay. You’ll only earn a piddly 1% back on all other purchases.
Best Cash Back Credit Card Alternatives to the Apple Card
With the Apple card you’ll earn cash back at the following rates:
- 3% back on Apple purchases made directly with Apple
- 3% back on Uber and UberEATS purchases
- 2% back on Apply Pay purchases
- 1% back on everything else
The Apple Pay bonus category sounds more useful than it is. Apply Pay is only available on a limited number of sites, and to use Apple Pay in a store there needs to be a special contactless card reader. With the Apple card most people will end up only earning 1% cash back on most everyday purchases. On top of that, you need to own a compatible iPhone (must support Apply Pay) with the latest version of iOS installed just to be able to apply for the Apple card.
Compare that to the Capital One SavorOne card which comes with a $150 intro bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, With the SavorOne card, you’ll earn cash back at the following rates:
- 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, including restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries, movie theaters, sports promoters, professional and semi-professional live events, amusement parks, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, record stores, pool halls and bowling alleys
- 2% cash back at grocery stores (supermarkets, meat lockers, freezers, dairy product stores and specialty markets; superstores like Walmart and Target are excluded)
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Update: In order to earn 3% back at Uber or UberEATS you need to pay through Apple Pay.
The average person will spend far more in a year on dining, entertainment and grocery stores than at Apple, Uber or with Apple Pay. On top of that, with the Capital One SavorOne’s bonus you’ll start out $150 ahead. While the Apple card earns 2% more on Apple (and Uber) purchases than the Capital One SavorOne card (3% back vs. 1% back), with the Apple card you’d have to spend $7,500 directly with Apple or Uber the first year to make up $150 difference. No thanks.
For more details check out our full Capital One SavorOne credit card review.
Personally, I’ll stick with using my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for most of my everyday purchases. It earn 1.5% cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Normally, the points you earn with the Freedom Unlimited card are worth only 1 cent each, but I can pool the points I earn onto my Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That means they instantly become worth 50% more (1.5 cents each) for travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal. So I’m basically earning 2.25% in travel rewards on every purchase I make with my Chase Freedom Unlimited card.
You could even earn more with the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back when you pay your bill). So you’ve got plenty of better options than the Apple card.
What are your thoughts on the new Apple card? Are you enough of an Apple fanatic to make it worth applying?
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