Right off the top, as Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event was getting underway on Tuesday — this being the iPhone maker’s first virtual product launch event of 2021 — Apple CEO Tim Cook hit everyone with a surprise update about … Apple Card. That’s the company’s digital credit card product, which also has a companion physical card that users can forgo if they only want the digital version to keep in their iPhone’s Wallet app — and ahead of some key updates about this Apple product that’s actually one of my favorites from the company, Cook raved that Apple Card had “the most successful credit card launch ever” following its August 2019 introduction.
He pointed to things that the Apple Card improved on, like a lack of fairness in the industry around how credit scores are calculated. And then he got down to business, unveiling an Apple Card update that certain users (families) are going to particularly love. Apple is calling the update Apple Card Family, and it includes the ability of spouses to now share Apple Card credit lines, and to add children as approved users.
Starting in May, Apple Card Family will allow people to co-own one of the iPhone maker’s credit cards, letting them share and merge their credit lines. Per Apple, Apple Card Family also “enables parents to share Apple Card with their children, while offering optional spending limits and controls to help teach smart and safe financial habits. Apple Card Family is designed to help the Family Sharing group achieve a healthier financial life by making it easy to track spending, all on iPhone and with a single monthly bill.”
“There’s been a lack of transparency and consumer understanding in the way credit scores are calculated when there are two users of the same credit card, since the primary account holder receives the benefit of building a strong credit history while the other does not,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay. “Apple Card Family lets people build their credit history together equally.”
Very excited about the new Apple Card feature that makes it easy to help your kids (and anyone else you add) to build credit. Such a big perk for families! https://t.co/iSoqfHpwID
— Zach Honig (@ZachHonig) April 20, 2021
- What all this means, if you’re an Apple Card owner — going forward, you’ll be able to add up to five people to your Apple Card account. All users must be part of the same Family Sharing group and be at least 13 years old.
- Co-owners and participants will all receive Daily Cash back for Apple Card purchases they make with the shared Apple Card. Also, if existing Apple Card owners merge their accounts, they’ll be able to keep the lower APR of the two accounts.
Of course, my favorite aspects of being an Apple Card owner (beyond the lack of a physical card to hand back and forth, which is great for the coronavirus era) include the lack of fees. There are no annual, late, international, or over-the-limit fees associated with Apple Card. Apple Card also offers Daily Cash, which gives back up to 3% of every purchase, which breaks down as follows: Users will get unlimited 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay, and unlimited 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Store locations, on apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store, and for Apple services.