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Apple invites first customers to apply for its credit card

Key Points
  • Apple has invited the first customers to apply for its Apple Card.
  • This group of customers applied to be "notified" when the card became available.
  • Apple will release the credit card to the broader public later in August.
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After months of anticipation, Apple has invited some select customers to apply for its Apple Card.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had said during its third quarter earnings call that the new credit card, released in partnership with Goldman Sachs, would be released in August.

The card is part of Apple's broader push to expand its services business from its 1.4 billion active Apple devices. Apple is counting on services to boost revenue as iPhone sales slow. Apple reported $11.46 billion in services revenue for the third quarter, with Cook telling CNBC's Josh Lipton it was a "great services quarter."

For Goldman Sachs, it's an opportunity to expand its reach into retail banking. Mastercard will be providing the payment network for the new credit card.

The customers who got access on Tuesday morning were among those who applied to be "notified" when the card first became available. The credit card will be released to the wider public later in August. At that time, all customers will be able to apply for the card in their iPhone wallet app.

The Apple Card has no annual, transaction, penalty or other fees, and variable APRs will range from 13.24 percent to 24.42 percent based on creditworthiness, according to Goldman Sachs' customer agreement for the card, which was made public last week. Apple said it will not collect transaction data from customers who use Apple Card, reiterating its focus on customer privacy.

Users will get cash back on purchases made with the card, instead of reward points, through a tiered system. Goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, online store, iTunes and Apple Music) will get 3 percent cash back. Apple Pay purchases will get 2 percent, and all other purchases will get 1 percent daily cash back.

Apple announced its credit card at a services event in March, where it also announced its Apple TV+ streaming video service, Apple Channels and Apple News+. Since then, it has been tested internally with Apple employees.