Apple announced on Tuesday, August 20, that it's opening applications for the Apple Card to all consumers. In the announcement, Apple stated it's also extending 3% cash back to more merchants and apps, starting with Uber.
In its initial offer, cardholders only earned 3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties), but now they can earn 3% on Uber and Uber Eats purchases made with your Apple Card via Apple Pay. This enhancement puts the Apple Card in direct competition with the Uber Visa Card, which also awards bonus cash back on Uber and UberEats purchases.
Update: Since launch, Apple continues to add new merchants that offer 3% cash back when you use your Apple Card via Apple Pay. New additions include: at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app, on walgreens.com and at T-Mobile stores.
Below, CNBC Make It compared the new updates to the Apple Card with the Uber Visa Card to see which card is the best for Uber purchases and everyday use.
The Apple Card and Uber Visa Card both have no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. However, when it comes to interest rates, the Apple Card beats the Uber Visa Card. The Apple Card has an overall lower variable APR range of 12.99% to 23.99% compared to the Uber Visa Card with 17.99%, 23.99% or 28.74%.
Winner: Apple Card with its lower APR range, which minimizes interest charges on unpaid balances.
The Uber Visa Card is geared toward foodies and travelers, while the Apple Card is aimed at iPhone users and fans of the tech company's products.
The Uber Visa Card earns 4% cash back on UberEats purchases and 2% cash back on Uber rides. That's compared to the Apple Card's 3% cash back on both Uber and UberEats. It's clear that the Uber Visa Card is better for UberEats and the Apple Card for Uber rides.
However, there's a catch when using the Apple Card to pay for Uber and UberEats: You need to pay with your Apple Card from Apple Pay. That means under payment methods in the Uber app, you need to select the Apple Pay option and then choose your Apple Card. You don't want to manually enter (and then store) your Apple Card's credit card number in your Uber app. If you do, you'll only earn 1% cash back because you aren't paying via Apple Pay.
Beyond Uber-related rewards, the Uber Visa Card also offers 4% back on dining, 3% on hotel and airfare, 2% on online purchases (which includes streaming subscriptions) and 1% on all other purchases.
The Apple Card earns 3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties), at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app, on walgreens.com and at T-Mobile stores, 2% cash back on all other Apple Pay purchases (which Apple says is accepted by 70% of all merchants, and includes businesses from Target to Airbnb) and 1% cash back on everything else.
Winner: It depends on your spending habits — the Apple Card is best for fans of Apple products, frequent users of Apple Pay and Uber rides, while the Uber Visa Card is for foodies, travelers and UberEats consumers.
Both cards let you redeem points on-the-go directly from the Apple Wallet app or Uber app, respectively. However, the Apple Card has no minimum rewards redemption amount — meaning you can redeem cash back at $0.05, $5, $25 or any other amount. Cash back can be redeemed in a number of ways: applied as a statement credit to your Apple Card balance, spent like cash through Apple Cash, transferred to a bank account or sent to friends via iMessage.
The Uber Visa card requires you to accrue 500 points ($5) to redeem for Uber Cash and 2,500 points ($25) for all other redemptions, which include cash back and gift cards.
The Apple Card's Daily Cash and the Uber Visa Card's points both post to your account quicker than typical credit cards that take one billing cycle. Daily Cash is deposited at the end of every day, once the transaction posts to your account. Similarly, Uber points are available the business day after the transaction posts to your account.
Winner: The Apple Card with its Daily Cash program that deposits cash back at the end of every day (compared to the Uber Visa Card, which waits until the next business day after a transaction posts). Plus, the Apple Card lets you redeem cash back for any amount.
Beyond the Daily Cash rewards program, the Apple Card is pretty basic. The card has no fees, which is helpful for cardholders who miss payments or travel abroad, but you won't benefit from welcome bonus or additional perks.
The Uber Visa Card stands out thanks to a $100 bonus you earn after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Plus, you can receive up to a $50 statement credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 or more on your card per year. There's also cell phone protection up to $600 for damage or theft when you pay your bill with your card.
Winner: Uber Visa Card with a welcome bonus, annual statement credit for online subscription services and cell phone protection.
The best card for Uber depends on what Uber services you use most frequently. If you take more Uber rides, the Apple Card will earn you more cash back. But, if you frequently use UberEats and dine out more in general, the Uber Visa Card is a better choice.
For consumers who use both Uber and UberEats, it's a toss-up between both cards. Looking beyond Uber rewards, foodies and travelers can benefit more from the Uber Visa Card, while fans of Apple can get more value from the Apple Card.
You can maximize rewards by having both the Apple Card and Uber Visa Card, or simply choose one card based on the overall rewards program and features.
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