What credit score you need to get an Apple Card — and save 3% on the new iPhone 14

Personal finance

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The Apple Card is getting a lot of attention lately. It doesn’t hurt that the credit card can score you a discount on the newest iPhone 14 and other devices purchased directly from Apple.

Apple’s new iPhones are available to order starting Friday, and although there was no price hike for the latest model, they’ll still set you back $999 for the smaller size and $1,099 for the bigger one.

However, if you have an Apple Card you can get 3% back on the purchase price, in addition to the option to pay for your new device in monthly installments, interest-free.

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Plus, getting your hands on one is relatively easy if you are in decent credit standing.

What credit score you need to get an Apple Card

Anyone over 18 can apply from the wallet app on their iPhone.

Goldman Sachs, the bank behind the Apple Card, uses information from the credit bureaus to evaluate each application, including your credit score and your credit report, which shows your current debt obligations. It also considers the income you report on your application.

You could be denied if you’ve had a recent bankruptcy or are falling behind on your debt obligations or if your loan payments account for more than 50% of your total income, according to the company.

A credit score below 600 could also prevent you from being approved, the company said. However, that’s well below the national average, which currently stands at 716. In fact, nearly half of Americans have a credit score of 750 or higher — a rating lenders consider very good. Anything below 600 is considered fair to poor.

Because the Apple Card is so widely available to most, it’s “a good starter option,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, especially for someone who is new to credit.

If your Apple Card application was declined, there is even a Path to Apple Card program that includes steps to improve your financial picture and reapply.

Generally, the best way to increase your credit score comes down to paying your bills on time and reducing your credit card balance, Rossman said. The common advice is to keep revolving debt below 30% of your available credit to limit the impact of rising debt on your credit score.

What the Apple Card offers on interest rates, rewards

The Apple Card has a variable annual percentage rate of 13.24% to 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness, and there are no annual fees, foreign transaction fees or late payment fees.

Overall, credit card interest rates have been trending higher and are now 18.17%, on average, according to CreditCards.com.

In addition to 3% back on Apple products, cardholders can also get 3% on purchases at Uber and UberEats, Panera Bread, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, T-Mobile, Nike, and Exxon and Mobil stations or 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on everything else.

“If you want to keep it simple, the Apple Card would be a good option,” Rossman said.

For comparison, a generic cash-back card such as the Citi Double Cash Card can earn you 2% across the board and comes with an introductory rate of 0% for 18 months. After that, the variable APR jumps to 16.24% to 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. There is no annual fee for Citi’s card either, but there are other fees, for foreign transactions, cash advances and balance transfers.

Although plenty of customers have had good experiences with the Apple Card, Goldman has been dogged by an influx of billing disputes, known in the industry as chargebacks, which prompted a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau probe into those issues.

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