Barclays currently issues the Apple credit card. It’s fairly weak — no signup bonus, 3 points per dollar at Apple and 2 points at restaurants, with points you can redeem for Apple and iTunes gift cards.
There are no ‘benefits’ for being an Apple cardmember which I’ve never understood, other than a built-in financing offer for Apple products. Early access to products, special activations at Apple stores, some form of better treatment for cardmembers seems like a no brainer.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and Barclays are breaking up with Goldman Sachs coming in as the issuer. The decision to end the 13 year relationship was only just made in ‘recent weeks’.
Barclaycard executives managing the Apple account met at the tech giant’s Cupertino, Calif., office in recent weeks to determine whether the account—one of its most high profile—would be extended, a person familiar with the meeting said.
Via Wikimedia Commons, Credit: Calerusnak
The new Apple card will launch in early 2019. It will use the Apple Pay brand, which is confusing because that’s also Apple’s mobile wallet, but that’s probably also the point since they have a successful brand they want to continue to invest in and link an offline piece of plastic to.
Meanwhile Goldman Sachs will also be offering in-store loans to finance Apple products. Because you should totally take out a loan to buy a cell phone (which by the way most of you do through your cell phone provider already).
It’s unclear what benefits or rebates on spend will come withe Apple card, or which payment network (Visa, Mastercard) it will use. While there’s already an Apple Visa, it hasn’t made much of a splash, a new ‘Apple Pay’ card has the potential to re-launch their co-brand revenue stream depending on how it’s developed.
Barclays meanwhile launched the Uber Visa in the fall albeit without Uber-specific benefits, and Airbnb is still expected to eventually have a loyalty program and a credit card deal.