Apple Card: My first day with Apple's new credit card

It's only been a few hours since I signed up, but the Apple Card is already making me think about spending categories.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Early this morning, I signed up for Apple's latest product -- a credit card. More specifically, the Apple Card. By no means do I need another credit card, my wife and I had essentially paid off all debt from bad financial decisions many years ago. But, curiosity got the best of me, and I signed up. 

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Apple Card has no fees, Daily Cash rewards, a fancy physical credit card made of titanium, and account management are built directly into my iPhone. It's very much an Apple product: Minimal, easy to set up, well designed, and capable of putting you in debt if you get carried away.

The signup process took under a minute after I opened the Wallet app. After tapping a few buttons, a white Apple Card showed up in my Apple Pay account, ready for use. I drove over to Starbucks, got some coffee and a breakfast sandwich then drove home.

When I got home, I opened the Wallet app to view my transaction and noticed my Apple Card had turned partially orange. The color-changing effect is by design. Apple wants its card to bring awareness to how and where users are spending money. There are seven different spending categories, each one has its own color, and after each transaction, the color of your card will adjust to account for your latest purchase.

Around lunchtime, I asked my wife if she would pick up Chipotle for me while she was running errands. I placed the order through Chipotle's app, so she only needed to run inside, grab my food, and come home. To my surprise, Chipotle's app uses Apple Pay, so I used my Apple Card to complete the transaction. 

Now my card is entirely orange.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Because I used Apple Pay for both transactions, I'll earn a 2% cashback. If I had made a purchase at Apple, be it an app from the App Store or a new iPad at the Apple Store, I would have got 3% back. Once my physical card arrives next week, any purchases made with it will earn 1%.

Instead of having to wait until the end of my billing cycle to cash out, I should wake up to just under 50-cents on my Apple Cash card tomorrow, assuming I don't make any more purchases today. Now that I think about it, I do need to get a haircut. Hopefully, they have payment terminals that will work with Apple Pay. If so, I wonder what color that will add to my card?

As my Daily Cash amount gets higher, I can transfer that money to my bank account, send it via Apple Pay to another iPhone user, or use it towards my Apple Card balance.

Another area Apple wants to bring users attention to is just how much interest they are paying by making smaller payments towards their balance.

I can't view my account balance yet because my transactions are still pending. But when I do, I plan on using the circular slider to adjust the payment amount and see the amount of interest I'll accrue based on that payment. Visualizing interest charges based on payments towards your credit card balance is surely going to add some level of anxiety about carrying a large balance or continuing to make the minimum payment.

I'm going to live with Apple Card, using it when I can (and when it makes sense) over the coming days, weeks, and probably months. There's the physical card I'll have to set up, along with a virtual card number that can be swapped out with the press of a button should I make a purchase online and the vendor ends up being involved in some data breach.

The first six hours or so have left me caffeinated and wondering how long until we start silently judging people based on the color combination of their Apple Card.

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