How to set up and use an Apple Card

Learn how to set up Apple's credit card directly from your iPhone, tie it into Apple Pay, and monitor your purchases.

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Image: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

You're interested in applying for an Apple Card as another payment option for your online and offline purchases. With Apple's first credit card, you can buy items through your iPhone using the card with Apple Pay. You can also request a physical credit card to use with merchants that don't accept Apple Pay. TechRepublic's Apple Card cheat sheet gives you all the facts about the card. But how do you set up Apple Card? How does a purchase work? And how can you keep track of your spending? Let's go through the steps.

SEE: Apple Pay: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

How to apply for and set up an Apple Card

You'll need an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 12.4 or higher. You also must be using two-factor authentication with your Apple ID. You can use the card with other Apple devices, including an iPad, an Apple Watch, and a Mac, but you need an iPhone with the Wallet app to go through the initial application process. There are other non-technical requirements, such as a driver's license or state ID and the ability to pass the credit check.

To start, open the Wallet app on your iPhone. Tap the plus button in the upper right. At the next screen, tap Continue. At the Card Type screen, tap the entry for Apple Card (Figure A).

Figure A

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At the Apple Card screen, tap Continue. At the Your Information screen, confirm your name and phone number. Enter your date of birth. Tap Next. At the Your Address screen, confirm your address. Tap Next (Figure B).

Figure B

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At the screen to verify your identity, type the last four digits of your social security number. Tap Next. At the screen for Annual Income, type your yearly income. Tap Next. At the next screen, review the terms and conditions for the Apple Card and then tap Agree (Figure C).

Figure C

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If you're approved, you should see a screen with your credit limit, APR, and fees. To get the card, tap the button to Accept Apple Card. At the next screen, you can opt to use the Apple Card as the default card for your Wallet, Apple Watch, Safari, your Apple ID, and Apple Pay. Tap the button to Use As Default Card or tap the link to Set As Default Later In Wallet if you'd rather not make this change yet. If you chose the option to set the card as your default, the next screen tells you that the card has been added. Tap Continue (Figure D).

Figure D

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The next screen asks if you'd like to receive the physical titanium Apple Card to use at merchants that don't accept Apple Pay. To do so, tap Continue. At the next screen, review your address and tap Confirm. The next screen then shows the activity screen for your Apple Card, which will be populated with a balance and activity after you start using the card. Tap Done (Figure E).

Figure E

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How to use your Apple Card

Now, it's time to try your new Apple Card in action. Go to an online site or service that accepts Apple Pay, such as Apple's App Store. Choose an item you want to purchase. Tap the price. The process is the same as with any other Apple Pay purchase on your phone. Depending on which model iPhone you use, press the necessary button (such as the side button) to initiate payment when prompted. Authenticate the payment with Face ID or Touch ID. The transaction is then charged to your Apple Card (Figure F).

Figure F

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Next, try buying an item from a physical store or merchant. When ready, hold your phone near the payment terminal and wait for the prompt for Apple Pay. Press the necessary button. Authenticate the payment with Face ID or Touch ID (Figure G).

Figure G

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How to monitor your Apple Card transactions and payments

After you've made some purchases, you may want to check your transactions, balance, and other details. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone. Tap the image for the Apple Card if it's not already active. The screen shows your total balance so far, your latest transactions, and other information. Tap the section for Total Balance to see your spending and payments. Tap the section for Weekly Activity to see how you've been using the card. At the Weekly Activity screen, tap on a specific category to see where you've used the card (Figure H).

Figure H

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Tap the section for Payments to see when your next credit card payment is due. Tap Done. To receive notifications of upcoming payments, make sure you've enabled Notifications for the Wallet app under Settings. Back at the Apple Card screen, tap the entry for one of the latest purchases to see more details on the store or merchant and the transaction itself (Figure I).

Figure I

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Also see