I pay for nearly everything with my iPhone, and rarely find myself reaching for my wallet.
Companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google have made it possible to pay for goods and services with your phone for years. All three companies launched their own respective mobile wallets around the 2014-2015 timeframe: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, the latter of which was initially branded as Android Pay.
But if you’re anything like me, Apple Pay has mostly served as a backup to my normal credit card when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores or dining out. I would usually pull out my credit card and only resort to my phone if I was in a rush and didn’t want to dig out my wallet if it was buried in my backpack or purse.
There are a few reasons for this. For one, it’s not always clear which retailers accept Apple Pay and which ones don’t, although Apple says that 65% of all retail locations across the US support it. And the last thing anyone wants when they’re shopping is to hold up the line because their method of payment isn’t working.
But more broadly, changing user behavior is hard. If I’m used to reaching for my wallet, it’s going to take a strong incentive to get me to change my ways.
The Apple Card, however, provides that motivation. That’s because you get 2% cash back on any purchase made through Apple Pay, and only 1% if you use the optional physical titanium card. The sleek look and feel of Apple’s tangible card certainly makes you want to use it. But as time went on, I found myself reaching for it less and less.
There are also some security benefits that come from using Apple Pay more often. Apple doesn’t share your actual credit card number with retailers when you use Apple Pay — rather, it shares a device number it’s generated that’s specific to your iPhone. That means you’re sharing your credit card number far less often, which in theory should make it more difficult for thieves to steal it.