- Apple announced earlier this year that it would launch a credit card that works with its virtual payment service, Apple Pay.
- The Apple Card is made of titanium and eliminates much of the information found on a typical card – no printed number, expiration date, or security code.
- The sleek design of the card follows in the footsteps of other aesthetically pleasing cards geared toward millennials, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, Venmo’s card, and even the Magnises card from Billy McFarland of Fyre Festival fame.
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Earlier this year, Apple debuted a physical credit card to work with its virtual payment service, and people took note of its sleek and minimalist design.
The Apple Card doesn’t feature numbers printed on the front and back, unlike a typical credit card with a 15- or 16-digit card number, an expiration date, and a three- or four-digit security code. All the off-white, titanium card has on it is the cardholder’s name, a chip, and the Apple logo in the top-left corner.
Apple’s high-end, minimalist credit-card design is nothing new though. In recent years, card issuers have realized they can attract millennials by focusing in part on the design of their cards. Since the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card debuted to surprising fanfare in 2016 (Chase ran out of metal for the cards in the first 10 days), other companies have followed suit.
The trend of the design-focused card – heavier because it’s made of metal instead of plastic – can be traced back to the exclusive Centurion Card from American Express. The Points Guy said a “shroud of secrecy” surrounds it, since it’s strictly invite-only, and only after a customer spends at least $350,000 through AmEx in a year.
Other exclusive, high-end credit-card companies – including Citi, Chase, and Capital One – have taken a similar route, tightening their customer base by applying high annual fees and spending minimums.
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But it’s not just established banks and credit-card companies attempting to lure millennials with design. Young fintech companies have started following suit.
Square issues all-black Cash Cards with your name or signature (or whatever you want to draw) laser-etched on the front. Venmo offers six color options for its sleekly designed card that draws from your Venmo balance. The card from Acorns, a micro-investment-savings app, is simplistically green, while SoFi’s is aqua, and the one from Monzo, an online bank in the UK, is distinctively coral.
Then there’s the Magnises card, created by Billy McFarland of Fyre Festival infamy and endorsed by the rapper Ja Rule. The black card catered to young people who couldn’t afford the luxurious Centurion Card but wanted the exclusive benefits that Magnises advertised, like entry to elite parties and celebrity events, a swanky members-only pad, and a service for scoring in-demand concert tickets and restaurant reservations.
That venture burned out, but the idea was there. Apple has capitalized on it, with more features to draw people in to apply: no annual fees, late-payment fees, over-limit fees, or foreign-transaction fees, and a cash-back program called Daily Cash that’s free to use for Apple Pay customers.
But let’s not forget this isn’t the first physical card Apple has offered. In 1986, the company advertised an Apple Credit Card “worth up to $2,500 of instant credit.” It had the same off-white color but featured Apple’s old rainbow-colored logo.