Apple Is Sweetening the Pot for New Apple Card Holders with 10% Cash Back on App Store Purchases

Apple Pay with Apple Card Credit: nikkimeel / Shutterstock
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If you’ve been on the fence about signing up for an Apple Card, now could be a great time to jump in — especially if you regularly make a lot of in-app purchases on the App Store.

Apple is launching a new promotion to entice folks to sign up for the Apple Card by offering a whopping 10% cash back on any purchases made on the App Store during the first six months of their card membership.

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To qualify, you need to sign up for and be approved for an Apple Card between now and July 25, 2023, and it’s for entirely new cardholder accounts only — adding an Apple Card Family Member to an existing account won’t cut it.

Once you’ve been approved and set your Apple Card as the default payment method for your App Store Apple ID, you’ll begin earning 10% Daily Cash back — that’s the standard 3% that’s always been available, plus a 7% bonus — on up to $1,000 of App Store purchases over six months.

That works out to a maximum cash back return of $100, but it’s like free money for folks who already spent a lot on the App Store. Subscriptions to all of Apple’s services naturally qualify, as do direct purchases of apps and any in-app purchases that go through the App Store, which Apple says includes “subscriptions, virtual non-consumable and consumable purchases.”

AppleDBdev contributor Aaron spotted promotional text on the “Apple Pay backend” — presumably designed to be shown on potential applicants’ iPhones — adding that “this also includes in-app purchases and subscriptions from your favorite apps and games like Max, Roblox, Candy Crush Saga, and more.”

This also includes buying books from Apple Books, purchasing or renting movies and TV shows from iTunes, or subscribing to podcasts in Apple Podcasts. iCloud+ storage plans and AppleCare+ plans also qualify, as do entire Apple One bundle subscriptions.

Purchases of physical goods through apps don’t qualify, as these don’t pass through the App Store but are instead handled directly by whatever app you’re using, such as Amazon. Unsurprisingly, gift cards and Apple Account balance reloads don’t count, either.

App Store purchases also have to actually be billed to the new Apple Card to qualify, which could be a problem if you already have a credit balance on your account, such as from a gift card you’ve previously loaded. As has always been the case, on-account balances are drawn from first before a customer’s payment method is charged, and Apple notes this is the same with the Apple Card and this current promotion.

“At the time of making a Qualifying Purchase, you must have a zero balance on all digital Apple accounts associated with your Apple ID, including gift cards and store credits, otherwise that balance will be used as the first payment method before the new Apple Card account can be used for the Qualifying Purchase.”

The other big catch to watch out for is that this promotion applies only to the primary cardholder, not co-owners or other cardholders. As Apple explains in the fine print, “this means Qualifying Purchases made by Apple Card Family members will not be included towards the new Apple Card account owner’s qualifying spend,” although they’ll still earn the standard 3% Daily Cash back that’s available to all Apple Card holders.

As the name implies, Apple’s Daily Cash back is deposited into an Apple Cash account each day, where you can spend it directly via Apple Pay or transfer it to your bank account. Earlier this year, Apple also introduced a new Apple Card Savings account as an alternative destination for Daily Cash rewards, where they can be squirreled away with a 4.15% APY.

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