I Want An Apple Credit Card

by Gregory Ng Aug 06, 2004

Ashlee Simpson song: 99 Cents

Black Eyed Peas song: 99 Cents

Getting free songs from the iTunes Music Store: Priceless.

Ok. So I combined Mastercard’s ad campaign with Discover Card’s cash back program. These days, it seems everyone has credit cards these days. With the popularity of internet shopping, it’s just more convenient to pay with your credit card. And with the addition of debit cards, it’s easier to pay with plastic then to withdraw cash from the ATM.

With the popularity of credit cards, it is no surprise that Bank First has come out with a Debit MasterCard featuring the R&B singer, Usher, on it. Geared for consumers with low credit ratings, owning this card gives you access to exclusive content, merchandise discounts and concert tickets. But make no mistake: this card is a money making venture for Bank First and an exposure vehicle for Usher. Now wouldn’t that make sense for Apple?

I would love to have an iPod or iTunes branded Visa or MasterCard. Actually, One look in my wallet and 9 out of 10 people would agree, my wallet needs an Apple credit card. Here’s what Apple could add to my wallet and to theirs:

No one designs things consistently clean and elegant like Apple does. There’s a great spot between my boring run of the mill Discover Card, my bland Visa Card, and my Regional Bank branded Debit MasterCard. The only card out there that could add some spice to my pocket rawhide is the Amex Blue Card. But as of this article, despite multiple attempts a week to get my business, I have denied that clear card. (I don’t want to leave that space open for my Apple Card)

My Discover Card gives me $1 for every $100 I charge with it. Now what am i going to do with $1? A pack of gum? Some dental floss? Maybe I can afford a spool of thread! I know: I can go to the Five and Dime and have a field day. Great plan if only there were still Five and Dimes! With the iTunes Music Store, Apple already has product that are conveniently sized in 99 Cent increments. Wouldn’t it be nice to be pissed you had to finally spring for a new refrigerator and at the end of the month you had a 7 song credit to your iTunes Music Store account?

My Visa card gives me magazine subscriptions for my business. The problem is, in an attempt to provide the credit card charging public a wide selection, the choices are not diverse, they are obscure. I had to settle for a 2 year subscription to Archaeology Today magazine. I thought the entire point of archaeology was to find out about yesterday not today. Owning the Apple credit card could get you subscription discounts to MacWorld, Mac Addict, and MacDirectory. It could also get you discounts at the Apple Store. Or MacWorld. Or to concerts. Or to internet services. Apple could get the help of all of their current marketing partners and create a very tempting product.

Every time I go to Fenway Park to watch my beloved Red Sox, I always get suckered into getting a Red Sox credit card. Is it because I love the Red Sox? Not entirely. It’s because of the stupid T-Shirt that I couldn’t buy anywhere else. And I do say buy because after paying the annual fee, I could have bought 2 shirts at the Souvenir Shop. I’m not saying Apple should hawk T-shirts. But add an exclusive premium into the sales pitch, and people will line out the Apple Store to get it.

Profits and trackability:
The credit card business model is beautiful. It empowers you the consumer to get something now and pay for it later. You can pay it in small increments or pay it all at once. But you get it now. No more putting money away for 5 years only to find out the camera you wanted has been discontinued. Apple would not only reap the benefits of some of the interest payments (The sponsoring bank would get the majority), but they would be able to increase brand presence and most importantly track they buyers behavior.

For example, if they are seeing that Apple credit card users are buying iMacs and the buying a third-party web cam instead of the iSight, they will instantly gain information on the iSight. maybe it’s too overpriced. maybe it isn’t being promoted enough. Maybe they need to try bundling it with computers in a promotion. This is all info that they would normally have to take educated guesses and rely on focus group assumptions to conclude.

The possibilities are endless for an Apple Credit Card and I can’t wait to have one in my wallet. How about you?


  • Such a card exists! Well, at least it used to. I applied for my first credit card in 1994. An Apple Citbank Visa. It offered 5% earnings on all purchases up to $500 per year, if I remember correctly.

    The earnings we “banked” into an account that was redeemable for any Apple product. It was a high interest card - but if you were like me and paid off your card every month, you could make a pretty sweet lump of cash every year to put towards an Apple something-or-other.

    I used the card for about 3 years and put $1500 down on a PowerMac 7500/100. The Apple Card program was cancelled shortly afterward. I had a small remaining balance and bought a Geo-port with it.

    I still have the credit card account. It is still the only card I have. And while I no longer get the Apple redeemable bonus with the card, I still have fond memories of being a college kid and getting a seemingly free computer just for buying groceries and paying rent.

    PS: I still have the 7500/100. The Geo-port went into the trash a long time ago.

    FengShwah had this to say on Aug 06, 2004 Posts: 1
  • the credit card you proposed should be implemented by apple.

    i am wondering who is sleeping at apple this time…

    greetings from athens/greece

    homer had this to say on Aug 07, 2004 Posts: 1
  • I was a campus apple-rep back in those days, and I remember the apple credit card well - it DID exist, and you are right, it was 5% towards apple products - it would be a GREAT idea to reinvent a similar product, especially with all the new (+PC) iTMS users…

    Lee had this to say on Aug 07, 2004 Posts: 1
  • I think I would buy into an iTunes/Apple card, if it was placed right, meaning reasonable on the intrest rate.

    JeffyC had this to say on Aug 07, 2004 Posts: 18
  • So you can buy your iTunes songs at 22,9% APR?

    Martijn had this to say on Aug 08, 2004 Posts: 10
  • I too recall the Apple card. My parents had one, and saved up the maximum amount to help in the purchase of a beautiful Power Mac 8100. There is no way we could have bought the 8100 if it weren’t for the money we saved up on the Apple card. Trust me, if that card were still available, I would have one, and I really wish I could. But not for dumb iTunes songs.. I would save up money for my big computer purchases, just like my parents did when they had the card.

    Joshua Curtiss had this to say on Aug 10, 2004 Posts: 5
  • I’d get one in a minute.  Nice not to have to keep track of the expiration date on the card I use for my .Mac account.

    Zen had this to say on Aug 10, 2004 Posts: 1
  • My second Mac was purchased with my Apple card. I was just married and we were both in school, the only way we could get a new Mac was by using the card. As was mentioned before, it took about three years but we got our new LC 5200 and printer.  The Apple credit card was a great program and I have wondered many a time (when buying my last two Macs) why they stopped it.

    Jim had this to say on Aug 10, 2004 Posts: 1
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment