Credit Card Expert Roundup #51 - Apple Credit Card
Goldman Sachs and their partnership with Apple made a huge splash when they entered the credit card space with the new Apple credit card. Many consumers flocked to the card due to the rewards as well as the general trend among the US consumer base to adapt to anything and every thing Apple very quickly. However, reports came out that consumer activity with the card was not being reported to the credit bureaus.
For the 51st edition of our roundup series, Jason Steele asks the experts what they think of this with the following question:
"What are your thoughts on reports that the Apple Credit Card isn't reporting payment information to the consumer credit bureaus?"
Matt Listro - President of National Credit Fixers
The new Apple Card does NOT YET report to the three major credit bureaus. In my opinion that’s because both Goldman Sachs, the card issuer, and Apple are new in the credit card space. I believe this is probably the first of many customer service issues which may plague cardholders as Apple and Goldman learn the business.
This card has gotten a lot of press because of the Apple name. Although it does have some decent features for iPhone users, one of my big issues with the Apple Card is actually the Apple rewards. Here’s my issue. If I use Uber often and want the best rewards, I can get an Uber Visa card and save a whopping 5% off my Uber rides. If I fly Delta Airlines regularly, The Delta SkyMiles Cards are going to give me the best rewards and perks. Now you would think that your best rewards for Apple Pay would come from this new Goldman Sachs Apple Card but not so! The Apple Card gives you only 2% rewards for Apple Wallet purchases while the US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card will get you 3%. How can Apple be offering fewer rewards on its own product than its competitor?
Both the Apple Card support page and Apple Customer service confirm that when you apply, a lending decision will be made from a TransUnion credit report. The Apple support page informs you that your application may be turned down if you have a tax lien or a judgment against you. Since all three credit bureaus removed judgment and tax lien information from their database in April 2018, this just seems to be one more indication that both Apple and Goldman are in a market that they are unfamiliar with and have not properly prepared for. It is readily apparent that there was a rush to get the product to market for the holiday season.
Andrew Schrage - CEO of Money Crashers
One of the biggest incentives of credit card use is the fact that the vast majority of credit card issuers report payment information to the major consumer credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. For cardholders who use credit responsibly (maintaining a relatively low credit utilization ratio) and consistently make timely payments (at least the minimum balance due by the monthly statement due date), payment information reports may help build or rebuild credit — raising cardholders’ credit scores over time.
For a credit card issuer to deny this incentive is unusual, to say the least. Apple and Goldman Sachs, Apple Card’s issuer, point to Apple Card’s newness — the card was only released this summer — in excusing the omission. In the absence of information to the contrary, we must take Apple and Goldman Sachs at their word, but the omission is curious nonetheless.
Given the importance of credit bureau reporting for everyday credit card users, the average consumer expecting their credit card to help improve or maintain their credit score is probably less likely to apply for Apple Card upon learning of this deficiency. It’s concerning that two of the most recognizable brands in the world — Apple and Goldman Sachs — didn’t think credit bureau reporting important enough to deploy at launch.
Fortunately, media reports this fall suggest that Goldman Sachs is working on rolling out credit bureau reporting for all customers soon. That would be good news for current Apple Card users and could increase the card’s application rates as well.
John Ganotis - Founder of Credit Card Insider
Many people are surprised to find out that credit card issuers are not legally obligated to report activity to credit bureaus. If issuers do choose to report, the information needs to be correct. If there is incorrect information on credit reports, consumers can dispute it. Most major issuers report to all three bureaus, so if you're concerned that a card that doesn't report, you could always find another card to apply for to use for building credit history.
Jason Steele - Founder of the credit card media conference CardCon
If you’re credit is already excellent, then it shouldn’t matter to you that a card isn’t reporting your payment history to the major consumer credit bureaus. But if you’re trying to build or rebuild your credit, you’d prefer that this information is reported as any positive account information will improve your credit history and raise your credit score. And of course, if you miss payments, it’s better if the card issuer fails to report this negative information.
That said, not every credit card issuer reports to all three of the major consumer credit bureaus, so there’s never any guarantee that your payment history will be added to any of the credit bureaus. And besides, those who are signing up for the Apple credit card are probably not those who have serious credit problems. If you have bad credit, you’re only likely to be approved for a secured credit card, not a premium rewards card like the Apple card.