The Apple Card was heralded as a game-changer by Apple and issuer Goldman Sachs when it made its debut in 2019, but just four years later the bank is apparently trying to organize an exit from the partnership – with a potential successor announced as early as this summer.
Goldman Sachs Looking to Offload the Apple Card Portfolio
The Apple Card was launched with much fanfare in August 2019. The card was a joint venture of tech giant, Apple, and financial powerhouse, Goldman Sachs. Now, just four years later, it seems Goldman Sachs wants out, with American Express seemingly tapped as a potential replacement.
According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal (behind paywall), Amex and Goldman Sachs are discussing a buyout of the current Apple Card portfolio, with a potential move possible in just a few months. The reason for the move is likely a last resort by Goldman Sachs to offset spiraling losses from the Apple Card – with the bank reportedly losing $1 billion since Apple Card’s launch.
Despite these staggering losses, Apple has declared its payment card a success, with 6.7 million open accounts as of January 2023. So, is the Apple Card a flop, or are other factors to blame?
Does the Apple Card make Sense for You?
The Apple Card is an ideal credit card if you live and breathe in the Apple ecosystem, since the card revolves around Apple Pay. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back at Apple and other specific retailers, 2% back when making purchases with Apple Pay, and 1% cash back anywhere else Mastercard is accepted worldwide. And even better, those rewards are tabulated almost instantly as “Daily Cash,” meaning there’s no wait to redeem those rewards.
There’s even a special titanium credit card for those 1% back purchases – essentially useful at places that don’t offer contactless payments. However, it’s worth noting that the metal credit card isn’t without its drawbacks: there was quite a bit of controversy going on when it was revealed that Apple’s beautiful credit cards suffered some vulnerabilities and couldn’t touch leather or denim, so users should plan on primarily using this card on a digital-only basis.
Despite these misgivings, the Apple Card continuously topped the charts of the J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, with the card (and Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the issuer) also ranked highest across many categories, including interaction, credit card terms, communication, benefits and services, rewards, and key moments.
Goldman Sachs Credit Card Woes
Even if the card is an unrivalled success for Apple, it’s been less than a pleasant experience for Marcus and Goldman Sachs. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) examined the company’s credit-card practices, including how it resolves incorrect bills and processes refunds. The bank has also struggled to get its other portfolios off the ground, having acquired the General Motors (GM) portfolio from Capital One in a deal worth $2.5 billion.
The GM portfolio includes a few excellent auto rewards credit cards, but the bank has struggled to acquire new accounts due to rising inflation and other economic concerns. Marcus issues two consumer-branded credit cards from GM, the My GM Rewards Card™ and GM Extended Family Card, plus a business rewards card, the GM Business Card™.
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