Apple’s new Goldman Sachs-backed credit card launched to all US iPhone users just yesterday, and now we’re learning all sorts of fun facts about the physical, titanium card the company is shipping to likely thousands of users at this very moment. Namely, that it can be easily damaged. Thanks to a support webpage unearthed by MacRumors, Apple is advising against keeping your Apple Card in a leather wallet or in direct contact with denim, as such fabrics “might cause permanent discoloration that will not wash off.”
Apple claims its credit card, one of the heaviest cards on the market, is “laser-etched with the card holder’s name and the Apple logo” and contains a bright white finish “achieved through a multi-layer coating process that’s added to the titanium base material.” In other words, if any kind of metal comes into contact with it, including the edges of another credit card, it could suffer some serious scratches or other damage to the finish.
As for how to safely store the card, Apple is advising customers store it in some container made of soft material — but not leather — and to make sure it doesn’t come into contact with any loose metal objects (and of course magnets, as that could demagnetize the strip). The company also advises cleaning the card with only a slightly damp microfiber cloth dipped in water or isopropyl alcohol. “Don’t use window or household cleaners, compressed air, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, or abrasives to clean your titanium Apple Card,” warns the support page.
This all sounds a little excessive, as most people don’t take such studious care of their credit cards, let alone forgo a leather wallet just to avoid discoloration. But it’s important to remember that the Apple Card, with its rather standard benefits, is not intended to be the best credit card out there with top-tier benefits. The 3 percent cash back is nice, as are the built-in security features that protect the card number by removing it from the physical card itself and generating a virtual number online for merchants that don’t accept Apple Pay.
But what you’re mostly signing up for here is the Apple Card as a status symbol. Even though it’s backed by literal bank Goldman Sachs, Apple refers to the card as a product “created by Apple, not a bank.” Essentially, Apple is promoting the Apple Card as a manifestation of its brand’s philosophy around luxury, privacy, and outside-the-box thinking, something it doesn’t want associated with stodgy, controversial financial institutions. And sure, it looks super sleek, too. That’s part of the pitch, and it makes sense then that Apple would have an entire support page dedicated to helping you properly clean the card and take care of it, as if it were an iPhone.
That said, it’s going to be quite the surprise when people find out that they can’t store it next to other cards, or in a leather wallet they might have been using for years. The only solution to that, I’m guessing, is the advent of the Apple Card case. Seems like an obvious accessory opportunity that won’t go untapped.