Apple To Launch Credit Card, Here Are Some Very Specific Rules

Apple’s credit card is launching soon, and it looks like the highly anticipated card will come with a few unusual rules. Goldman Sachs, which partnered with Apple on the card, published the customer agreement, revealing a few new details about the iPhone maker’s new offering.

Though many of the rules are what you’d expect to find in the fine print of any credit card, there are some notable parts of the agreement. For one, the terms explicitly forbid credit card users from jailbreaking theiriPhones. From the agreement (emphasis added):

If you make unauthorized modifications to your Eligible Device, such as by disabling hardware or software controls (for example, through a process sometimes referred to as “jailbreaking”), your Eligible Device may no longer be eligible to access or manage your Account. You acknowledge that use of a modified Eligible Device in connection with your Account is expressly prohibited, constitutes a violation of this Agreement, and could result in our denying or limiting your access to or closing your Account as well as any other remedies available to us under this Agreement.

In other words: don’t jailbreak your phone unless you want to risk having your account closed abruptly.

That may be an annoyance to jailbreak enthusiasts (however many are left, anyway), but there are likely practical reasons for the rule as well. Unlike most credit cards, where the actual physical card is key to most purchases, Apple Card incentivizes you to use your iPhone for most transactions, rather than the flashy titanium card you might put in your wallet. If you were to jailbreak your iPhone, it could affect your ability to use Apple Pay or prevent the Apple Card software from functioning properly.


Another rule that has raised some eyebrows is that the card agreement expressly forbids users from purchasing cryptocurrency, which it considers a “cash equivalent.” Most credit cards prohibit “cash-like” transactions as these can be used to game rewards programs, though it’s somewhat notable that Apple and Goldman explicitly name cryptocurrency as a cash equivalent.

The card also comes with a few rules specific to Apple’s ecosystem. You’re required to have an Apple ID and iCloud account “in good standing” and have two-factor authentication enabled (which is always a good idea). And, just in case there’s any question as to whether that means you need an iPhone or not, the agreement states you need an iPhone or iPad with a passcode. And don’t think you can sign up with your iPhone and switch to Android later on.

“Without a Required Device, you will only be able to manage your Account by contacting us by phone or mail, and your Monthly Statement will only be sent to you by email or mail,” the terms of service state. “If you do not maintain a Required Device, we may close your account.”

The rules come as Apple Card is expected to launch soon. CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s earnings call last week that Apple employees have been testing it out, with the official launch set for sometime in August.

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