Today, alongside refreshes to the iMac, iPad Pro, and more, Apple also announced the Apple Card Family update which is designed to make it easier to share an Apple Card with other people in your family and build credit together.
Previously, every Apple Card was linked to a specific person or iPhone. However, with Apple Card Family, users will be able to create a Family Sharing group so you can more easily track purchases, monitor spending habits, and even help others (especially younger children) build and establish a credit history. Parents can even share their Apple Card with children as young as 13, with Apple even offering individual spending limits that can be adjusted for each family member.
Apple says the inspiration behind Apple Card Family comes from a desire to help people build good financial habits, with Apple’s vice president for Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey claiming the company:
designed Apple Card Family because we saw an opportunity to reinvent how spouses, partners, and the people you trust most share credit cards and build credit together. There’s been a lack of transparency and consumer understanding in the way credit scores are calculated when there are two users of the same credit card since the primary account holder receives the benefit of building a strong credit history while the other does not.
Apple says that with Apple Card Family, up to five people can share the same Apple Card, just so as long as everyone is part of the same Family Sharing plan. Anyone 18 years or older can be designated as a co-owner of the card, which will allow them to build their credit history. That said, it seems that anyone listed as an owner or co-owner will be able to see purchases made by other members of their family, so maybe don’t use your Apple Card for more sensitive purchases.
Existing Apple Card holders will also be able to merge their accounts with other Apple Card owners in their family, which will result in a higher shared credit limit while retaining the lowest interest rate from the previous accounts.
However, one important thing to remember is that any late payments or negative credit history will be shared by all of the owners of the Apple Card along with anyone who has opted-in to credit reporting on that account. That means if something goes wrong, the credit score for everyone on the account could take a hit in some way.
On the bright side, Apple says any Daily Cash (which gives 3% cashback) generated by making purchases with an Apple Card will be rewarded individually, so if you make a major purchase, your children or siblings won’t be able to snipe your bonuses.
With Apple rolling out family plans for practically all of its services, it’s not a surprise to see Apple add a new family plan to the Apple Card, and for younger folk who aren’t used to managing a credit card, Apple Card Family could be a useful tool to establishing healthy financial habits for the future.
In the U.S., the Apple Card Family update is expected to go live sometime in May and will require users to update to the latest version of iOS (version 14.5), which will be available for download next week.