Apple’s shiny new credit card boasts many features, such as clear statements, a cash-back program, and an extremely Apple aesthetic. The flat, white titanium design echoes a decade’s worth of other Apple products, including the iPhone and MacBook. But while the card is compatible with Apple’s virtual wallet, it is apparently not compatible with your actual wallet.
The Apple Card became available to all US consumers who own compatible iPhones earlier this week. It’s primarily intended to be a virtual card running inside the Wallet app, but it is also a fully fledged MasterCard, backed by Goldman Sachs, and cardholders can request a physical card to accompany their virtual one.
The digital-first nature of the card becomes clear in the company’s support guide for the physical card, which includes handling, care, and cleaning advice that unfortunately runs contrary to the way pretty much everyone uses or stores their credit card.
Apple advises consumers to store the card in “a wallet, pocket, or bag made of soft materials,” and to place the card “in a slot in your wallet or billfold without touching another credit card,” lest it be scratched.
That is, unless you carry a leather wallet, as tens of millions of consumers do. But putting it directly into your trouser pocket is also a no-no if you wear jeans, as the vast majority of Americans occasionally do. “Some fabrics, like leather and denim, might cause permanent discoloration that will not wash off,” Apple warns card owners.
The BBC rounded up a number of Tweets from early adopters confirming that the physical card might look nice when you get it, but probably not for long after. “I can say from two months of having the card in my leather wallet, it no longer looks pretty,” one owner wrote.
The damage is cosmetic only; the card will still work at a point of sale if you dare to keep it in your wallet. If you would like to keep it looking new, however, Apple recommends wiping it gently with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol using a soft microfiber cloth.