How to activate Apple Card

6 min read

Apple gave us an extra reason to love Apple Pay when it launched Apple Card back in 2019. Today, more and more cafe-goers in the U.S. ask baristas if they accept Apple Pay and happily choose paying with Apple Card — digital or physical titanium card— over their debit card. The main reason is cashback. 

In this guide, we explain how to activate an Apple Card so you can reap all the benefits. 

How to order an Apple Card 

We don’t like ruining anyone’s day like this, but we have to be honest: the Apple Card won’t be available to everyone. There are certain eligibility criteria you should meet: 

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or resident over 18, with a valid U.S. address
  • Your device should be compatible with Apple Pay 
  • You should be signed in with your Apple ID on your device
  • If you have a freeze on your credit report, it has to be lifted. 

If you qualify, you may proceed to apply for your Apple Card! First, you need to add it to your devices. Here’s how you apply: 

  1. Open Wallet on your iPhone and tap the plus button
  2. Choose Apple Card > Continue
  3. Follow the instructions to complete your application. 

Alternatively, you can apply for an Apple Card on the Apple website

order an apple card

After you’ve added Apple Card to the Wallet app on your device, you can go ahead and order a titanium Apple Card. Some people feel safer when they have a physical card at hand, and it may indeed be useful for making purchases in the places where Apple Pay is not supported. Although less generous, the titanium card also supports cashback, so it’s still a win-win. 

Here’s how to order a titanium Apple Card: 

  1. Find Apple Card in your Wallet app
  2. Tap the More button > Card Details
  3. Scroll down, then tap Get a Titanium Apple Card
  4. Follow the instructions to complete your order

When your titanium card ships, you’ll receive a notification. Apple will use the shipping address you provided when you applied for Apple Card, but you can change it if you like

How to activate an Apple Card 

As soon as your application is approved and you’ve added an Apple Card to your Wallet, you can start using it as any other virtual card with Apple Pay. Apple will prompt you to set it as your default card, and that’s what you should do if you want to use Apple Card as often as possible to receive 3% cashback. 

With a titanium card, you should additionally activate Apple Card:

  1. Open the packaging your Apple Card arrived in
  2. Follow the steps in the packaging to activate the card. 

There might be situations when you don’t have the packaging and need to go through the Apple Card activation without it, or when you need to activate the card without an iPhone. No worries, we’ll tell you what to do in a sec. 

Once you start using your Apple Card, you’ll love keeping track of your Daily Cash — yes, Apple will pay you cashback on a daily basis! — as well as your spending stats. Apple breaks all your purchases into categories, so you can easily keep an eye on where your money goes. Only one thing is missing: scheduling bills to predict your spending. 

Chronicle is an app that fills the gap. This smart bill planner can be installed on your Mac or iPhone, depending on where you like to manage your finances. It will enable you to set up payment reminders, plan bills, manage subscription payments and more. Complementing your Apple Card spending tracker, Chronicle will help you make smarter purchase decisions. 

chronicle app

  1. How to activate Apple Card without iPhone
  2. Now, how do I activate my Apple Card without an iPhone? Easy: just use any other iOS device that has Wallet. Have an iPad? Awesome! You can activate Apple Card on iPad: 
  3. Open Settings on iPad
  4. Go to Wallet & Apple Pay
  5. Tap Add Card > Apply for Apple Card
  6. Follow the instructions to complete your application and activate your card
  7. With a titanium card, you can add the details of your card manually or scan it with your iPad. 

How to find your Apple Card number

In most cases, when you pay with Apple Pay, you won’t need to know your card details. But it might be necessary if you make a purchase on a website that doesn’t accept Apple Pay. 

Here’s how to find your virtual Apple Card number on an iPhone: 

  1. Open Wallet on your iPhone
  2. Tap Apple Card
  3. Tap the card number icon 
  4. Authenticate to make your card number visible. 

Here’s how to find your Apple Card number on an iPad: 

  1. Open Settings on your iPad 
  2. Go to Wallet & Apple Pay 
  3. Tap Apple Card and go to the Info tab
  4. Tap Card Information 
  5. Authenticate to make your card number visible.

We’re used to having a card number printed on our physical debit or credit card. That’s not the case with a titanium Apple Card. All the card information is stored securely on your device. If you need to know the last digits of your physical card number to return a purchase, you will find it under Transactions/Latest Transactions in your Wallet app on iPhone or iPad. 

How to make payments with Apple Card 

Nothing too complicated. If you’ve used Apple Pay before, you’re already in the know: double-click the Side button on your phone to make an in-store purchase, choose Apple Card, and authenticate to complete the transaction. If you want to pay using Apple Pay on an online website, tap the Apple Pay symbol during the checkout and follow the prompts. 

If you want to dive deeper into how to schedule or cancel payments with Apple Card, you’ll find the instructions on the Apple website here

Apple Card will log your transactions so you can track your spending, but if you want to boost your personal finance management skills, you will need a more advanced tool.  

Expenses gives you great stats that reflect your spending trends over time. Track and manage your monthly budget or track your spending over longer periods of time. We love it that you can also easily share your spending reports from Expenses. 

expenses ios

How to activate Apple Card without packaging  

No packaging? Don’t worry, here’s how to activate physical Apple Card without packaging: 

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Apple Card > More > Card Details
  3. Tap Activate Your Card under Titanium Card 
  4. Choose “Having trouble activating your card” 
  5. Tap Do Not Have Card Packaging 
  6. Follow the instructions to activate the card. 

Hope your Apple Card activation went well and you can now start making purchases with it. 

Tip: If you want to log all your transactions, not only those made with Apple Card, get GreenBooks, hands down the easiest tool to log past transactions, including split transactions, across different categories. You can also use it to set up your own categories of expenses. 

greenbooks ios

Try a pack of finance management apps for free

Setapp bundles together Chronicle, GreenBooks, Expenses, and other popular Mac and iPhone apps for finance management into one handy collection. You can try them all for free if you sign up for a 7-day trial. With these apps, you can track your Apple Card cashback, log transactions, predict future expenses, and generally manage your money smarter. 

setapp ios apps


How do I apply for an Apple Card?

You can either apply on the Apple website or directly from your Wallet app. Note that Apple Card is only available in the U.S. for now, and you need to meet certain eligibility criteria to get your application approved.

How can I tell if my Apple Card is activated?

Apple Card activation not working is a common problem that arises when your Apple Card application hasn’t been approved, or you made a mistake when adding your card to Wallet. You can be confident that your card was activated if it was successfully added to Wallet. 

How do I access my Apple Card online?

Open in your browser and sign in with Apple ID. This will enable you to view the details about your payments and other information related to your Apple Card. 

250+ apps for $9.99
per month

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.