Apple Card

Apple’s new credit card not compatible with leather or denim

New Titanium credit card is high maintenance
Image: Apple

23 August 2019

Apple has a reputation for making mainstream markets for products. The iPod turned the MP3 player into a mass market device. The iPhone continued that trend by making the smartphone a consumer product. The iPad made tablets commonplace.

It has a track record. But the picture can be a bit more cloudy when it comes to launching into already well-established markets. Apple’s game console, Pippin, lasted barely a year. Apple TV has done reasonable business, but it has hardly taken the media player market by storm although the launch of the company’s streaming service may change that (or it may not).

So, there was no guarantee that the launch of the Apple Titanium credit card would be an unqualified success. But a recent post on the Apple support pages about how to protect and maintain the card suggests the vendor has opted to shake up the credit card market in some fairly radical ways.




Of course, it has done this in other areas before, such as getting rid of optical drives from its computers or eliminating the headphone jack from its iPhone. But at first sight, Apple’s list of things that people need to do to protect their white Titanium credit cards seems to be designed to overturn nearly all our preconceptions of what we usually do with our credit cards.

For example, it warns that “some fabrics, like leather and denim, might cause permanent discolouration that will not wash off”. So if you want to keep your card in the pristine white condition that sets it apart as an Apple credit card compared to all the other cards out there, you also have to make sure that, unlike those other cards, you do not store it in a leather wallet or the pocket of your jeans.

“Apple’s list of things that people need to do to protect their white Titanium credit cards seems to be designed to overturn nearly all our preconceptions of what we usually do with our credit cards.”

Apple also helpfully explains that to ensure your card is given the status it so richly deserves; you should store it “in your wallet or billfold without touching another credit card. If two credit cards are placed in the same slot your card could become scratched”. Heaven forbid that your Apple Titanium card should come into contact with a lesser card.

In addition, people are warned not to store it close “to a magnetic latch on a purse or bag, [because] the magnetic strip can become demagnetised”. So, your wallet, jean pocket, purse and bag might not be good enough for your Titanium card. Come to think of it, if your phone case has a magnetic cover clasp, you might not be able to put it there either.

And if you are foolish enough to put the card in a non-jean pocket or a bag without a magnetic latch, make sure that they do not contain “loose change, keys, or other potentially abrasive objects”.

It might be slightly unfair on Apple to flag up some of those issues because they probably apply to other credit cards as well, but Apple’s list pretty much rules out nearly every place you would think to put a credit card.

Well nearly all of them. The good news, if you happen to make wallets or bags made of soft materials or clothes with pockets made of the same, is that your products are worthy and safe enough to store the famed Titanium card. As for the rest of us, if we want an Apple credit card, we are going to have to throw out those leather wallets, jeans, bags, purses and phone cases.

Then there is the added worry that thieves and muggers will be able to identify whether you have an Apple Card or not by the clothes you are wearing and the bags/purses/wallets you brandish in public. Although, on the other hand, you could save on the card altogether but give people the impression you own one merely by ditching jeans and changing the purse/bag/wallet you carry. Now there’s a radical idea.

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