I’ve Been Sleeping on This T-Mobile Apple Card Perk for How Long?!

Last month, I shared the somewhat sad but wholly expected news that Barclays was officially discontinuing the formerly great Uber Visa card and rolling existing customers over to the Barclays View Mastercard. In my mini write-up of that development, I noted that I’d probably just use the card to pay my monthly cell phone bill as it offered 2% back on that spending category. Well, as it turns out, that plan is now off because I’ve discovered that I already have a credit card in my wallet that offers 3% back instead. More accurately, this card is my digital wallet because it’s the Apple Card and the 3% in question is offered to T-Mobile customers like myself. But, wait, when did this happen?!

When it was first announced that T-Mobile was being added to Apple Card’s 3% Daily Cash category, the catch was that it only applied to in-store purchases (with some other restrictions and exceptions thrown in). So, imagine my surprise when I took a closer look at the site a couple of weeks ago and noticed mention of this 3% applying to “bill payments and AutoPay on T-Mobile.com and in the T-Mobile app.” Still skeptical, I decided to open the T-Mobile app and pay my monthly bill early to see what would happen. Sure enough, the transaction showed in my Wallet with a 3% cashback tag and the $4.14 Daily Cash I earned as a result arrived in my account soon after.

Now that I confirmed that this was indeed for real, I did a bit of searching to see when this change occurred. That’s when I came across this post from Mac Rumors published in March of last year. It seems that the update came as T-Mobile added Apple Pay as a payment option in their app (and, in all likelihood, around the time the telecom started temporarily closing down several of its retail stores given the timing). Doing the math, since I’ve been using 1% back cards to pay my bill for the last 17 months when I could have been earning 3% with Apple Card, I missed out on $46.92 in cashback!

Okay, so missing out on less than $50 in rewards definitely isn’t the end of the world. That said, I’m glad to now know about this option and will act accordingly from here on out. Although, I should note that Apple Card doesn’t offer cell phone insurance as a perk the same way that other credit and debit cards do. Thus, I’ll be forgoing this protection in order to claim a greater cashback amount — which I think makes sense for me personally. Elsewhere, this does mean that my upcoming Barclays View card is even more useless to me than previously thought but c’est la vie.

For as much as I like to think that I have my fingers firmly on the pulse of all things FinTech and credit cards, it seems that things occasionally slip under my radar (because clearly, this was the biggest thing happening circa March 2020…). In any case, I’m happy to be caught up now and am obliged to share my newfound knowledge just in case it alluded you too. Meanwhile, here’s hoping that Apple Card continues to make awesome enhancements like this one moving forward.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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