I read the same articles everyone else does about Apple Card, and I realized today that nobody is talking about the annual fee you pay for the Apple Card.
The fee is: some portion of what you paid for you iPhone.
Valuing this cost going to vary for each person, because it has two primary components:
1- How much you feel the price of your iPhone, divided by the number of years you use it, should go to your sense of good will for Apple Card.
2- How much of your Apple Card spend will be spread between Apple spend, Apple Pay and physical Apple Card.
Spend a lot on Apple at the store, and you are getting a lot of 3%. Use the physical Apple Card a lot, and you are "losing 1%".
There's very George Carlin-like questions like: What if I pay with the physical Apple Card in the Apple Store.
Or, trying to pay with Apple Pay at the Samsung Store when buying an Android phone, so you don't "lose a 1%".
The real costs are back-end loaded in the lifecycle of your Apple Card: when it come time to switch off iPhone, you can keep using your card, but you'll only be getting 1%, and you might not be able to view anything that was on your iPhone. (Many people cannot cancel card accounts with impunity, because it affects the average-lifetime-of-account numbers in their credit score.)
In truth, the initial card's offering is a trojan horse for the new Apple Card/Wallet UX. "iPhone" was not really "the best phone Apple could make". The idea is to get you using Apple's distinctive end-to-end (pay2pay) experience. It creates a scenario that is "win-win", shedding most of the old nonsense of credit cards (plastic-bloated wallets, paper bills, fee-ridden electronic versions of paper bills), while giving you a better rate.
The environmentalist in me is not thrilled about the free issuance of a titanium card, but if it is optional, then I'll get the card. And because the number isn't printed on it, they probably only need to cut one card per-person, for life, excepting lost cards, or some catastrophic security problem with EMV chips.