Comparing Apple Card's Privacy to Other Credit Cards

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Geoffrey Fowler compared an Amazon credit card with Apple Card to see which one is more private. The knee jerk response is to say Apple, and it’s true that Apple does have more privacy than others. But when it comes to the Apple Card, that privacy only appears under certain circumstances.

Despite a federal privacy law covering cards, I found that six types of businesses could mine and share elements of my purchase, multiplied untold times by other companies they might have passed it to. Credit cards are a spy in your wallet β€” and it’s time that we add privacy, alongside rewards and rates, to how we evaluate them.

Bottom line: Neither Apple nor Goldman Sachs collects or shares your data. But retailers and card networks like Mastercard can still collect and sell your purchase data.

Does the Apple Card Count as a Mastercard World Elite?

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Redditor u/mdhardeman did some digging into the Apple Card. After running a test transaction they found that the card was listed as a Mastercard World Elite.

The Mastercard World Elite consumer credit cards are significantly more expensive to accept than a plain Mastercard credit card or basic rewards card. In exchange, the theory goes, Mastercard ensures that those cards only make it into the hands of premium consumers who, on average, spend more on many purchases and have a larger amount of disposable income. In exchange, Mastercard demands the higher reimbursement for the card issuers to be able to fund a benefits package that will attract heavy spenders to their World Elite card products.

Mastercard Benefits for Apple Card Customers

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While Apple is busy rolling out its credit card to customers, Mastercard shared some benefits you’ll get with the card. Both companies clearly prefer Apple Card to be your default payment method, and maybe these extra features will entice you. Here is one:

Mastercard ID Theft Protection

A complimentary service that will alert you about possible identity theft by monitoring the surface, dark and deep web, searching for compromised credentials and potentially damaging use of your registered personal information.2 To enroll, visit applecard.idprotectiononline.com.

More Details on Mastercard's Universal Digital ID

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Late last year Mastercard announced its idea for a universal digital ID. We have a bit more information on that.

Mastercard envisions a platform in which consumers have control of their identity information and it is stored locally on their devices, rather than in a centralized system that Mastercard would need to defend. The ID would be set up through a bank or other participating institution that already holds identity information about the individual. And people would manage their enrollment and interact with their universal ID through that institution’s secure mobile app.