What Is Apple Card Family, and How Do You Use It?

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Apple Card Family is geared toward couples and families. You can now co-own an Apple Card with another adult, and you can give children or others access to it for spending. You can see and monitor everyone’s transactions in one place. It was released along with iOS 14.6 in May 2021.

How Does Apple Card Family Work?

The feature lets two people co-own one Apple Card and grant access to that card to others in the family-sharing group. So, a family with two parents and three kids could have the two parents as co-owners who allow the kids access to their card for payments.

Goldman Sachs is partnering with Apple on the feature and makes all decisions regarding eligibility and credit as the issuing bank for Apple Card. That means that it will be the company that decides whether you get a requested credit limit increase.

Apple Card Family is designed to help families build credit together by merging and managing their credit lines as a group. According to Apple’s VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey, one reason that the company rolled out this feature is greater transparency when it comes to credit:

“There’s been a lack of transparency and consumer understanding in the way credit scores are calculated when there are two users of the same credit card since the primary account holder receives the benefit of building a strong credit history while the other does not,” Bailey said, adding that this feature lets users “build their credit history together equally.”

iOS users can add up to five people to their group by sharing their Apple Card with them using Apple Wallet. You have to be 13 or older to be in the group, and 18 or older to be a co-owner.

Members under 18 years of age are listed as “participants,” and there can only be two co-owners. Everyone who opts into credit reporting will have their history reported to major credit bureaus, thus building credit. Co-owners are held responsible for payments, even if one of them doesn’t pay.

Co-owners can see purchase history and limit the purchases of others in the group. Group members get the benefit of a combined credit limit.

In other words, “co-owners” are similar to those with traditional joint accounts (who share financial responsibility) while “participants” are similar to authorized users (who can buy things but aren’t responsible for the card).

Payments are tracked on your iPhone and listed on a single monthly bill. Each user’s spending gets displayed separately as well as the total spending amount for that month and the total statement amount. You can change the display to view spending amounts by day, month, or year.

Apple says that there will be “absolutely no fees” associated with the card, although late payments will result in additional interest added to your bill.

What Users Can Do

User privileges with Apple Card Family vary depending on whether you’re a co-owner or a participant. Co-owners on the account can do things like:

  • add or remove group participants
  • view participant and co-owner activity
  • get notifications on participant spending
  • set spending limits and locks

Group participants can:

  • view their transactions and account info
  • opt in for credit reporting if they’re over 18
  • spend up to the credit limit on the account, but might be restricted based on what the co-owners set

Co-owners and participants over 18 can also order their own titanium Apple Card.

All you need to set up Apple Card Family is a compatible iPhone or iPad running the latest Apple OS and an Apple Card account with Family Sharing enabled. You can apply for an Apple Card right from your iPhone—or on the web. Once you’ve done that, you can invite up to five other people to your group, and one of them can be a co-owner as long as they’re over 18.

As of May 2021, Apple Card Family and the Apple Card are only available in the USA.

Related: What’s New in iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6

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