Apple wants to make building a credit history a family affair by giving people a way to share one Apple Card and introduce their kids to the world of credit, the tech giant announced Tuesday.
A new feature named Apple Card Family, coming in May, will let two people co-own an Apple Card so they can share credit line access and both benefit from the track record it establishes. This is the first time Apple Card will allow multiple people to share an account. Parents will also be able to give children 13 or older access to their Apple Card while keeping tabs on their spending and purchases.
The Apple Card, built into the Apple Wallet app on the iPhone, is an unusually low-fee credit card that doesn’t charge an annual or late fee. Like other tech company-backed card programs in today’s emerging credit card market, Apple is focused on credit access and education. The last notable Apple Card feature—the “Path to Apple Card” program—was rolled out in July to give denied card applicants a second chance to prove their creditworthiness.
Co-ownership allows Apple cardholders to more equitably build credit and earn rewards, the company said, like a traditional joint credit card account holder relationship. Co-owners will share a credit limit, payment responsibility, and each will receive Daily Cash (Apple’s form of cash-back rewards) on their purchases and own the account’s credit history together, whether it’s positive or negative.
When the Apple Card Family feature launches in May, anyone 18 or older can become co-owner of an Apple Card account. Two people who already have an Apple Card can merge their accounts but keep the higher credit limit and the lower APR.
Co-owners can invite children who are at least 13 to their Apple Card Family, essentially making them an authorized user. Those older than 18 who are part of an Apple Card Family but are not co-owners can also opt-in to credit reporting, which can help them build credit before they have a card account of their own.