Ex-Apple Exec: Jobs Wanted Apple Credit Card In ‘04

Steve Jobs

The idea for an Apple Credit card, which made a splash when it was introduced at the March Apple event, has been around since at least 2004, when Steve Jobs was running the company, according to reports.

Former creative director at Apple, Ken Segall, revealed the news in a blog post on Monday (May 20).

“The year was 2004, when Apple was a very different company. It had only recently reinvented the music industry with iPod and iTunes, forever changing the way we buy and discover music. Steve thought the time was right for Apple to offer its own credit card. He would call it … (drum roll)… Apple Card,” Segall wrote.

“In typical Steve fashion, though, he wanted to do something different. Instead of offering frequent flier points or cash back, the Apple Card would be far cooler. It would offer free music. Purchases would earn iPoints, which could be redeemed for your favorite music on iTunes.”

Apple planned to use the taglines like “Buy balloons, get Zeppelin,” “Buy lipstick, get Kiss” or “Buy airplane ticket, get Train.”

“The upside for Apple was enormous. With its own credit card, Apple would not only make money when customers bought its products, it would make money when customers bought anything. Anywhere,” Segall wrote. “Alas, the Apple Card never saw the light of day. Steve worked to create a partnership with Mastercard, but apparently he couldn’t get the terms he wanted — so he pulled the plug.”

Just like back then, Apple has teamed up with Mastercard for its new card. The card focuses around contactless Apple pay transactions with the iPhone, but it’s also going to ship out a titanium physical card. There are perks, too.

Apple Pay customers will earn 2 percent daily cashback rewards, and a 1 percent reward with the physical card. Customers who use the card to buy hardware or services get 3 percent back. The card will be available in the U.S. beginning in the Summer.


Latest Insights: 

With an estimated 64 million connected cars on the road by year’s end, QSRs are scrambling to win consumer drive-time dollars via in-dash ordering capabilities, while automakers like Tesla are developing new retail-centric charging stations. The PYMNTS Commerce Connected Playbook explores how the connected car is putting $230 billion worth of connected car spend into overdrive.


To Top