Apple Card Users Won’t Be Able to Buy Casino Chips, Bet The Ponies or Buy Bitcoin

Posted on: August 3, 2019, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2019, 12:22h.

Apple Inc.’s highly anticipated credit card, expected to be launched later this month, will not be usable at casinos to buy chips or at racetracks to make bets.

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses Apple Card at an event earlier this year. (Image: Macworld)

Goldman Sachs, the issuing bank of the Apple Card, released its cardholder agreement Friday, outlining several banned transactions that can be seen as alternatives to traditional cash advances.

Cash Advance and Cash equivalents means any cash advance and other cash-like transaction, including purchases of cash Cash Advance and Cash Equivalents; equivalents such as travelers checks, foreign currency, or cryptocurrency; money orders; peer to peer transfers, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions; lottery tickets, casino gaming chips (whether physical or digital), or race track wagers or similar betting transactions,” according to the Goldman agreement.

Apple Card is designed as a cash-back credit card with different tiers. At the high end, cardholders get three percent back for purchases at Apple-owned properties and web sites, such as iTunes, Apple Music and the company’s retail stores.

Users get two percent back for any purchases made using the card via Apple Wallet and one percent back for all other buys.

Other Cards Do It, Too

It is not uncommon for credit issuers and payment network operators to ban purchases of certain goods and services they deem “naughty.” American Express and Discover ban cardholders from buying casino chips. State law in Nevada, the largest casino gaming destination in the US, forbids purchases of chips on credit cards.

MasterCard and Visa, two of the world’s largest payment network operators, reportedly don’t allow the purchase of casinos chips with cards issued under their brands. For Apple Card users and anyone else wanting to plunk down plastic for chips, the way around these restrictions is simple and legal: taking cash advances on the card in the casino and using the cash to buy chips.

Several states, including California, do not allow lottery tickets to be purchased with credit cards, and American Express doesn’t allow its users to buy lottery items, including scratchers, with any of its cards in any state.

Some gamblers may think that buying chips with a rewards credit card is a good way to rack up points and frequent flier miles, but they would be wrong. Many issuers of reward cards say in their cardholder agreements that cash-like transactions do not count toward accrual of points.

For example, the popular Chase Sapphire Card does not let users earn points for buying “lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions,” according to its agreement.

Bitcoin Banned, Too

Goldman Sachs joins several other large banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, in banning purchases of bitcoin and other digital currencies via credit cards.

Purchases of digital coins and gambling-related fare don’t seem to jibe with the mission of Apple Card, which the company is framing as a “healthy” card.

“Apple Card is designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life, which starts with a better understanding of their spending so they can make smarter choices with their money,” said Apple when it announced the card earlier this year.