One of the Apple Card’s key perks is Apple Cash: Whenever you earn 1%, 2%, or 3% cash back from your purchases, those rewards are deposited into a digital cash card in your iPhone’s Wallet app, which you can use to pay for, well, just about anything you want.
The one limitation, however, was that you needed to be able to use Apple Pay (either digitally or in person) in order to spend the cash. Since your Apple Cash Card wasn’t a real debit card, it couldn’t be used in places that required card numbers. So, if you wanted to spend the money somewhere that didn’t take Apple Pay, you’d need to first deposit the cash in your bank account, wait for the funds to transfer, then spend them with your debit card. Not ideal.
This restriction isn’t long for this world, however. As part of iOS 17.4 (currently in beta testing) Apple is offering Apple Cash users the option to set up a virtual card number for their Apple Cash Card. When you update to the new OS and open Wallet, you’ll see the following pop up:
Set Up Virtual Card Number
Keep your card information safe with a new security code for every transaction.
Easily access this card number in Safari AutoFill and use it to shop online where Apple Pay is not available.
If you follow the on-screen instructions, Wallet will assign a full card number to your Apple Cash Card, complete with an expiration and security code. That way, any time you encounter a merchant who won’t take Apple Pay, you can plug in your Apple Cash Card virtual card number to use your funds. And just like your Apple Card, you can reset this virtual card number anytime you want. If you think someone stole your digital, just scramble them.
It’d be great if Apple went one step further and offered users a physical Apple Cash Card, alongside the physical Apple Card they issue. However, I doubt that’s coming anytime soon. In the meantime, you should be able to read off your virtual card number to any merchant that will write it down, which should be particularly helpful for orders made over the phone.
You can try this feature out today if you install the iOS 17.4 beta on your iPhone. Just be aware that, even though beta software has fun new features, it’s unfinished, which means you may run into bugs and other issues that Apple hasn’t ironed out yet.