Apple Card: No crypto, foreign currency, lottery tickets, or gambling chips

Interesting to see Apple taking a stand on what won’t be allowed with their card.

Smart decision, or too heavy-handed?

It’s a credit card, right? So they’re basically just disallowing cash advance-like transactions.

Makes sense to me.


Agreed, it makes sense to me too. That being said, I’m not sure the Cryptocurrency community will be too pleased about it.

I’m pretty sure that there are tons of stories in the cryptocurrency space along the lines of “I used my normal bank to buy bitcoin and they closed my account without warning.” The problem with cryptocurrency is the benefit of it: you can’t reverse a purchase. So if someone steals a card and purchases bitcoin with it, the bitcoin will definitely be on a one way trip and someone has to eat the cost if it’s fraudulent.

To me, it just seems like this is media hype jumping on Apple because they’re Apple. Most card processors & networks are far more restrictive in terms of content and nobody cares. The Stripe restricted businesses list is a good example of this. Sure, it may not be MasterCard, but it could be Goldman Sachs or Apple, or both, disallowing in broad terms the cash advance system.


Lloyd’s do not allow you to buy crypto with a CC either

Seemed a bit odd to restrict lottery tickets on the basis that it’s effectively cash. Are things that different in the States?

I think it’s where people do not understand gambling is counted as taking cash out, and the lottery is gambling. It makes things much easier for the card provider.

I used to work at Lloyd’s and we had a lot of calls asking why customers were being charged more interest than they expected after buying lottery products online. When trailing interest happens we got angry calls saying “I’ve already cleared my balance, why am I still being charged interest”.

1 Like

I understand that the lottery is gambling, but not so much why it’s classified as cash. What’s the logic behind it?

The logic seems to be, something like, it’s a cash advance. You aren’t buying a product as such. You are using the providers money to potentially win, or lose, everything you have invested in that transaction.

I’m not the best at explaining sorry.

No worries.

Not aiming this as you, it just seems a bit tenuous and counterintuitive - there’s loads of other stuff that might fall into that category. And like you say, lots of (most?) folk might not really recognise that it’s treated as cash…

True, that’s why the Gambling Commission (UK) is seriously considering banning the use of credit cards on all gambling. It is part of government efforts to stop people (gamblers) getting into so much debt.


I remember seeing signs in shops (supermarkets and corner shops) saying you couldn’t use a debit or credit card to buy lottery tickets. This was a few years back though, in the age of the self service checkout I’ve not had to use a counter in a large store so things may have changed.

Do you have a source for this? It’d be a good idea.

It’s the same for all credit cards, though. The National Lottery doesn’t actually accept credit cards, so it’s a bit of a moot point, but for any credit card purchase at a gambling merchant (as identified by the MCC), it’s treated as a cash advance - because you’re buying ‘cash-like articles’ (namely, gaming chips in the case of land-casinos, or an account topup in the case of online casinos), which can be directly exchanged for cash.

1 Like

There are a number of news articles online, it has been batted around for a while. Here’s a recent one:

Also when I worked at Lloyd’s they were talking about banning gambling on credit cards all together, that was something like 2 years ago.

1 Like

Update - You won’t be able to use the Apple Card app on a jailbroken device, apparently.

1 Like

Not sure on smart or heavy-handed but it seems like a perfectly reasonable set of banned merchant category codes for a credit card in my opinion.

It seems like a list that if we ever did a credit card at Monzo, we might look at having to block for just credit cards (continuing to permit debit card usage!). Cash services with credit cards can be a nightmare for card issuers.

If they were banning some of the more interesting merchant category codes for things such as “adult services”, then we could be getting into heavy-handed.


Someone made a good point on hacker news:

This is to protect from a loophole of getting a 1% Apple Cash over cash purchases, which you could theoretically do unlimited times

Suddenly, the idea of blocking cash equivalents makes a lot of sense. You don’t want your card to be a perpetual money machine.


Apple Card starts rolling out to a select number of people.

Actually quite impressed with the app design and it’s fintech esque features.

The packaging/card activation is really nice and very Apple. Would be cool to see this NFC activation come to Monzo if you ever order a new card.


This is available on Android/Monzo at the moment. I think I’m right in saying that Apple keeps NFC locked down so app developers like Monzo can’t use it…

Edit: I haven’t read the article (must do that!) but I thought that the Apple Card didn’t have contactless - which is a prerequisite for NFC… (* Opens article *)

Edit 2: There’s an NFC chip on the envelope, not the card:

The titanium Apple Card comes in a package with an NFC chip that allows you to simply tap your phone to the envelope to begin the process of activating your card. No phone numbers to call and, heaven forbid, no 1-800 stickers on the surface of the card.