How to Use Apple Cash

Apple Cash offers a convenient way for iPhone users to make purchases or to send and receive money. Find out how to use Apple Cash and how it compares to other payment apps.

What Is Apple Cash?

Anyone with an iPhone has Apple Cash already built into their Apple Wallet. Apple Cash is a digital card you can load with cash to use online or in stores that accept Apple Pay. You can also send Apple Cash to friends and family with iPhones through Messages or via your Apple Wallet. And, you can receive Apple Cash from others.

How Apple Cash Compares to Apple Pay

You might be wondering if Apple Cash replaced Apple Pay, or what the difference is between the two. Think of it this way: Apple Cash is a “card” or payment option you use to make a purchase or send money, while Apple Pay is the technology behind the transactions. As such, you can set up your Apple Pay with a variety of payment methods including any credit or debit cards you have, as well as your Apple Cash digital card.

[See: Best High-Yield Savings Accounts]

Apple Cash vs. Apple Card

While Apple Cash is a digital card that lets you make purchases and send cash from the money source of your choice, the Apple Card works more like a traditional credit card. You’ll have to apply for the Apple Card. It has a revolving credit limit, and you’ll have to make a monthly payment. With Apple Cash, your available funds come from either a linked debit card or any Apple Cash balance that’s in your wallet.

How to Use Apple Cash

Using Apple Cash starts with being an iPhone user. As long as you have an iPhone, your Wallet can be preloaded with Apple Cash. To set it up, click the icon and follow the prompts to activate. Once you do that, you’ll be able to receive Apple Cash from other people.

If you want to also be able to make payments and purchases, the next step is to link a debit card. You’ll be given the option to scan your physical card, or you can manually type in the account number, expiration date and security code. The last step is to verify your card with a text or email. Once your card is accepted, you can add funds to your Apple Cash balance or transfer an Apple Cash balance to your bank.

How to Send Money Through Apple Cash

If you want to send money to someone using Apple Cash, there are a few options.

Using Messages

From your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, open the Messages app and start or click into a conversation with your recipient. For example, if you want to send your sister $20 because she paid for your lunch, you’d open Messages and find her contact. Then, in the message toolbar (the same one that lets you add an image or GIF) you should see the Apple Cash button. Tap it, enter the amount and then tap send. You’ll have a chance to confirm your payment using Face ID or your passcode and then it will go through. Your sister should instantly see the $20 payment appear in her Apple Cash balance.

From Your Wallet

Another way to send Apple Cash is to go into your Apple Wallet and find your Apple Cash card. On that screen, you’ll see the option to send or request cash. Choose send, then select the person you’re paying. Input the amount, send and confirm.

Using Siri

If you don’t feel like typing and tapping, simply ask Siri to send the payment for you. “Hey Siri, Send Lyn $20 using Apple Cash.”

Tip: If you live in an Apple-loving household, one useful feature you can set up is Apple Cash Family for users under 18. This allows parents, kids and siblings to send and receive cash to and from each other. Parents can also set up spending limits and monitor their kids’ Apple Cash accounts.

When you send money using any of these methods, the funds will be drawn from your Apple Cash balance first. If you don’t have enough to cover the full amount, you’ll be prompted to choose a debit card from your Apple Wallet.

How to Transfer Apple Cash to Your Bank

If someone pays you with Apple Cash and you prefer to move it to your bank account, you can do so in a couple of taps. Start by opening up your Wallet and selecting your Apple Cash card. Tap for more options (the three dots on the upper right) and select “transfer to bank.” Next, enter the amount you wish to transfer and click next.

You’ll have two options:

— Instant transfer to your debit card: If you want to move the money within 30 minutes, you can choose an instant transfer, but it will incur a 1.5% fee.

— Transfer to your bank account: A bank transfer will take one to three business days to appear in your bank account, but there is no charge.

Once you’ve decided between the debit or bank option, click next, and then confirm.

[Read: Best Savings Accounts.]

Apple Cash Alternatives

Apple Cash is designed for iPhone users who wish to transact with other iPhone users via a contactless payment option. That said, there are a couple of alternatives for sending and receiving payments with others who may not be Apple users.


How it works: Zelle powers instant money transfers from one bank account to another, making it easy for people to send and receive payments.

Zelle vs. Apple Cash: With Zelle, there is no app in the middle of the transaction hanging on to the cash balance — money moves straight from bank to bank. That also means it’s not something you can use for purchases.


How it works: Venmo is a social app that allows you to send payments or request money from friends no matter which smartphone they use. You can make transactions using funds from your Venmo balance, or you can link a bank account or credit card. Credit card-backed transactions will incur a fee, however.

Venmo vs. Apple Cash: As far as sending and receiving cash with others, the concept is similar, but Apple Cash has more functionality in that it can be used to make purchases anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted.

Cash App

How it works: Cash App is another money-transferring app that lets you send cash to anyone — even internationally. Like similar apps, you can keep a balance in Cash App or link a bank account as your funding source.

Cash App vs. Apple Cash: In addition to sending cash, Cash App also allows you to send and receive Bitcoin or stocks. It also has additional features like a savings account and investment options.

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