Home / Tech / The Apple Card comes with 3 different credit card numbers — here's what they all mean (AAPL)

The Apple Card comes with 3 different credit card numbers — here's what they all mean (AAPL)

Apple Card

  • The Apple Card comes with three different credit card numbers: one for your physical card, a virtual card number, and one that’s used with Apple Pay.
  • This is a security measure that makes it possible to continue using your Apple Card should your information get stolen.
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There are plenty of characteristics that make the Apple Card different than most other credit cards. One such quality is the fact that it comes with three separate credit card numbers. 

You can use the Apple Card in three different ways: via Apple Pay, through the physical titanium card you can order after you’ve been approved for an Apple Card and accept the offer, and by providing a credit card number. Each of these payment methods has its own credit card number. By issuing three different numbers that work independently of one another, Apple is hoping to mitigate the potential harm that could occur should your phone or credit card information get lost or stolen. 

Here’s a look at those numbers and what they mean. 

Read more: I’ve been using Apple’s sleek new credit card for a week — here are the best and worst things about it so far

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about the next Apple Watch, which could launch as soon as next month

You Apple Card device number

When your Apple Card is created, Apple generates a device number that’s specific to you and is stored on your iPhone’s Secure Element — Apple’s security-oriented chip for storing payment information.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because Apple also uses the device number system for your other payment cards in Apple Pay as well. When you add a card to Apple Pay, a device number is created and stored on the iPhone’s Secure Element chip. For privacy purposes, Apple only has access to a portion of your device number and a portion of your credit card number.

When you make a purchase through Apple Pay, your iPhone provides this device number and a one-time security code to complete the transaction — not your actual credit card number. This process works the same way when you pay with Apple Pay using your Apple Card. 

Your virtual card number

The Apple Card also includes a separate number for instances in which you can’t use Apple Pay or swipe a credit card and must provide a credit card number.

This number can be found by launching the Wallet app, tapping your Apple Card, and pressing the three dots in the top right corner of the screen. Then press the “Card Information” option located below the “Payments” section and authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. You should see a card number below your name. 

Your physical card number

If you have a titanium physical Apple Card, that card will have its own number too —although there are no numbers printed on the actual card itself. The number is used to process a purchase when you swipe your physical card or insert its chip.

When you look at your recent transactions in the Wallet app, you’ll see whether you used Apple Pay or your card number to make a payment. The last four digits of your card number for each transaction are also visible by tapping a transaction from the list and then pressing the arrow to reveal more information about it. You’ll notice that those last four digits are different if you’ve used your physical card, virtual card number, or Apple Pay.