Can you spend Apple cash at stores?

Apple Cash is a mobile payment service by Apple that allows users to send, receive, and store money in a virtual Apple Cash card. The service is integrated with Apple Pay and is available for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac users. With Apple Cash, users can make quick person-to-person (P2P) payments using iMessage or request and receive money from others.

One of the common questions related to Apple Cash is whether the stored Apple Cash balance can be used to make purchases at physical retail stores, in addition to online stores and apps. This article examines if and how Apple Cash can be spent at brick-and-mortar merchant locations.

Overview of Apple Cash

Apple Cash utilizes the debit card networks like Visa and Mastercard to facilitate money transfers. When a user receives money via Apple Cash, the funds get added to their Apple Cash card in Wallet app automatically. The card has a 16-digit virtual account number, expiration date and security code, just like a physical debit card.

Users can then use this virtual debit card for the following:

  • Transfer money from Apple Cash card to their bank account
  • Use it for purchases on websites and apps that accept Apple Pay as payment method
  • Pay at merchant locations that accept contactless payments like Apple Pay

So in summary, as the stored Apple Cash balance exists in the form of a virtual debit card, it can technically be used wherever Apple Pay is supported. This includes in-store payments.

Spending Apple Cash at Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Yes, users can tap and pay with their Apple Cash balance at retail stores, assuming the stores have contactless payment terminals enabled for Apple Pay. This allows using the money received in Apple Cash almost instantly at physical stores, without having to first transfer it to bank account.

Here are some ways in which Apple Cash can be spent at in-person merchant locations:

1. Via iPhone and Apple Watch

If users have added their Apple Cash card to Apple Pay wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch, they can hold the device near the store’s contactless reader to make payment with Apple Cash balance.

The process is the same as making a regular Apple Pay payment. Users just need to authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID or passcode when prompted.

This provides a quick, convenient way to spend Apple Cash in stores, without reaching for physical cards or cash.

2. Via Apple Cash card in Wallet app

Even if Apple Cash is not added to Apple Pay, users can tap to pay with the virtual card itself in the Wallet app.

At checkout, they can open Wallet app and select the Apple Cash card. Then tap the iPhone or Apple Watch on the NFC reader to authorize payment using stored Apple Cash.

3. By requesting a physical Apple Cash card

For those who prefer swiping a physical card, Apple provides the option to get a free titanium Apple Cash card that’s tied to the Apple Cash account balance.

Users can order the physical debit card after adding Apple Cash to Wallet app. This physical card can then be used to spend Apple Cash balance at stores by swiping or inserting the card into payment terminals.

Requirements for Spending Apple Cash In Stores

To be able to use Apple Cash at brick-and-mortar retail locations, the following requirements must be met:

  • The store must accept contactless payments like Apple Pay. Most major retailers today support contactless payments.
  • Users need an iPhone or Apple Watch compatible with Apple Pay to tap and pay at checkout.
  • Sufficient Apple Cash balance should be available to cover the purchase amount.
  • For transactions over certain amount, merchants may require providing a government-issued photo ID.

If any of these requirements are not met, users won’t be able use their Apple Cash to pay in stores. For instance, Apple Cash cannot be used at merchants that only accept physical card swipes and don’t support contactless payments.

Where Can You Use Apple Cash In Stores?

Apple Cash can be used to pay at a wide variety of brick-and-mortar merchants that accept contactless payments, including:

  • Grocery stores like Whole Foods, Kroger, Ralphs, etc.
  • Pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Duane Reade
  • Clothing and department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, etc.
  • Home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware
  • Convenience and liquor stores like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Circle K
  • Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway
  • Gas stations like Shell, Exxon, BP, Chevron
  • Vending machines and parking meters

In addition, Apple Cash can be used at retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and other major chains where Apple Pay is supported. It’s also accepted at many small independent merchants that take contactless payments.

Stores That Don’t Accept Apple Cash

While Apple Cash can be used at most large retailers, there are some merchants that currently don’t accept contactless Apple Pay payments. These include:

  • Costco
  • Aldi
  • Trader Joe’s
  • BJs
  • Sam’s Club

So Apple Cash cannot be used to pay at these wholesale club and grocery chains for the time being.

Using Apple Cash at Restaurants, Bars and More

In addition to retail stores, Apple Cash can be used to pay at various other in-person business locations that accept Apple Pay, such as:

  • Restaurants – Most major fast food chains like McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks, Panera Bread, etc. accept contactless payments. Apple Cash can be used to pay for orders at the counter or kiosks in these restaurants.
  • Cafes and coffee shops – The Apple Cash card can be used at independent cafes as well as chains like Starbucks to buy coffee, snacks and more.
  • Food trucks and carts – More and more mobile food vendors are accepting contactless payments using portable POS systems. Apple Cash is accepted at many of them.
  • Bars and lounges – Tap to pay with Apple Cash at the bar counter for drinks and bar bites.
  • Movie theaters – Purchase movie tickets at the counter as well as snacks and drinks inside the cinema using Apple Cash.
  • Public transit – Reload transit cards and pay for rides on subways, buses and other public transport using Apple Pay.

So Apple Cash delivers convenience of paying with your iPhone for all kinds of transactions.

Pros of Using Apple Cash In Stores

Here are some benefits of using Apple Cash for in-store payments:

  • It’s quick and easy to check out by holding your iPhone or Apple Watch near the payment terminal.
  • More secure than using physical cards as each transaction requires authentication via Face ID, Touch ID or passcode.
  • No need to carry physical cards or cash when going shopping.
  • Instant access to money received via Apple Cash for purchases.
  • Earn daily cash back on Apple Card transactions which is added to Apple Cash balance.
  • Receive personalized Daily Cash offers from Apple for use with Apple Pay and Apple Cash.

Cons of Using Apple Cash In Stores

There are a couple drawbacks of using Apple Cash for in-store payments:

  • Requires always carrying an iPhone or Apple Watch.
  • Some users may prefer swiping a physical card for better visibility and to track spending.
  • Occasional glitches in card readers may prevent processing an Apple Pay transaction.

Tips for Using Apple Cash at Stores

Here are some tips to use Apple Cash seamlessly when shopping in stores:

  • Check that sufficient balance is available in Apple Cash before shopping to avoid declined transactions.
  • Add the Apple Cash card to Apple Pay wallet for quick checkout without opening Wallet app.
  • For extra security, enable Face ID or Touch ID for payments on iPhone and passcode on Apple Watch.
  • If a store’s card reader doesn’t accept contactless payments, order a physical Apple Cash card for swiping.
  • Monitor Apple Cash card transactions in Wallet app to keep track of spending.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about spending Apple Cash balance in stores:

Can I use Apple Cash at any store that accepts Apple Pay?

Yes, Apple Cash can be used at all brick-and-mortar merchants that accept contactless payments through Apple Pay.

Do I need to use a PIN or sign for Apple Cash transactions?

No PIN or signature is required. Transactions are authorized via Face/Touch ID or passcode prompt.

Is there a limit on how much I can spend with Apple Cash in stores?

Transactions over $25 may require sign-in with iPhone/Watch passcode. Store policies may also enforce spending limits.

Can I get cash back when using Apple Cash for store purchases?

No, cash back is not available on Apple Cash transactions. You can only spend up to available balance.

Do I earn Daily Cash rewards when using Apple Cash in stores?

Yes, all transactions using Apple Cash card will qualify for Daily Cash back when using an Apple Card.


Apple Cash provides iPhone and Apple Watch users with a convenient, secure way to spend money received from others directly at physical retail stores. Theability to instantly use funds added to the Apple Cash card via Apple Pay speeds up the shopping experience.

As more stores enable contactless payments, Apple Cash is becoming widely accepted alongside traditional payment methods. With benefits like Daily Cash rewards and integration with other Apple services, Apple Cash can be a compelling option for iOS users to make in-person payments.

Payment Method Accepted At Pros Cons
Apple Cash Stores accepting contactless payments Fast, secure, rewards Requires iPhone/Watch
Physical Card Most stores Ubiquitous, easy to track Slower, less secure
Cash All stores Accepted everywhere Inconvenient, not secure

Leave a Comment