Mobile Tech

Hands-on: CardPointers maximizes your credit card rewards with iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps

Over the past 12 months, I’ve jumped deep into the world of bank card rewards, maximizing redemption values, assortment factors and money again, and making the most of profitable welcome bonuses. One of many apps that I’ve used to study extra about all of that is CardPointers, a superb app from the indie developer Emmanuel Crouvisier.

I received an opportunity to speak to Crouvisier about CardPointers, iOS 16, what it’s’ like being a full-time indie developer in 2022, and far more. Plus, an unique low cost and supply for 9to5Mac readers.

Arms-on: CardPointers might help maximize bank card rewards

The competitors within the bank card business has actually heated up during the last a number of years. Corporations together with American Categorical, Chase, and Capital One have ramped up their gives with large welcome bonuses, new redemption gives, profitable spending and rewards classes, and far more.

Talking from expertise, this may be overwhelming and complicated at first. It’s straightforward to make errors; particularly when card firms entice you to redeem for low redemption values. CardPointers goals that will help you navigate all of those conditions.

If you open CardPointers for the primary time, you’ll be prompted to undergo the method of including the bank cards you have already got. Throughout this course of, you may add the date that you simply had been permitted, modify the bonus classes if wanted, and look at all the obtainable gives.

Inserting the date you had been permitted for a card is especially vital if the cardboard has a welcome bonus or an annual charge. CardPointers might help you monitor your progress in direction of a welcome bonus and remind you when your annual charge is about to be charged.

The latter is particularly vital if you wish to attain out to your card firm and see if there are any retention gives obtainable to assist offset the annual charge. (Trace: There often are, you simply must threaten to cancel/downgrade your card first.)

When you’ve added your current playing cards to CardPointers, you may faucet on the “Pointers” tab to see a breakdown of the perfect playing cards to make use of for various classes of spending. These strategies are based mostly purely on the playing cards you have already got. For example, if in case you have the Amex Gold Card, you’ll seemingly see that it’s the best choice for many restaurant and grocery retailer purchases.

The “Dashboard” tab within the CardPointers app breaks down further details about the playing cards you might have. This features a listing of your playing cards, the overall of your annual charges, your lively gives, and extra particulars on the perfect playing cards for various classes of spending.

Lastly, the “Dashboard” additionally features a roundup of the perfect card gives for the month by way of welcome bonuses. In case you’re seeking to broaden your arsenal of bank cards, it is a very helpful software for seeing welcome bonuses for a number of the high playing cards on the market.

Safari Extension

Certainly one of my favourite elements of CardPointers is the Safari Extension. The Safari Extension is obtainable on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s major objective to let you know the perfect bank card to make use of on a specific web site to maximise the money again or factors you’ll obtain for a purchase order. For instance, in the event you’re reserving a lodge, the CardPointers extension will present you which of them of your playing cards gives the perfect rewards for that buy.

One other glorious perk of the CardPointers extension for Safari is that it helps the power to activate your whole obtainable gives on the Chase and American Categorical web sites.

If you go to Chase or American Categorical, you’ll see a CardPointers notification that shortly enables you to enroll in your gives. When you do, the gives can even sync to your CardPointers account and be factored into all the strategies and pointers.

CardPointers helps numerous completely different system options of iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. This consists of issues like App Clips, Check in with Apple, Residence Display screen widgets, Fast Observe, Siri integrations, and extra. There’s additionally a devoted Apple Watch app in addition to apps for iPad and Mac.

You may get began with CardPointers by means of this hyperlink and get an unique 20% off for being a 9to5Mac reader.

iOS 16

iOS 16 beta 4 changes

I had the chance to talk with the developer of CardPointers, Emmanuel Crouvisier, this week. One factor I used to be particularly considering was what he has deliberate for iOS 16 and Apple’s different new software program releases coming this fall. His reply? Principally every part.

Crouvisier: The primary day of WWDC I all the time assume I’ll have only some little issues to include into my app to assist maintain it feeling recent, however by the point I’m achieved watching all the pertinent session movies, I’ve received a to-do listing of 100+ gadgets. This 12 months is not any completely different.

  • App Intents: These make creating new shortcuts *so* quick and straightforward for builders. I already had 5 shortcuts within the app, however with the power to have one routinely enabled upon app set up, it makes them a lot extra approachable for customers who wouldn’t usually enterprise into the Shortcuts app. I’ve made some huge updates to my “Which Card?” shortcut, and now a consumer can simply say the title of a retailer, slightly than simply the kind of buy they’re making, and the app will immediately inform them which card to make use of there to maximise their factors or use an Amex or Chase supply that they’ve there. It even works totally with Siri, so if a consumer simply has their AirPods in, they can use Hey Siri and know which card to make use of in a second with out having to drag out their telephone or test the watch app.
  • Focus Filters: Apple lastly received me to make use of Focus modes due to them, and I can’t think about working another manner now. I’ve adopted Apple’s lead right here on implementation, and I’ve been utilizing these throughout my Work focus to point out solely my enterprise playing cards all through the app, and I created a customized focus mode known as Journey which I’ve set to filter out all the playing cards with overseas trade charges within the app so I don’t get shocked by a 3% added cost on my purchases when overseas. It’s a characteristic lots of customers have requested for, and integrating this by way of focus filters was an ideal match. 
  • Lock Display screen Widgets: I’ve had problems within the Watch app since v1, and widgets since they had been obtainable, and now I’ve received a brand new place to let customers put the data that issues most to them. This shall be a fantastic spot so as to add a reminder a couple of particular class bonus and expiring gives, and I’ll be exploring just a few new concepts as nicely.
  • Swift Charts: That is essentially the most wonderful API I’ve seen come out of Apple. In just some traces of code you will get actually stunning charts with nice accessibility options, but it will possibly do some actually advanced issues with just a few extra traces; it’s an enormous addition to SwiftUI. There are numerous functions for charts all through the app which I’ve been eager to do for some time, however didn’t need to construct my very own chart library. Drawback solved!

Going indie

Firstly of this 12 months, Crouvisier made the choice to stop his full-time job at a startup and focus totally on CardPointers. With the broader context of latest App Retailer modifications, I requested him how his first six months of being full-time indie have gone.

Crouvisier: I feel that’s the perfect determination I’ve ever made for myself! I’ve been engaged on CardPointers since 2019, and practically your entire time I’ve additionally been working at a startup, which meant ~16 hour work days, sacrificing sleep to have time to work, no evenings or weekends to chill out, and I undoubtedly hit some unhealthy burnout intervals, particularly late summer time getting ready for iOS launch days annually.

Since I stop the startup job and have been capable of focus solely on CardPointers, actually every part in my life has improved: I’m sleeping nicely daily, I get to decompress (some) evenings and weekends (I’m nonetheless a little bit of a workaholic), and CardPointers is doing higher than ever — my first 2 months solely targeted on the enterprise I tripled income in 2 months by specializing in advertising and marketing the app and extension and rising the enterprise, slightly than simply enhancing the app.

Apple’s Small Enterprise Program has been nice to save lots of 15% on App Retailer gross sales, however I’ve discovered lots of profit in leveraging internet checkout by way of Stripe and RevenueCat to save lots of much more, and likewise keep below the Small Enterprise most income restrict for longer. From a consumer perspective, nothing beats the convenience of an in-app buy, moreover a reduced worth by way of Apple Pay by means of an internet checkout circulate. The 2 collectively work fantastically nicely to cowl all kinds of customers.

Apple Card

apple card double cash

Lastly, given his in-depth and unequalled information of the bank card business and rewards, I requested Emmanuel for his ideas on Apple Card. His recommendation? You’re most likely higher off with a special card.

Crouvisier: There are such a lot of extra benefits to an excellent rewards card, like a Chase Freedom, Sapphire Most popular, Citi Premier, or Amex Gold card. With these playing cards you may earn transferable factors which you’ll switch to airways and accommodations to get much more worth out of the factors that you simply earn — and their factors multipliers for many classes are a lot larger than the Apple Card, too.

With the Apple Card essentially the most you will get is 3% again in your buy, whereas with the playing cards I’ve talked about, you will get 5x again in factors on some classes like eating places, fuel stations, and many others, and people factors are value much more as you may redeem them for issues like enterprise class seats to Europe.

If somebody spends $10,000 on their Apple Card in a 12 months they’ll get again at most $300, whereas the identical $10k spend on an excellent rewards card can earn them 50,000 factors, and people factors could be value 4c or extra with an excellent redemption, which means the actual worth can be $2,000. Actually 7x extra worth out of utilizing an excellent rewards card, and that’s what CardPointers helps customers do — earn extra from each buy simply by paying with the correct card.

Even in the event you simply need to concentrate on money again, different playing cards can earn the identical money again because the Apple Card on much more classes and retailers. I’d like to see the Apple Card additional enhance their earnings classes, and increasingly banks are doing offers straight with particular retailers as a type of promoting, so I feel we’ll proceed to see extra of that throughout all playing cards as a brand new income for them.

Wrap up

CardPointers is obtainable as a free obtain, with an in-app subscription obtainable to unlock the CardPointers Professional options.

9to5Mac readers can save 20% on CardPointers Professional’s annual and lifelong plans. The truth is, in the event you improve to the Lifetime plan with this hyperlink, you’ll additionally get a $100 Financial savings Card that successfully makes the improve free.

Extra developer interviews:

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