Apple Card Declined at in-store Retailer—Resolved

I tried for the first time to use the Apple Card for an in store purchase. I’ve used it a number of times online without difficulty. When I tried to make an in store purchase for under a $1,000 it was declined. I am approved for many thousands (it doesn’t matter how many) and never keep a balance on the card past 29 days. I use it like a debit card for security reasons and for the small “cash back” it offers.

Is this common? I assumed that it could be used most anywhere like Visa, AMX etc., but I may be wrong. I actually have zero credit card debt so I only use such a card like a debit card for the cash back, provided there are no annual fees for using the card.

Anyone have experience with this?

At the end of the day, it’s a MasterCard.
Perhaps the retailer doesn’t accept MC?

I have the same financial habits as you do as well. Credit card paid in full monthly. No balances. I use the Apple Card everywhere. It declined 3x.

  1. $5 subscription
  2. $9 lunch
  3. Apple Keyboard and Mouse (~$200)

In situations 1 and 2, the Apple Card prompted me to verify the transaction and redo it again.

In situation 3 (Best Buy) there was no prompting. I called the bank, they escalated to higher tech. The response I got was “sorry it just happens sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with the account, it’s just that retailer or system they are using”. Then the person tried to sell me on buying from the Apple Store and making partial payments instead of my usual “pay in full”

This happened to me a few months ago, when I went to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and the card was denied.

I messaged Goldman Sachs via the card app and they said: your physical card is locked. Which was true. I had forgotten that in the card’s setting in Apple Wallet I had set Physical Care > Lock to “on”.


Oh, that’s a good one.
Didn’t know that was there!


Same as you, pay monthly, no balances, fairly high $ approval. have had the opposite experience. Never declined in-store, although sometimes running the card through in-store “didn’t work”. I have had it declined for some online purchases, mostly using the card through ApplePay. Did not explore reason why it was declined. May do so next time. Maybe need to look at Apple System Status for Apple Card when this happens, although that shouldn’t make a difference. Or does it?

Thanks for the input; I’m glad I’m not the only who has experienced this. Because of your good comments I went into Apple Card in the Wallet and found settings I did not know existed. I discovered that my physical card had not been activated. This explains why it works online but not in a physical store. One click activated it. I also discovered that under the transactions menu, if you click the > it gives details including card status. Mine showed “Declined—Physical Card Not Activated”

I’ve resolved the issue and now know a lot more about how to make use of the features in Wallet.

Thanks everyone for your good comments.


Where is the Apple Wallet setting to confirm a physical card found?

I checked Wallet on Apple Watch, Wallet & Apple Pay on the iPhone, and poked around AppleID.

I’m not sure I understand your question so I may not be answering it but open the Apple Card in the Wallet app. Click on the three eclipses at the top right. From there you will find a lot of options. That is where I discovered the physical card had not be activated.

Thank you. My physical cards must be confirmed, thus that option doesn’t appear. I have, for example:

  • Automatic Selection
  • Show Updates
  • Express Transit Settings
  • Device Account Number
  • Show History
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I’m ready to jump the Apple Card ship. Denial issues seem to be common.

This was one of the last straws.

Have a card declined because it was locked is a completely different issue than having a card application denied.

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