Arms-on: CardPointers maximizes your bank card rewards with iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps
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Arms-on: CardPointers maximizes your bank card rewards with iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps

During the last yr, I’ve jumped deep into the world of bank card rewards, maximizing redemption values, assortment factors and money again, and benefiting from profitable welcome bonuses. One of many apps that I’ve used to study extra about all of that is CardPointers, a wonderful 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 rather more. Plus, an unique low cost and provide for 9to5Mac readers.

Arms-on: CardPointers can assist maximize bank card rewards

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

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

Whenever 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 possibly can add the date that you simply had been authorised, alter the bonus classes if wanted, and think about the entire accessible gives.

Inserting the date you had been authorised for a card is especially necessary if the cardboard has a welcome bonus or an annual price. CardPointers can assist you monitor your progress in direction of a welcome bonus and remind you when your annual price is about to be charged.

Arms-on: CardPointers maximizes your bank card rewards with iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps

The latter is very necessary if you wish to attain out to your card firm and see if there are any retention gives accessible to assist offset the annual price. (Trace: There normally are, you simply need to threaten to cancel/downgrade your card first.)

When you’ve added your present playing cards to CardPointers, you possibly can faucet on the “Pointers” tab to see a breakdown of the perfect playing cards to make use of for various classes of spending. These recommendations are based mostly purely on the playing cards you have already got. As an illustration, when you’ve got the Amex Gold Card, you’ll doubtless see that it’s the best choice for many restaurant and grocery retailer purchases.

The “Dashboard” tab within the CardPointers app breaks down extra details about the playing cards you will have. This features a checklist 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. If you happen to’re trying to develop your arsenal of bank cards, this can be a very helpful instrument for seeing welcome bonuses for a few of the prime playing cards on the market.

Safari Extension

One among my favourite points of CardPointers is the Safari Extension. The Safari Extension is on the market on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s main objective to inform you the perfect bank card to make use of on a selected web site to maximise the money again or factors you’ll obtain for a purchase order. For instance, if you happen to’re reserving a resort, the CardPointers extension will present you which of them of your playing cards gives the perfect rewards for that buy.

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

Whenever you go to Chase or American Categorical, you’ll see a CardPointers notification that rapidly permits you to enroll in your gives. When you do, the gives may even sync to your CardPointers account and be factored into the entire recommendations and pointers.

CardPointers helps plenty of totally different system options of iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. This contains issues like App Clips, Check in with Apple, Residence Display widgets, Fast Be aware, 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 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 enthusiastic about was what he has deliberate for iOS 16 and Apple’s different new software program releases coming this fall. His reply? Principally every thing.


Crouvisier: The primary day of WWDC I all the time assume I’ll have just a few little issues to include into my app to assist maintain it feeling contemporary, however by the point I’m performed watching the entire pertinent session movies, I’ve received a to-do checklist of 100+ objects. This yr isn’t any totally 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 person can simply say the identify of a retailer, fairly 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 provide that they’ve there. It even works completely with Siri, so if a person 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 cellphone or examine the watch app.
  • Focus Filters: Apple lastly received me to make use of Focus modes because of them, and I can’t think about working every other method now. I’ve adopted Apple’s lead right here on implementation, and I’ve been utilizing these throughout my Work focus to indicate 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 the entire playing cards with international 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 numerous customers have requested for, and integrating this by way of focus filters was an ideal match. 
  • Lock Display Widgets: I’ve had problems within the Watch app since v1, and widgets since they had been accessible, and now I’ve received a brand new place to let customers put the knowledge that issues most to them. This shall be a terrific spot so as to add a reminder a couple of particular class bonus and expiring gives, and I’ll be exploring a couple of new concepts as effectively.
  • Swift Charts: That is essentially the most superb API I’ve seen come out of Apple. In only a few strains of code you will get actually lovely charts with nice accessibility options, but it may possibly do some actually complicated issues with a couple of extra strains; it’s an enormous addition to SwiftUI. There are a lot of purposes for charts all through the app which I’ve been eager to do for some time, however didn’t wish to construct my very own chart library. Downside solved!

Going indie

Initially of this yr, Crouvisier made the choice to stop his full-time job at a startup and focus completely on CardPointers. With the broader context of current App Retailer adjustments, I requested him how his first six months of being full-time indie have gone.


Crouvisier: I believe that’s the perfect determination I’ve ever made for myself! I’ve been engaged on CardPointers since 2019, and practically the whole 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 loosen up, and I undoubtedly hit some unhealthy burnout intervals, particularly late summer time making ready for iOS launch days annually.

Since I stop the startup job and have been in a position to focus solely on CardPointers, actually every thing in my life has improved: I’m sleeping effectively on daily basis, 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 the app and extension and rising the enterprise, fairly 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 numerous profit in leveraging internet checkout by way of Stripe and RevenueCat to save lots of much more, and likewise keep underneath the Small Enterprise most income restrict for longer. From a person perspective, nothing beats the convenience of an in-app buy, moreover a reduced value by way of Apple Pay by an online checkout circulation. The 2 collectively work fantastically effectively to cowl all sorts of customers.


Apple Card

apple card double cash

Lastly, given his in-depth and unmatched 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 unique card.


Crouvisier: There are such a lot of extra benefits to an excellent rewards card, like a Chase Freedom, Sapphire Most well-liked, Citi Premier, or Amex Gold card. With these playing cards you possibly can earn transferable factors which you’ll be able to switch to airways and motels to get much more worth out of the factors that you simply earn — and their factors multipliers for many classes are a lot increased 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, gasoline stations, and many others, and people factors are price much more as you possibly can redeem them for issues like enterprise class seats to Europe.

If somebody spends $10,000 on their Apple Card in a yr 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 might be price 4c or extra with an excellent redemption, which means the true 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 best card.

Even if you happen to simply wish to give attention to 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 believe we’ll proceed to see extra of that throughout all playing cards as a brand new income for them.


Wrap up

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

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

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