Apple Cash and Apple Pay Review: How They Stack Up

Both Apple Cash and Apple Pay are digital payment services developed by Apple. Apple users have these payment services available within their Apple Wallets. These apple services enable users to transfer and receive money through the in-built Messages app, pay online, and make contactless purchases in physical stores.

Keep reading this simple guide to Apple Pay and Apple Cash to learn about each payment service and how they are different. In this article, readers will learn about Apple Cash and Apple Pay fees (if any) and other valuable details. 

What is Apple Cash, and How does it Work?

We are used to receiving messages through the Apple Messages app. Apple Cash took this function and improved it, so now you can send and receive money through the Messages app! If you transfer money to someone, they receive the funds right on their Apple Cash balance, and vice versa.

Apple Cash is a deposit account. However, you can bind it to Apple Pay and make purchases. Now let's learn how the system works!

How does Apple Cash work?

How does Apple Cash work?

As mentioned, Apple Cash is a deposit account. Logically, it works as a physical debit card which you can attach to an app to make purchases. Here's what Apple Cash lets you do:

  • Transfer and receive money via the Messages app. Users need an Apple Cash balance or another debit card attached to Apple's Wallet to transfer and get money funds via Messages.
  • Enable safe and contactless Apple Pay purchases at online and physical stores. Purchases are enabled in stores with the Apple Pay logo or contactless payment symbol. Users need one of these devices: iPhone, iPad, or even Apple Watch.
  • Share funds with family members.
  • Get cashback rewards via the attached Apple credit card.
  • Transfer funds from Apple Cash balance to bank account.

So, Apple Cash is almost like a credit or debit card that you attach to Apple Pay to make purchases online or in person. 

What is Apple Pay, and How does it Work?

Apple Pay is a contactless payment mechanism that lets users accomplish transactions using debit and credit cards or Apple Cash. Users need an Apple Wallet to use Apple Pay. Users may also send and receive funds with their linked cards in Apple Pay.

You can secure payments by using iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS apps. Users can also pay online through a Safari browser. But does Apple Pay charge to send money? No, the service itself doesn't charge fees. However, specific regions, retailers, and platforms may charge additionally. 

The situation is similar regarding the Apple Pay limit per day. The service doesn't have limits on purchases, but an attached credit, debit, or prepaid card may have limitations. If you link Apple Cash, you can spend up to $10,000 per week. 

How does Apple Pay work?

How does Apple Pay work?

Apple Pay enables purchases at stores with Apple Pay or contactless payment symbols. The service works solely in the U.S. The app also enables users to send and receive money via the Messages app.

Apple Pay creates a device-attached number and a unique transaction code when a user purchases something. Apple won't keep a card number on any device or Apple servers. It also doesn't share this data with retailers. Thus, all payments are secured. And does Apple Pay charge a fee for transactions? No, it doesn't. 

Now let's see what's the difference between Apple Pay and Apple Cash further in the article. 

The Differences Between Apple Cash and Apple Pay 

Apple Cash vs Apple Pay

Apple Cash

Apple Pay 


Apple Cash does not require any fees to send or receive money via the usage of standard services. 

Apple Cash review shows that selecting an instant transfer option charges the user a 1.5% fee. 

The usage of Apple Pay does not cost anything. However, retailers may charge additional fees. 

Funding options

Users can fund their accounts by using credit or prepaid cards. The service is available only for U.S users.

Users may fund their accounts by using credit, debit, or prepaid cards. Users can also use Apple Cash. The service is available only in the U.S.

Additional requirements

  • Apple device with an up-to-date operating system.

  • Two-factor authentication.

  • Apple device with an up-to-date operating system.

  • Two-factor authentication.

  • Attached credit, debit, prepaid card, or Apple Cash account. Any linked account should be funded to make purchases. 


In a message, users can send or receive a minimum of $1, or a maximum of $10,000. The maximum limit works for seven days. So, you can't send or receive $10,001 within seven days and would have to wait for day eight. 

Apple Pay doesn’t have limits on purchase numbers or amounts spent. However, some retailers or platforms may set limits. Moreover, some countries also set limits. Apple Cash also limits how much you can spend within seven days. 

Transfer speed

Within 30 minutes, when using Instant Transfer and an eligible debit card. Bank transfers take longer, about 1-3 business days. 


FDIC insurance



So, given the details from the table, is Apple Pay FDIC insured? No, it's not, since only deposit accounts can be FDIC insured. However, Apple Cash is FDIC insured. The funds on a user's account are insured for up to $250,000.

Final Thoughts

Upon reading this article, it is easy to conclude that Apple Cash is a payment service you use to fund purchases. At the same time, Apple Pay is what you use to make purchases. Combined, these two payment options enable users to pay online or send and receive funds safely. You can also use contactless payment options in physical stores.