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Apple's Cards App Has Some Kinks


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's new Cards app makes it very easy to send real, physical greeting cards through the mail. For just $2.99 (within the U.S.), Apple will print and mail a custom card. But the implementation has some faults.

For one, when sending cards to multiple addressees (holiday cards or event invitations, for example), Apple treats each card as an individual purchase from the Apple Online Store, rather than bundling purchases like on the iTunes Store. This means that for each card sent, Apple sends two emails (one for the order and another when it ships), sends a push notification (upon delivery), and charges a credit card.

When purchasing multiple apps or songs from the iTunes or App Stores, Apple aggregates multiple orders into one credit card charge. This lowers the company's credit card fees and, as seen above, avoids clogging bank statements with dozens of charges. It also avoids having a credit card locked due to the bank assuming that 8 charges for $3.08 in 10 minutes is fraudulent activity.

The most annoying of the app's quirks is the tendency of the app to fail during checkout, occasionally requiring multiple attempts to purchase a card for no discernible reason. When the purchase fails Apple still authorizes the credit card, resulting in even more charges appearing. This weekend, when ordering 37 cards, my credit card was charged for 52 transactions, though the additional charges eventually disappeared.

The Cards app is a convenient way to send personalized cards through the mail, but it needs a few tweaks, including a native iPad version and the ability for users to easily send cards to multiple addresses without dozens of individual credit card charges.

Article Link: Apple's Cards App Has Some Kinks


macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2003
I've never been able to get it to work. Whenever I would try to purchase a card it would say I need to enter my CVV. I would and then it would error out. When I researched it on the interwebs I found people that had been using Paypal that had this issue, but I'm using a normal Visa card.



macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2002
Atlanta, GA
I sent one to my wife about several weeks ago. I got a notification stating that the card reached the local post office, but the card has still not delivered. I'm guessing that at this point it is never going to arrive.


macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2005
Albuquerque, NM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

I used it with no problem. Card arrived as expected, notification was sent, etc.

The only thing I was surprised by was the low print quality for the photo. It was OK but definitely not "great" by any stretch. It's a good value at $2.99 but I'd hoped for a better appearance.

To the article author: I think Apple probably doesn't expect people to use it for 10+ cards. It's much cheaper when sending cards en made to have them shipped to you from iPhoto.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2008
I have sent one card and it go there within a couple of days. Had no problems with CC from what I can remember. My main issue was after my friend brought me the card, the print quality was subpar. It looks like a inkjet print vs. a color laser print on the card. The actual card quality was nice.


macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2010
Nashville, TN
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

I ordered my first card for my brothers birthday. And it took over a week to receive it. I also was never notified of when the card was delivered as it was advertised to do. I called apple to ask about it and got the run around. They didn't even have the correct tracking number for it.


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
I think "kink" might be too gentle a term to use for it given how many issues it has...


macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
Do we have any informal data on the tendency to fail? Is that pretty universal? Or is this just something experienced by the author of the article? Since that’s the most important point in the article, I’d be curious to know. The article says “tendency” as though most people see that tendency. Too bad. Luckily it’s not a holiday for me, so I won’t need to be an early adopter!

I just wish that you could send eCards rather than only being able to send real cards.

Apple did try that :eek:


macrumors member
Aug 24, 2011
Interesting to hear about the print quality. Maybe I will send myself one to check it out. I assumed color laser would be used to print.


macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2010
Who buys 37 cards at 3 bucks a pop?? Yikes.

I can understand sending out holiday greetings cards or invitations in big batches, but I wouldn't use the cards app for that. It's cheaper to have a large batch created as an order and then mailed out.

I would only use the cards app for sending someone a birthday card or something.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2011
Mine kept asking to select a country even though I repeatedly tapped on United States when prompted. Never did get it to finish. :(


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
Western US
I think the app is pretty nifty, but it's been very crashy for me so far on iPhone 4S. Needs some bug fixes. But it's something I think I'll use more than I initially thought I would.


macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2011
I just ordered a card. crashed the first time so i tried again. Got 1 email confirmation but it charged my cc twice. Hope it does not send two otherwise that will be embarrassing. I wish it could just come out of your itunes account


May 12, 2007
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

I do agree with the concerns about photo print quality: photo is printed on matte paper and just not quite as impressive as I'd hoped. It has a very "inkjet on plain paper" appearance


macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
I wish I could pay using iTunes credit. Apparently, you need to type in a CC. You can't just simply use your iTunes account.

Come on, Apple!


macrumors 68020
Sep 20, 2004
I made one October 12, to be sent to my girlfriend. It was never sent, despite being marked as shipped October 13. I waited until yesterday (October 31) to call Apple. They said there wasn't a mailing address on the card, so it was never mailed.

I'm supposed to be refunded my $3, because they couldn't just resend the damn thing...


macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2009
I sent one to my wife from my kids while I was sitting at a restaurant. I thought it would be cool to at least check it out for "no reason" rather than send a card for a real holiday/occasion and have it not work. It was a test run if you will. I received the card in a reasonable amount of time. It didn't ship shockingly fast, but it was acceptable. I was however a bit underwhelmed at the quality of the card. It was to par with a do it yourself on your ink jet type card.... certainly not even close to a Shutterfly or similar alternate service. It's pretty cheap so I wasn't expecting the world... just figured I'd toss my opinion on the Interweb. :)


macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
Virginia, USA
I used it as soon as I downloaded the app. I sent a picture of our dog to my daughter. Just one card. It worked smoothly. The picture was not great (my fault) but the reproduction was fine; matte printing on a good quality card. Not a huge card, smaller than a standard Hallmark; about 4x6. I think it took a week to the day for the card to arrive, and I got a lockscreen notification it was at the local postoffice on the date it was delivered. I was satisfied, but not thrilled like I was the first time a made an iphoto book.


macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2010
I tested it out when I first put ios5 on my 3gs.

The app worked and I got two cards (same cards) delivered with only one purchase of 2.99. Apple messed up and I'm glad they didn't charge me for two cards.

Haven't used it since.
But I will for Bdays and Xmas

Oh yeah and the pic quality was pretty bad, but it was a pic from a 3gs. I'll test out with a 4s for Thanksgiving.
Last edited:


macrumors member
Mar 25, 2011
Calgary, Alberta
anyone have any issues with this?

It will not let me process my payment, keeps asking for my CVV and then I get an error message.

Very frustrating, I'm trying to give you $5.00 Apple!

No one seems to have a solution from this, but googling does bring up that it is a problem.

I also can't seem to use my gift card for it, it only wants a credit card, so that option is thrown out.

I attached the error message


  • photo-2.PNG
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macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
Beverly, Massachusetts
Thanks for telling us about your weekend Jordan!

Perhaps this belongs on your personal blog?

All sarcasm aside. Have you received a card yet? I'm curious to know the quality of the paper and print.


macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2003
Silicon Valley

I've sent two iCards so far and I'd also like to throw in there that I never got the promised push notification on the day of delivery. This is in addition to the difficulties I had in getting the check-out process to function (though I chalked that up to the fact that it was day 1), and the (currently, one hopes) limited selection of themes.


macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2008
Auckland New Zealand
I sent one from New Zealand to my Sister in New York for her Birthday and it arrived on her Birthday! Had zero problems and the cost saving was massive. My only issue was the fact that it's a printed card and as such not especially personal, kinda felt like putting a stamp on an email....
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