What Is The Best Credit Card to Use in Your Mobile Wallet?

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Most modern cellular phones mobile wallet capabilities, giving you the ability to pay with your phone. You might even prefer paying with a mobile wallet for convenience or security purposes. But did you know that you might be able to earn some additional rewards too? Read on for more details.

mobile wallet

Which Mobile Wallet Should You Use?

You can use your phone’s built-in mobile wallet app:

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay

Or, you can use a specific credit card brand’s app like Chase Pay or Masterpass.

Many mobile wallets offer introductory cash bonuses when you signup for their services. Plus, it’s possible to link your card to multiple mobile wallets. You may even strategize to use the wallet that offers the most rewards at that time.

You can complete a mobile transaction by having the card reader scan your phone. Another option is using your digital wallet for online purchases too. Instead of directly entering your credit card information or logging into your PayPal account, open your mobile wallet first (dependent on the card).

The Best Credit Card Mobile Wallet Rewards

A few credit cards offer bonus cash when you pay with your mobile wallet instead of “dipping the chip.”

Chase Freedom

With the Chase Freedom, you can get 5% back on mobile wallet purchases. For 2018, this bonus was in the first quarter. PayPal and Chase Pay transactions also received the 5% bonus in the 2nd quarter of 2018. In the other months, you can get 5% back on other in-demand purchase categories including groceries, gas stations, and holiday shopping.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

You might like the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa for its flat-rate credit card rewards. Mobile wallet purchases during your first 12 months will earn 1.8% back and all remaining purchases earn 1.5% back.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

U.S. Bank customers can enjoy the exclusive Altitude Reserve to earn 3x back on travel and mobile wallet purchases. As a premium travel credit card, you can also enjoy up to $325 in travel credits, Priority Pass airport lounge membership, Global Entry application fee reimbursement.

Other credit cards don’t offer full-time bonus points for mobile wallet purchases yet, so you might consider this card for the peace of mine.

Bonus Suggestion: You might also consider owning the Chase Sapphire Reserve with similar travel benefits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve might even get you some additional rewards when you use Chase Pay to make the purchase.

Use These Credit Cards With Chase Pay

If you carry rewards credit cards from multiplier issues, like Chase and American Express, you may want to use the digital wallet that comes with your phone. The reason why is that you can add multiple credit cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay regardless of the issuer.

But, if you use a specific wallet app like Chase Pay, you can enjoy a different type of flexibility. You can only link your Chase credit cards, but you have the following benefits:

  • Can pay for purchases with Ultimate Rewards points
  • Link co-brand airline and hotel rewards cards too
  • Add store loyalty cards for additional discounts

When you want to pay with rewards points, using Chase Pay can be more convenient than swiping your card and redeeming them for a statement credit later. By choosing to pay with points, Chase Pay automatically redeems your points to cover the purchase.

Some smartwatches also contain the capabilities of a mobile wallet.

Advantages of Using a Mobile Wallet

There are several advantages of using a mobile wallet:

  • More secure
  • Convenient
  • Can store multiple documents on the same wallet app
  • You already take your phone everywhere you go

One of the largest advantages of having a mobile wallet is the additional layer of security. Digital wallets use tokenization security technology that doesn’t store your credit card information on your phone. If your phone is stolen, the thief will need to get past the biometric security features to complete a transaction. You should still notify your credit card company, but you have additional peace of mind in these less-than-desirable situations.

Mobile wallet transactions are still relatively uncommon, but they are increasing thanks to bonus credit card rewards and sign-up bonuses for digital wallets.

When you use one of the larger wallet apps like Apple Pay, Chase Pay, or Masterpass, you can even enjoy the same rewards and benefits as if you pay for your purchase with the EMV chip.

Disadvantages of Using a Mobile Wallet

Some sources estimate there are at least 300 mobile wallet apps you can download. With this many options, it goes without saying that not every wallet is created the same.

The biggest drawback to using an inferior mobile wallet is that you don’t earn bonus purchase rewards because the transaction codes as a “digital wallet payment” instead of a “dining purchase” or “travel purchase.” Miscoding not only costs you bonus points but can also forfeit your additional travel benefits. This issue isn’t as common as a few years ago, but you should still verify with the digital wallet app or credit card company before you make your first payment.

After verifying the digital wallet app will let you earn the correct rewards points on your bonus categories, you need to make sure the app is accepted at your favorite restaurants, stores, and travel providers. If the merchant accepts digital wallet payments, they should have a sticker on their NFC-enabled payment reader. You can also check the digital wallet website for a list of merchant partners too.

Sticking with the wallet apps published by your phone manufacturer or credit card issuer are your best option at this point. Lesser-known apps might also be accepted, but it might not be worth the risk if you want to rely exclusively on making mobile payments and no longer carrying a physical version of your card.

Summary on Best Credit Card for Mobile Payments

Although any credit card can be linked to a mobile wallet, not every purchase earns bonus points. Some cards earn bonus points on any mobile wallet purchase. Other cards can earn bonus points on your regular card bonus categories, even when you use a digital wallet.

Mary Renking

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

What Is The Best Credit Card to Use in Your Mobile Wallet?
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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