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Once you’ve started signing up for multiple credit cards, you can easily run out of room in your wallet! And because each card has different bonus categories and benefits, you’ll want to carry as many of them with you as possible.
With digital wallets this problem is quickly becoming a thing of the past! Apps like Google Pay, Apple Pay, Chase Pay, and Samsung Pay, allow you to store and pay with your credit cards from your phone.
Now you don’t have to worry about carrying around a stack of cards or forgetting the card you need! And it’s easier than ever to earn bonus rewards with mobile wallets because the competition has encouraged providers to have better promotions.
And setting up a mobile wallet for yourself is easier than you think. I’ll show you how with step-by-step instructions.
As digital wallets are increasing in popularity, they are being accepted at more locations every day. And there can be great bonuses and incentives for paying with your phone!
So let’s take a look at how to set up these 4 mobile wallets so you can earn more miles, points, and cash back for travel!
Earn Bonus Rewards With Your Virtual Wallet
Link: Apple Pay
Link: Chase Pay
Link: Google Pay
Link: Samsung Pay
Because you can bring lots of your cards with you, it’s much easier to earn more miles, points, or cash back for your everyday purchases. And there are often generous bonuses for using mobile wallet services.
For example, until March 31, 2018, you can earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (on up to $1,500 in combined bonus category purchases) when you use your Chase Freedom card with Google Pay, Apple Pay, Chase Pay, or Samsung Pay! And one of the Chase Freedom card’s 2nd quarter 5X bonus categories for 2018 is Chase Pay!
Some cards even have bonuses for mobile wallet purchases as a standard feature. The US Bank Altitude Reserve card earns 3X Altitude Reserve points on travel AND certain mobile wallet purchases!
And the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card earns 20% more cash back (1.8% cash back vs. 1.5% cash back) on qualifying mobile wallet purchases during the first 12 months you have the card.
Mobile Payment Apps Aren’t Accepted Everywhere (Yet!)
Digital wallets still aren’t accepted everywhere. But as they become more popular, many chain stores, and restaurants are beginning to accept them as a form of payment. And you can use most mobile payment apps to make online or in-app purchases as well!
While digital wallets will make it easier to organize your credit cards and earn category bonuses, they aren’t all a complete solution yet. That’s because you’re also sometimes limited to how many cards you can add.
Here’s a more detailed look at the major digital wallet platforms:
|Digital Wallet||Where It Works||Compatible Devices||Type of Cards Accepted|
|Apple Pay||22+ Countries||- Any iPhone 6 or higher|
- Apple Watch paired with iPhone 5 or higher
- iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3 (iPads can only be used for in-app and online purchases)
|AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa|
|Chase Pay||US||- iPhone 5 or newer|
- iOS versions 9 and up
- Android OS 4.1 and up
Download the Chase Pay App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store
|Chase issued cards only|
|Google Pay||18+ Countries||- Any Android device with KitKat 4.4 or higher |
- If your phone doesn't come with the app, you can download it here
|AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa|
|Samsung Pay||21+ Countries||- Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, S8, S9 |
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5, 7, FE, 8
- Samsung Galaxy A3, A5, A7, A8, A9
- And many other Samsung models!
|AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa|
Virtual wallets are great for folks who are concerned about the security of their credit card information. When the mobile payment app communicates with the card reader through NFC (near-field communication) most of them will NOT send your credit card number. Instead the app creates and sends a new digital card number (or token) for each transaction. So if the bad guys hack the retailer, (like what happened with Target a few years ago) they’ll be much less likely to get a hold of your credit card information!
And even though digital wallet services may sound complicated or confusing, they are actually simple to install and use. And with more folks (and merchants) using them every day, it’s only going to get easier!
So if you’re ready to start earning more miles & points, here’s how you can setup a mobile wallet for yourself!
Step-by-Step: How to Set up Your Virtual Wallet
The digital wallet service that makes the most sense for you will depend a lot on what brand of mobile phone you have. For example, Apple Pay is only available on Apple devices (mostly newer models). But Samsung Pay and Google Pay aren’t available for download with Apple products.
Once you’ve decided which app you want to go with, here are instructions for setting up each one.
1. Apple Pay
You can use Apple Pay in stores with contactless card readers and for certain in-app or online purchases. So when you want to use Apple Pay in-store, look for the contactless card reader symbol or Apple Pay logo.
Apple Pay is one of the more popular digital wallets because it comes pre-installed on new model iPhones as part of your Apple Wallet. Once you have it set up, it’s easy to use. You can double click the home button from the lock screen and it should come up. Then just hold your phone near the NFC (near-field communication) card reader and scan your fingerprint with the home button.
Step 1. Open Your Apple Wallet
To add cards to Apple Pay, you’ll need to open your Apple Wallet. Then click the “+“symbol.
Step 2. Click Continue
Now click “Continue.”
Step 3. Add Your Card Information
Now you can add your card information or verify a card that is already on file in your iTunes account by adding the security code. Then click “Next.”
Step 4. Confirm Your Card Information
Add the name on the card and card number. Then click “Next” to continue.
Step 5. Verify Your Card
Get a verification code by text, email, or calling the bank. Then select “Next.”
Step 6. Your Card Is Activated
Your card is ready to use. Now click “Done.”
Step 7. Pick Your Card & Pay
When you’re ready to use Apple Pay, open the app and pick the card you want to use. Then verify your identity with your fingerprint or authorization code and hold your device near the card reader to make the payment.
2. Chase Pay
You can only use Chase Pay with Chase cards. That’s a bigger limitation than the other digital wallets. But it is easier to set up. And so far, Chase Pay has been running better promotions than the other apps. For example, in the past Chase Pay offered 10X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for purchases at Walmart.
Chase Pay also doesn’t use NFC (near field communication) technology, so you don’t need to look for a contactless card reader in order to use it. Instead, it generates a QR code for each transaction that must be scanned, just like a bar code.
The biggest drawback to Chase Pay is that it’s accepted in fewer stores than the other apps. Also, currently Chase business accounts can’t be setup with Chase Pay (thanks to Reader Josh for the tip!).
Step 1. Log Into Your Chase Account
Open the Chase Pay app and enter your Chase credit card account login information.
Step 2. Click “Pay”
Click the “Pay” button at the bottom of your screen.
Step 3. Select a Card
Swipe left or right to choose which card you want to pay with, then click the “Pay” button again.
Step 4. Scan the QR Code
Next you’ll need to scan the QR code to finish paying. Because most mobile payment apps use contactless payment technology, you might run into a cashier who won’t be completely familiar with this method. So be sure the store accepts Chase Pay and you might have to explain how to use it.
Team member Jason had a problem using Chase Pay at Starbucks. He explained to the barista he was using Chase Pay. The barista then found a Chase Pay button on the cash register screen which they needed to select before the payment was accepted.
3. Google Pay
You can use Google Pay for contactless in-store purchases wherever you see these symbols:
Note: Android Pay and Google Wallet were recently replaced by Google Pay.
Step 1. Download Google Pay
Install Google Pay and open the app. Then click “Get started.”
Step 2. Add a Card
Now select the “Add a card” button to continue.
Step 3. Choose a Card to Add
At this point, you can add a new card to Google Pay or you can add a card that has already been saved to your Google account.
Then click “Continue.”
Step 4. Agree to the Issuer Terms
Review the terms & conditions and click “More.”
Step 5. Set up a Lock Screen
If you haven’t already set up a lock screen on your phone, you will need to set it up for security before you continue.
To do this select “Set it up.”
Step 6. Verify Your Card
Choose how you want to receive a verification code and then click “Continue.”
Step 7. Activate NFC
To use Google Pay in stores, you’ll need to turn on NFC.
Step 8. Make Your Payment
Now you can pick the card you want to pay with and hold it near the card reader to complete the transaction.
Take note of the virtual account number because this is the number the card reader will be receiving. So if the cashier asks for the last 4 digits of your card, give them this number, NOT the last 4 numbers from your actual card.
4. Samsung Pay
You can use Samsung Pay with almost any credit card reader. The technology Samsung uses is able to communicate even with older card readers that aren’t NFC (near-field communication) enabled! And once you’ve got it set up, you can use it from your lock screen by swiping up) from the bottom and verifying your identity (fingerprint or PIN).
Step 1. Install Samsung Pay
Once you have downloaded Samsung Pay, open the app and click “Start.”
Step 2. Add Credit Cards
Now click “Credit/debit cards” to begin adding cards to your Samsung Pay account.
Step 3. Activate NFC
You’ll need to grant Samsung Pay access to certain features of your phone (camera, etc.) and activate NFC for the app to work properly. And if you don’t have a PIN or fingerprint enabled for Samsung Pay, you’ll be prompted to do that as well.
Step 4. Add Cards to Your Samsung Pay Wallet
At the bottom of your app screen select “Wallet.”
Step 5. Add Payment Cards
Choose “Add payment cards” to add a card to your Samsung Pay app.
Then you’ll be able to scan your credit card information or enter it manually.
Step 6. Verify the Card You Added
Once you’ve added your card’s information, you’ll need to verify it by getting a code through either text, email, or by calling the bank.
Note: If you are adding a card you are an authorized user for, the verification number & email will be the primary account holder’s information, NOT your own. So even though your name is on the card, you’ll have to get the security code from the primary cardholder.
Step 7. Add Another Card or Begin Using Samsung Pay
Now you can add another card or start using the app!
Step 8. Choose the Card You Want to Pay With
To use Samsung Pay, open the app, select “Wallet,” and then click “Payment cards.”
Step 9. Pick a Card
Now you’ll see all the cards you’ve added to the app. Choose the one you want to pay with.
Step 10. Enter Your PIN or Fingerprint
Now you can see the last 4 digits of your actual card number. And you can see the last 4 digits of the digital card token the app has generated.
You’ll see instructions along the bottom to either enter your PIN or hold you finger over the Home Key for a fingerprint scan. The security options you have will depend on which ones you set up earlier.
Step 11. The Card Reader Will Read the Digital Card Number
If the cashier asked for the last 4 digits of your card number, share the digital card number’s last 4 digits, NOT your actual card number’s last 4.
Step 12. Pay for Your Purchase
Now you can hold your phone close to the card reader to pay for your purchase!
Not having the right credit card in your wallet when you want it is quickly becoming a thing of the past!
With mobile wallets like Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Chase Pay, you can digitally store your cards’ information and pay with your phone! So it’s easier to get the most out of your credit cards’ bonus categories!
And some cards, like the US Bank Altitude Reserve card, even offer bonuses on mobile wallet purchases. Mobile payment apps may not be accepted at every store. But they are being accepted at more and more locations everyday!