[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]
Mobile wallets offer an alternative payment method at the cash register, giving customers the power to pay using their smartphones or even their smart watches. They also offer several advantages: they’re fast, they’re convenient, and they can be linked to a variety of funding sources.
But many mobile wallets lack the cash back or points rewards you can get with major credit cards. Some credit card issuers have responded by offering cards with special incentives for linking your card to a mobile wallet.
Here are three credit cards with special mobile wallet benefits.
1. US Bank Altitude Reserve
Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on eligible travel expenses and mobile wallets spending, one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: $400
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 16.74% APR.
Why We Picked It: Mobile wallet purchases earn triple points, and the card comes with huge travel benefits.
For Your Mobile Wallet: This card is compatible with popular mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Microsoft Wallet. You’ll get triple points for every dollar spent through those mobile wallets or on travel. Points can be redeemed for many things, but the greatest value is reserved for travel redemptions. Plus, the card comes with a wide range of travel benefits, including $325 in annual travel credits and airport lounge access.
Drawbacks: The wealth of travel benefits comes at a steep cost, with a $400 annual fee.
Rewards: 1.8% cash back for 12 months on qualified mobile wallet purchases, 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 14.24% to 26.24% APR
Why We Picked It: For the first year, you’ll avoid interest and get extra cash back with select mobile wallets.
For Your Mobile Wallet: Android Pay and Apple Pay purchases earn 1.8% cash back for the first year, while all other purchases earn 1.5% cash back. Plus, you’ll get a solid 12 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: The extra cash back rate for mobile wallets expires after one year.
3. PayPal Extras Mastercard
Rewards: Three points per dollar spent at gas stations and restaurants, two points per dollar spent at PayPal and eBay, and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 20.99% or 24.99% APR, based on your credit.
Why We Picked It: If you already use PayPal’s mobile wallet, earning rewards with this card should be a breeze.
For Your Mobile Wallet: You’ll earn triple points on gas station and restaurant purchases, double points on PayPal and eBay purchases, and single points everywhere else. You can use your physical card or link it directly to your PayPal mobile wallet. Points can be redeemed for PayPal cash, travel, gift cards, and more.
Drawbacks: The card’s APR is fairly high right out of the gate.
How to Choose a Card for Your Mobile Wallet
Linking a credit card to your mobile wallet offers a few distinct advantages. You can potentially earn credit card rewards, including cash back or travel points, as you spend with your mobile wallet. The service is newer, however, and merchants and banks may not be as familiar with issues around mobile wallets compared to a traditional card. Before you make the move to a mobile wallet, take note of whether your preferred stores and restaurants accept this form of payment.
Not all cards are currently compatible with all mobile wallets, either. When evaluating a credit card, make sure to check that it works with your mobile wallet of choice.
You don’t have to pick a credit card that has special cash-back incentives for mobile wallets. Many credit cards will automatically earn rewards if you tie them to your mobile wallet. Just make sure to check with the credit card issuer that its rewards programs support mobile wallet purchases.
Beyond that, you should choose a card that rewards the way you tend to spend and provides redemption options that you’ll actually use.
What Credit Is Required for a Mobile Wallet Credit Card?
Most major credit card issuers can link their cards to at least some mobile wallet types, so the credit required for a mobile wallet credit card can vary. But if you’re looking for a card that earns cash back or points rewards, you’re likely going to need good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you can check two of your credit scores free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.