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Apple’s new iPhone Wallet feature will make it easier to pay while traveling

Feb. 09, 2022
3 min read
Apple’s new iPhone Wallet feature will make it easier to pay while traveling
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When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone back in 2007, he pitched it as an all-in-one phone, web browser and music player.

Fast forward 15 years later, and the device’s capabilities have grown exponentially — yet the tech giant isn’t resting on its laurels.

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Apple announced on Tuesday that it’s bringing another new feature to the device that’s poised to disrupt the mobile payment industry.

Dubbed “Tap to Pay on iPhone,” the new capability will enable businesses in the U.S. to accept contactless payments using their mobile device via a partner-enabled iOS app.

Historically, businesses that wanted to accept payments on their iPhone would need to carry a dongle with a mobile card reader.

With this latest feature, no additional hardware will be required to accept credit cards — the device’s near-field communication (NFC) chip will read the card details and securely transfer them directly to the payment processor. (Of course, businesses that want to continue accepting physical debit and credit cards that do not have contactless capabilities will still need to use a card reader.)

(Photo courtesy of Apple)

The tech giant is working with third-party payment processors, such as Stripe, to enable the new technology.

Related: A complete guide to contactless payments

When the feature becomes available later this year, all digital payment methods will be accepted, including Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards and other mobile wallets. You’ll need an iPhone XS or later to make purchases using this new payment method.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the new feature will work for refunds and for those merchants who have their own loyalty programs, but we’ve reached out for more details.

While it’ll take some time to roll out nationwide, the ability to accept contactless payments on the fly will undoubtedly be beneficial to the travel industry.

Tour operators, third-party car services and others will soon be able to accept mobile payments without the need to purchase (or remember) a dongle.

It’ll also be especially convenient for travelers, who’ll no longer need to fumble around for physical cards. The new payment technology is more secure than using a physical card, which will help minimize fraud. And since Apple pay typically triggers category bonuses on credit cards (where applicable), it'll still allow you to bank those extra rewards toward your next trip.

Over the past year, Apple has greatly expanded the power of your iPhone’s digital Wallet. For instance, the company joined forces with Hyatt to enable digital hotel keys in Wallet.

Apple also recently added digitally verifiable vaccination certificates in the Wallet app. And finally, support for TSA-approved mobile drivers licenses will roll out in the coming months — which is sure to be a game-changer for flyers nationwide.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Apple)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases