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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

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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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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees