You’ll soon be able to add digital vaccine cards to Apple’s mobile Wallet

Sep 22, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for Apple.

On Monday, the tech giant released its latest slew of software updates for iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches that are packed with travel-friendly features. Later this week, on Friday, the company’s hottest new products, including the iPhone 13 lineup, along with a new iPad and iPad mini, will hit the shelves.

And if that wasn’t enough, Apple just unveiled another enhancement coming to iPhones that could streamline the pandemic-era travel experience. In an upcoming software update, iPhone users will be able to add their COVID-19 vaccination records as a card in the Wallet app, according to an update posted to the company’s developer website.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

(Image courtesy of Apple)

Once stored in the mobile wallet, these verifiable records can be used as proof of a completed dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, instead of carrying around the paper-based vaccination certificate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With Apple’s Wallet integration, it’ll be easier than ever to quickly show your digital vaccine card as you enter a place of business, like a gym, restaurant, airport lounge or even a hotel, that requires one.

In fact, I recently attended the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York, which required all spectators aged 12 and older to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. The lines to enter the venue were noticeably longer than before the pandemic, primarily because of bottlenecks with vaccine verification. If Apple’s digital solution takes off, it could help streamline this entire process.

Lines to enter the U.S. Open were longer than usual due to vaccine verification. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Apple is relying on the SMART Health Cards specification to verify your vaccine information, which as of press time, is only being used by health agencies in four states: California, Louisiana, New York and select locations in Maryland. Additionally, if you were vaccinated at a Walmart, Sam’s Club or CVS Health pharmacy, your vaccine information is likely stored in the SMART Health Card system. You can find a full list of participating providers here.

For now, Apple is currently testing the Wallet integration in a beta build of iOS 15.1. There’s no timeline available yet for when the feature will roll out, but we’ll be sure to update this post when it goes live. In the meantime, you can download and store your COVID-19 vaccination info and other verifiable health records, including test results, in the Health app if you’ve upgraded to iOS 15.0.

This isn’t the only travel-focused upgrade coming to Apple’s Wallet app. Later this year, you’ll be able to add a digital version of your driver’s license or state ID to the app. After authenticating via Face ID or Touch ID, your digital ID will be accepted at TSA airport checkpoints.

(Image courtesy of Apple)

The first states partnering with Apple on digital IDs were recently unveiled. Those in Arizona and Georgia will be able to add their documents first, with the service rolling out to customers in Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah soon.

Featured image courtesy of Apple.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.