Barista holds card reader for customer to pay using digital wallet on his phone.

Tips for Using Your Digital Wallet Responsibly

Last Updated: November 24, 2023
3 min read

Key points about: how to use a digital wallet

  1. Digital wallets can be used to store payment card information, like for credit cards, on mobile phones to use for purchases.

  2. For the default card in your digital wallet, try to pick one that offers you the most cash back on your regular digital wallet purchases.

  3. Don’t overspend and maintain good financial habits while using your digital wallet.

A digital wallet allows consumers to store all of their credit cards directly on their mobile phone and makes them available for use at the point of transaction. Using this technology offers convenience and even the ability to maximize the rewards you earn.

Digital wallets give you the option to leave your cash and cards at home, but what’s the right (and wrong) way to use this digital payment method? Consider these tips for helping to ensure you’re being financially savvy when paying with your mobile device.

Use your mobile credit cards wisely

Just because you have a digital wallet on your mobile phone doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it for every credit card. If some of your credit cards have excessively high interest rates, it may make sense to leave them out of your digital wallet. If the ease of having a credit card in your mobile wallet leads to a habit of overspending, then you may want to consider leaving credit cards out of your digital wallet app altogether.

Choose your default card carefully

Setting up your digital wallet app with a default mobile payment credit card can help make using it that much easier. However, it may be best to choose the credit card that benefits you the most.

For your digital wallet’s default card, try to pick the card that has the lowest interest rate, or choose the one with the rewards program that can earn you the most on the purchases you tend to make most often using your digital wallet.

Store multiple credit cards to maximize rewards

Perhaps the greatest benefit of learning how to use a digital wallet is the ability to store all of your credit cards directly on your phone. Not only does this mean not carrying around a swollen wallet, but it also allows you to easily access the credit card that will, for example, earn you the most rewards on a given transaction.

Say you’re in the checkout line at the supermarket using your physical wallet, but can’t seem to find the card that earns extra cash back on groceries. Instead, you opt to use whatever physical card is readily available. This situation represents a missed opportunity to earn rewards. If all of your cards were stored in a digital wallet, it might have been easier for you to find the card and earn the extra cash back.

Did you know?

You can add your Discover Cards to your digital wallet to help you maximize your cash back rewards, from your weekly supermarket trip to gas and restaurant purchases. Plus, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically. There is no limit to how much we’ll match.1

Practice navigating your digital wallet’s features

Some credit cards include the opportunity to earn additional rewards for purchases at specific times of the year. Others may offer rewards for travel, or have different reward program structures completely.

Digital wallets typically offer you options for selecting among the cards they contain—whether that means changing the default card or removing a card—by going into your smartphone settings. To make the most of your cards, practice how to select different cards in your digital wallet before you’re standing at the point of sale. The more confident you feel about the features and navigation of your digital wallet, the less likely it is that you’ll choose the wrong card in a busy checkout line.

Don’t abandon your good financial habits

Digital wallets change the way you pay, but they shouldn’t impact the financial habits you’ve already established that help you live within a budget. Although you’ll use your mobile device for contactless payment instead of using a physical card, the rest of the transaction remains familiar.

Check in with your financial and credit card accounts frequently to ensure that you know what you’ve spent and to verify that purchase amounts are accurate. If the card accounts in your digital wallet are linked with a budgeting app, you’ll see the transactions posted there, too.

As you look for the best ways to manage your financial life, digital wallet payment technology is something worth checking out. Adding a debit card, credit cards, or even gift cards to your mobile wallet can be easy, often requiring you simply to enter the card number, expiration date and CVV—not much more effort than it takes to present a physical card at the point of sale. You may find you gain a whole new world of convenience and security, all from the comfort of your phone.

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  1. Cashback Match: We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You’ve earned cash back rewards only when they’re processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.