If you belong to the U.S. military, you might have received a USAA debit or credit card as a token of appreciation. It offers incredible rewards and low yearly percentage rates compared to standard cards. You can even integrate the card with your favorite online payment apps like Apple Pay to use at qualifying merchants. But how can you add or verify your USAA card for Apple Pay?
Apple Pay is integrated into the Wallet app on your iPhone. It’s a digital wallet that carries different types of cards for virtual transactions, including your USAA card. Since USAA issues both credit and debit cards, you must add or verify your card for Apple Pay accordingly. If you have previously added a card to the Wallet, the process is the same!
You can add or verify a USAA card for Apple Pay through the USAA mobile app. But if you have a USAA American Express Credit Card, you can only add it through the Apple Wallet.
Let’s learn the steps involved in both methods!
A Brief Overview of USAA Cards
If it’s your first time receiving a USAA card, you must understand what it is before learning how to add it to Apple Pay. So, let’s start with the basics.
USAA refers to the United Services Automobile Association, a trusted financial services provider in the U.S. It specifically caters to the needs of former and serving military personnel and their families (children and spouses).
USAA offers both credit and debit cards to its qualifying members. If you have a debit card, it would be linked to your checking account. You can use it to make everyday transactions and ATM withdrawals. USAA debit cards are customizable, meaning you can change their design per your preference.
What makes USAA debit cards unique? They offer enhanced security through the chip technology and zero liability for unverified payments. You can also easily add or verify this USAA card for Apple Pay.
Meanwhile, USAA credit cards offer a range of rewards, benefits, and competitive interest rates for military members and their families. You can borrow money through your credit card and then repay within the designated period. However, there is a specific credit limit.
USAA credit cards are primarily of 4 types: Cashback Rewards, Military Affiliate, Travel Rewards, and Secured Cards. Each offers different types of benefits to the cardholder. While both USAA debit and credit cards are helpful financial tools, they work differently in repayment and funds usage.
How Does Apple Pay Work with USAA Cards?
Apple Pay is an online payment service and digital wallet that stores the user’s cards on their smart devices. You can add your credit, debit, prepaid, gift, and ID cards to your Apple Wallet and make contactless payments via them anytime. The idea is not to carry physical cards everywhere. This payment service seamlessly integrates with USAA cards, allowing military members to make payments conveniently.
Apple Pay doesn’t store your actual card information on its servers or the device. Instead, it uses a safe tokenization method to protect the card’s sensitive details, even during transactions. After adding your USAA card to Apple Pay, you can make contactless purchases at many renowned stores with just your iOS device.
Linking a USAA card with Apple Pay is all about convenience. You won’t have to keep your card with you all the time, allowing you to manage your finances on the go. Before you try to add or verify USAA Card for Apple Pay, check out the guidelines on the USAA website. That’s because Apple Pay may not be functional or available for your USAA card or location.
Method #1: Using the USAA Mobile App
You can add all USAA cards to Apple Pay through the USAA mobile app except USAA American Express Credit Card.
If you don’t have this card, follow the below steps to verify your USAA card for Apple Pay.
Step 1: Open the USAA App
Launch the USAA app on your phone and log in to the account linked to the USAA card you want to add to Apple Pay.
Step 2: Select My Card
After opening your account, click on the My Card option to open your Account Summary.
Step 3: Add the Card to Apple Wallet
Finally, tap Add to Apple Wallet on the next screen and agree to the Terms & Conditions to complete the process.
The USAA card will now be added and verified for your Apple Pay account, and you can use it for all future purchases.
Method #2: Using the Wallet App
Whether you have the USAA American Express Credit Card or any other card, you can link it with your Apple Pay like other debit or credit cards. It can be done via the Wallet app.
If you don’t know how to add a debit or credit card to Apple Pay, follow the below steps to do it quickly.
Step 1: Open the Wallet App
Start by opening the Wallet app on your phone. Your Apple Pay is integrated into your Wallet. So, you’ll have to launch the app to access your Apple Pay account.
Step 2: Tap on the (+) Icon
On the homepage, find the (+) sign in the top-right corner of the screen. Tap on it to open more options.
Step 3: Choose Debit or Credit Card
Now, select the Debit or Credit Card option on the next screen and follow the on-screen instructions. Provide your USAA card details and verify yourself. Wait for the process to complete.
Once your USAA credit or debit card is added to Apple Pay, the Wallet will save it as a virtual card on your device. Your sensitive information will remain hidden no matter where you use the card for payments.
So, don’t worry much about your security, and head to the nearest merchant that supports Apple Pay and find your favorite item. Take it to the checkout and bring your phone closer to the POS terminal to make the purchase.
Can You Redeem USAA Card Rewards with Apple Pay?
USAA credit cards have a long list of reward points to facilitate military personnel and their family members. You can benefit from them at any supporting merchant through the physical card. But can you do that when using your USAA card through Apple Pay? Fortunately, yes!
You can redeem your USAA card points for the following rewards:
- Traveling through airplanes
- Cruise travels
- Gift cards
- Charitable contributions
Most USAA credit cards enable you to earn a point for every dollar, but you can also make a maximum of 5% cashback in certain categories. Your USAA rewards can’t be transferred to any other rewards program. But if you’re in a good position, you can send your reward points to a cardholder with an open account with USAA.
If you don’t want your USAA reward points to expire, keep your account open and in good standing. You can redeem your points to minimize your balance if your account gets delinquent. If you close your account, your earned points will be available for three months or 90 days from the closure date. After that, they are gone.
What Benefits Can You Get by Adding Your USAA Card to Apple Pay?
You know how to verify a USAA card for Apple Pay, but have you ever wondered why you have to do it? Yes, you can use your USAA card physically, but adding it to your Apple Pay gives you more benefits.
Here are a few of them:
- Convenient Transactions Right From Your Phone: The most obvious advantage of adding any card to Apple Pay is its convenience. You don’t have to worry about carrying physical cards anymore. Simply add them to your Apple Wallet and use them for virtual payments. The best part? You can do it via your Apple Watch or iPhone, whatever you have.
- Quick Payments to Your Friends: You can use the USAA card to send money to your friends in just a few taps. The fastest way to do so is through the messenger app. Open the conversation, tap Apple Pay, enter the amount, and transfer funds within seconds.
- In-App Purchases: You can use your USAA card to make several in-app purchases. Not only that, but you can also buy iOS apps from the App Store through your USAA card balance.
- Enhanced Security: Apple Pay’s mechanism is very secure. This online payment service uses encrypted technology that keeps your sensitive card information hidden during the payment. Even Apple’s servers and the merchant can’t access your information. That’s a bonus you will get by using Apple Pay with your USAA card.
Which Merchants Accept Apple Pay?
You can only use your USAA card for Apple Pay payments at selected online and physical stores. These are the ones that accept Apple Pay as a verified payment method. Luckily, most popular entertainment and grocery stores accept Apple Pay, some of which include the following:
- Pizza Hut
- Disney Store
- Best Buy
These are only a handful of merchants that accept Apple Pay, so you can absolutely find many more stores that do so. Confirming with the merchant before adding products to your cart is recommended. It will save you time and effort, and yes, frustration too!
USAA offers debit and credit cards to U.S. military personnel and their family members, including spouses and children. They come with a range of benefits, rewards, and low-interest rates to cater to the needs of the personnel.
While using the card is pretty easy, you can make things even more accessible by adding it to Apple Pay. You can add or verify USAA card for Apple Pay in two methods: through the Wallet app or the USAA mobile app. With the first option, you can add the card just like any debit or credit card.