Which Credit Cards Have the Best Mobile Apps?
Ever since Pew Research first started tracking smartphone usage, the number of smartphone owners has skyrocketed. According to Pew, In 2011 about 3 out of 10 people owned a smartphone. As of 2019, the percentage had increased to just over 8 out of 10. People want convenience. They do not want to rush to get to a bank during a break, before the bank closes, or wait until the weekend. People want easy banking that’s also secure.
Since smartphones have become commonplace, more and more consumers are turning to their smartphones for managing their banking transactions. They are being used for more than banking and paying different bills online. Many are using mobile apps to manage their credit card accounts. This raises a couple of questions: which credit cards have the best mobile apps and what features of a mobile app are most popular?
What Makes a Mobile App Stand Out?
When people rate a mobile app, they are considering the app’s security and availability. If an app is always down or leading to errors, it is not going to stand out as one of the best. In addition, consumers want features that suit their needs and lifestyles. Some of the most desirable app features include the following.
1. The Ability to Report Lost or Stolen Cards
If your card is lost or stolen, you will save time and hassle if you can report that stolen/lost card online through the app. If the app does not offer this feature, people have to pull out a credit card to find the toll-free number to call. Once they are through, they have to go through the automated system of choosing the right option to get to the right department. It can be time-consuming and irritating. With online reporting, all they need is their smartphone. They log into the app, find the option to report the lost or stolen card, and answer the questions.
2. Bill Pay Options
Being able to sign in and pay your monthly bill is very handy when you are not tied to a computer. If you leave your house and realize you forgot to pay your bill, you can use the app to make the payment. You can also sign up for auto-pay services if you would like to do so.
An app with bill pay can also save you from issues if your internet is out at home and you had a payment to make. You can grab your smartphone, load the app, and pay the bill while you are waiting for internet service to return.
Bill pay also covers other bills. Use your credit card to pay bills. Load the app, input some of the regular bills you pay, and use your credit card account to make a one-time payment or enroll in auto-pay services for the bills you choose.
3. Check Balances
Perhaps the most popular feature of an online credit card banking app is the ability to quickly check your balance. You will know if you have spent more than expected for the month. If something seems off during your quick check, you can take further action to see why the balance seems incorrect. It might be you made a purchase and forgot about it or that someone is using your card illegally.
4. Check Recent and Pending Transactions
Just as easily as you can check your credit card balance, a credit card app allows you to look at pending and recent transactions. You can quickly scan the list and make sure the purchases that are pending or cleared are transactions you authorized. If there are unknown purchases, you’ll be able to report them and fill out the form to report your card as stolen. You can use this function in the app to make sure your payment cleared, too.
If you need to go back a few weeks or months to look to see if a transaction occurred, you can enter that into the search function and find charges or payments that match your search criteria.
5. Reach Customer Support
With one tap, you can access customer support virtually through the app or by calling the customer support number. Many of today’s leading credit card banking apps offer virtual customer service that goes through an extensive database of questions and answers. If the virtual customer service system cannot find the right answer, you can then chat with a representative or use your phone to connect to toll-free support.
6. Search Function for Local Branches or Offices
What if you need to go to a local office or find the nearest location while you’re traveling? Consumers want a search function to find the nearest office or branch. From the app, the address is available for getting directions. The hours and services are provided. There’s also phone contact information to make it easy to call the local office with a question.
7. Turn On Additional Security Measures
Accessing additional security features is important. Consumers want to be able to sign up for security and account notifications and email alerts through the app. They want the ability to turn on two-factor authentication or set up facial or fingerprint recognition for logging in.
Popular Mobile Apps
Each year, J.D. Power takes a closer look at consumer thoughts regarding mobile credit card apps. Consistently, these are the mobile banking apps that get a lot of buzz from smartphone users. All of them offer access to your current balance. There’s a lot more to them than just checking your balance though.
American Express boasts over 114 million cards being used around the world. It’s not surprising that its app is also one of the best in the world. The list of options is extensive, but it all starts with how you log in. While you can use a username and password, the app also provides facial or fingerprint recognition for logging in. Once you’re in the app, the features are plentiful and include:
- Access to exclusive discounts at stores and restaurants
- Account notifications
- Apple Pay set-up
- Bill pay
- Chat support
- Pay with Membership Rewards
- Rewards balances
- Paperless statements
- Payment notifications
- Spending history (up to six months)
- Split Card purchases with PayPal or Venmo users
The American Express app is available for Android and iOS devices. Find it at the App Store or Google Play Store.
Bank of America
Bank of America’s mobile app also gives consumers the option of signing in using Face ID or Touch ID. The app is available for Apple and Android devices. The app offers several helpful features.
- Access your FICO score for free
- BankAmeriDeals discounts
- Card replacements
- Cardless cash withdrawals
- Deposit checks
- Digital wallets for in-app, in-store, and online purchases
- Foreign currency orders
- Instant card lock/unlock for a misplaced card
- Mobile banking security guarantee
- Pay bills
- Set up mobile alerts
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Virtual financial advice
Find the Bank of America mobile app in the App Store or Google Play Store. You can also submit your cell phone number through Bank of America’s website to have the download link sent to your phone.
- The Capital One app makes it easy to check your balance and recent transactions. That’s just the start. Sign in using your fingerprint or by creating a pattern on the screen. Features of the app include:
- Access credit card statements
- Bill pay
- Card lock/unlock for misplaced or stolen cards
- Free credit score
- Mobile check deposits
- Purchase notifications
- Redeem rewards and view current rewards
- Send money using Zelle
- Sign up for notifications and account alerts
It is easy to get the Capital One mobile app. Text “GET” to 80101 to get the link for downloading it. You can also get it at the App Store or Google Play Store.
With the Discover app, you are welcome to check your balance or check recent transactions. One thing that sets this app apart is that there are several security features added to the app’s options. Other features are:
- Access and set up Apple Pay
- Check your free FICO score
- Set up and manage notifications and alerts
- Pay bills
- Sign up for SSN fraud alerts
- Use Freeze It to freeze and unfreeze your account when your card is lost or stolen
- View and spend cashback rewards
Discover makes it easy to download the mobile app. Text “APP” to 347268 to get the link for downloading the app. You need an Android or Apple device. Once you’ve installed it, set up fingerprint log-in or a four-digit PIN that you will enter each time.
Wells Fargo has an app for banking and debit and credit card users. One thing that makes it different is that FastLook allows you to see your balance without logging in. Once you’re using the app, the other features are equally impressive.
- Bill pay reminders and pay bills through the app
- GPS location search for nearby ATMs
- Mobile check deposit
- Monitor and select which third-party financial services can see your information
- Replace stolen cards and activate new cards through the app
- Search your transaction history
- Send money with Zelle
- Set up a digital wallet
- Set up and view recurring payments
- Transaction Control allows you to block certain types of transactions from being automatically approved
- Transfer funds
- Turn cards off if they’re lost or stolen or back on if you find them
- View online statements and letters from Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo allows you to log in using facial or fingerprint recognition tools. Facial recognition is available for Apple users. Fingerprint recognition is available for Android and Apple users. Your phone or tablet must be equipped with a fingerprint scanner or technology to recognize your face. Older phones may not be compatible. Get the download link by texting “IPH” (Apple) or “AND” (Android) to 93557.
Keep an Eye on Safety When Using an Online App
You have seen data breaches in the news. You may have been affected by them. Despite using the utmost care, a company can become the victim of an attack. By default, you also become a victim.
When you use a mobile app for credit card management or banking, make sure you are taking the proper safety measures. Protect your smartphone with a password, facial recognition, and/or fingerprint recognition. If a person steals your phone, they will have to get past the demand for one of these security measures. Do the same with your app, set it to open only after the password or other security measure is met.
Sign up for two-factor authentication. If someone tries to open the app, set it up so that a security code is sent to your work or spouse’s phone. You may be able to set it to call your home phone to verify it is you. If you set it to email notifications, make sure the email you are using is password protected with a different password or select an email that does not appear on your phone.
Keep track of your credit card company’s phone numbers in case your phone is lost. You will want to call and notify the company immediately so that they can mark your credit cards as lost or stolen. Do the same with any banks that are linked to your credit card for payments.
You get one free credit report each year from each bureau. Take advantage of it. Receive your credit report and go over everything. Look to make sure that there are no credit cards or loans you do not own. Check for late payments that you know you paid on time. If there are discrepancies, get them corrected. If it appears you are the victim of a credit card breach or credit fraud, report the incident to authorities and ask the three credit bureaus to place a credit freeze on your account.
A credit freeze is an extra level of security that requires the person applying for new credit to verify their identity by thawing the freeze using a password. When you need to apply for a new credit card or loan, you submit your password and allow financial companies to access your information for a specified period. Once you have the new credit card or loan, the freeze goes back into effect for your protection.
With credit card banking apps, you have optimal control over your spending, on-time payments, and fraud protection. Use these features to keep your bills paid on time, monitor for fraudulent activity, and take steps to improve or maintain your credit score.