Apple Wallet on iPhone

You’ll Soon Be Able to Redeem Credit Card Rewards in Apple Pay

Earlier this week, during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, Apple made a slew of announcements. While the main hype was about the company’s use of AI — or, in the case, “Apple Intelligence” — non-AI related updates to iOS, iPad OS, and Mac OS were also revealed. Among the notes that may have gotten lost in the mix is a new feature coming to Apple Wallet that I think is pretty interesting.

As announced “on stage” (Apple continues to produce announcement videos rather than appearing on a real stage), iOS 18 will bring an update to Apple Wallet that will enable users to redeem their credit card rewards when making purchases with Apple Pay. What wasn’t mentioned aloud but was spelled out in a later post from Apple is that, at launch, this feature will only be supported by two card issuers in the United States: Discover and Synchrony.

Despite how limited this feature will be upon launch, I still think it’s pretty cool. Plus, just because other banks and issuers may not be on board at first, I could still see them joining the party should the concept prove popular. Of course, while this ability is fairly straightforward for cashback cards like the Discover It, things could be more complicated in the case of rewards cards with their own point currencies.

On that note, part of me does fear that, should the likes of Amex offer this feature in the future, it may lead to an increase in cardholders making disadvantageous use of their Membership Rewards points. Typically, when redeemed toward statement credits, MR points are only worth 0.6¢ each. However, the Amazon integration — which is somewhat similar to what this would be — values them at 0.7¢. Neither is a good deal as transferring Membership Rewards points to Amex’s travel partners can result in far greater value.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing how this Apple Wallet rewards redemption feature works in practice. Moreover, despite the potential perils I detailed above, I do hope that more issuers end up adding support for this option. I’d also like it even better if Amex and the like worked out deals with Apple to offer enhanced redemptions using Apple Pay. I could actually see a company like Bilt doing something of the sort — and, even if they could give users something like 0.8¢ per point versus the 0.55¢ standard cashback rate for Bilt Points, I think it would be a nice (albeit still low-value) option. In any case, I guess we’ll have to wait for iOS 18’s rollout this fall to see what will come of this Apple Wallet feature.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

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