Why not make your life easier?
- Smartphones make it possible for us to manage our money — and our credit cards — from virtually anywhere.
- Mobile apps give you easy access to customer service, your credit card balance, and your spending limit.
- They can also make your life easier (and keep your money safer) by informing you of fraudulent charges on your credit card.
While the future we’re living in isn’t quite the one we were promised by Star Trek or The Jetsons, it’s still pretty cool. I may still be waiting on my flying car, but I can access my financial information from just about anywhere by way of my smartphone. While I am certainly free to use the mobile web browser version of any website I please, some companies offer full-on mobile apps to help customers engage with them more easily. Your credit card company is likely no exception. Gone are the days when you’d have to call your card issuer, wait around on hold, and then describe your problem to a person on the other end of the line.
I recently rewarded myself for paying off debt and getting my finances into great shape by applying (and getting approved) for a credit card I’ve had my eye on for several months (here at The Ascent, it’s very easy to learn all about the best credit cards). I chose it based on the cash back it offers on purchases I make often, and so far, it’s been an excellent addition to my wallet — as well as my smartphone. After I got approved, I immediately downloaded the card issuer’s app, and it’s been very useful so far. Here’s why you should consider downloading and using your credit card’s mobile app, too.
1. Easy access to customer service
So let’s say you are having an issue with your credit card. Maybe you tried to use it to buy groceries and it was declined, or you accidentally damaged your card. You can certainly call your card issuer’s customer service line to get their help, or you can check your mobile app to see if it gives you the option to virtually chat with a representative. The great thing about a customer service chat feature is that you don’t have to listen to terrible hold music and you can often get your problem fixed more quickly than if you called.
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2. Check your balance or credit limit
Wondering just how much money you owe on your credit card? Or maybe your credit limit has slipped your mind and you’re preparing to make a big purchase, so you need to make sure you’ve got enough available credit. Hop into your card’s mobile app and make sure you’re not setting yourself up to have your card declined, or to accidentally spend over your limit.
3. Make payments
While we’re on the subject of your credit card balance, your mobile app makes it even easier to pay your bill. Just link your payment bank account and away you go. You can certainly pay your credit card bill over the phone, by mail, or on the full browser version of your issuer’s website, but it will likely be a simpler experience on the app (without distracting pop-ups, too).
4. Receive alerts
Opting in for text notifications or pop-up alerts via your card’s mobile app is a great way to stay on top of your finances. It’s a big scary world, and credit card fraud is always a possibility, so if someone uses your card without your knowledge or consent, and you have notifications turned on, you’ll find out right away. You can also be alerted about other things happening with your credit card. In my card’s mobile app, I can opt in for alerts with payment reminders, statement availability, and more.
5. Find cash back deals and other rewards
It’s likely that a big reason you use credit cards is so you can earn cash back and points on your purchases. Your card’s mobile app can make it easier to maximize this credit card perk. For example, I was just scrolling through mine to see what kind of special deals were available, and among the many stores I don’t shop at, I found a cash back deal available with an online snack retailer I buy from frequently. I was given the option to add the deal to my card, so the next time I shop on that website, I’ll get money back. How excellent!
If you’re already carrying around a smartphone and you’re a credit card devotee, you might want to combine the two and get your card’s mobile app. It can make your life (and money management) easier and help you spend smarter.
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