Google Wallet Card now available to order, arrives in about 10 days [UPDATE]

Google Wallet Card

If you’ve really been wanting to use Google Wallet but are bummed because your device doesn’t have NFC, you still might be in luck. Google has silently begun offering their new Google Wallet Card and it’s accepted everywhere MasterCard is (unlike tap-to-pay).

The Google Wallet Card works the same way as a normal pre-paid debit card. When swiped the card will take the funds from your Wallet balance, or you can withdraw cash through an ATM. Adding funds via bank account is free, but adding funds through a connected credit card will cost some money. Essentially what we’re looking at here is Google’s answer to PayPal (which also offers a free debit card upon request) or those prepaid credit cards you see all the time at grocery stores.

It’s easy to request a card and best of all it’s free. Just login to wallet.google.com and at the top of the page you’ll be greeted with a banner to request the new Wallet Card for yourself. Google says it takes up to about 12 days to receive it in the mail, after which you’ll need to activate it through the site or via the Wallet app. Sorry to our overseas friends, this is US-only for now.

[Request a Google Wallet Card here | Google Wallet Card FAQ]

UPDATE: Turns out, in its current state, the card will only use your remaining Google Wallet balance when making purchases. This means if your balance is $0.00, the card will come back as declined. This is very much different from the app, which will use the primary credit card you have set up on Google Wallet once Google Wallet funds have been exhausted. But we still have hope…

According to Googler Jeff Craig — who’s been using the Google Wallet Card for quite sometime now (working at Google has its perks) — his version of the card acts just like the app, using the remaining Google Wallet balance before switching over to the primary card on file. This is much how the PayPal debit card works (after adding your bank account), and it’s odd to not see this “feature” in the Google Wallet Card.

It’s entirely possible Google will change the way the Wallet Card works in the future, but until then, it’s nothing more than a pre-paid credit (read: kinda lame). We’ll let you know if we hear more.

via Google+

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  • Scotsman of Loch Ness

    Can it be used when visiting Canada like a regular MasterCard?

    • Brian

      debit cards have terrible exchange rates. just you a regular credit card, or cash (best choice)

      • atan420

        But it can be used overseas after being ordered to the US?

        Also, is this at all similar to some product I saw the other day where you can change which card it uses on the fly?

        • steveb944

          I’m sure you can go into your Wallet app on your phone and change it instantly. As to how soon you can change who knows. 1 minute-Amex, next minute-Debit account.

  • Carl Rood

    So what’s the point? Are people really keeping money in a non-interest bearing Google wallet account? If you have a credit card and/or bank account attached, why not just use the credit card or the debit card from the bank account?

    • Terry

      What you can do is just carry one card now with all your other cards in Google Wallet. You can then pick which card you want it to charge via your phone or just setup a default one. This way you don’t have to carry multiple cards in your physical wallet.

      You don’t have to transfer money to wallet to use it. If there is no money it just charges your card. Think of it like the Target red card it’s associated with your bank account so your money is in your bank and they just debit the money from there.

      • Carl Rood

        So instead of simply pulling a different card from my wallet, I have remember to log into the app, point it at the card I want to used, and then use the Google card or phone to make a payment. Yes much more convenient.

        • chuckles87

          Well I have so many cards in my wallet now I won’t have to carry them all I can cut it down to my system access card for work my id and google card. The google wallet app is good but only a hand full of merchants accept tap to pay

    • jaycemiskel

      Yeah, I see absolutely no reason to use this.

    • arunningpir8

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but assuming this works like the wallet app then it gives you an added layer of protection in that your bank account info isn’t given to the merchant, Google’s is, and then Google charges you later.

      • steveb944

        Thank you. I completely didn’t see this point. I’ve had my card number stolen so many timestimes that I expect a new card in the mail at a regular basis.

    • Nicholas Moline

      Some people, present company excluded, despise banks. Also, honestly what interest rate is anyone getting on an interest bearing account right now 1.5%? Most people doing this probably don’t have enough cash in that account to make 1% worthwhile. If you had $50,000 sitting in an account you may make $500 a year and the average joe ain’t sitting on 50k.

      • Carl Rood

        Most people can join a credit union, which have very low deposit requirements and higher interest rates than banks. 1.5% is still better than 0

  • http://www.geekchoice.com/washington-dc Dagmar Schneitz

    Is this good now or do we have to wait for a certain date? Most stores in my town can’t take it.

    • simpleasker

      just ordered mine.

    • iTriune

      and you know that how?? You’ve tried a card that you don’t have?

    • mcl630

      They don’t accept Mastercard in your town?

  • Roy Psy.D., M.D.

    “If you’ve really been wanting to use Google Wallet but ARE bummed because your device doesn’t have NFC”

    “Add youR bank account (online or through the app) and you can have funds debited directly from your checking.”

    O_o

  • Mainline15

    Given that Google Wallet on your phone is usually used thru the NFC feature to use the tap to pay option, will this card have the same feature..? Because to be honest, it’s would seem like the only reason to get it, is if your phone doesn’t have NFC. And second, does anyone even really use Wallet other than to pay for an app and/or Google Play purchase?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      My current debit card has the tap-to-pay feature. Not sure if this one will.

    • Terry

      I tried to use my phone to pay the other day. It didn’t work not sure if it was the case or the store. I plan to start using my phone to pay for everyday things.

      • steveb944

        Test your NFC by trying to Android Beam another phone. I’ve seen it working through Spigen clear back, Cruzerlite cases, and I think Otter box. Hope it works.

    • Fodografes

      I use tap to pay almost daily.

  • Jason

    I thought about it, but I just can’t justify getting one. I pay for nearly everything with a Visa credit card that gives me 1% cash back on my purchases. Not much, but it’s something. And with the “v.me” service, I get an email every time my credit card is used – usually within seconds.

    A Google Wallet card sounds cool, but I would just have no reason to use it. Having one would only give another number to potentially get hacked.

    • Terry

      Can’t you add your visa card to wallet? Google will then charge your visa card.

      • Jason

        Well if you go to the Google Wallet site and click the link to add money to your wallet balance from a credit card, notice that it lists a fee which is crossed out. Obviously, the fee will one day be in place and you would be encouraged to add money from a bank account instead.

        • Terry

          Just add the card to your account not money. If you have no money in your wallet account it will then charge a card on file which there is no fee for.

          • Jason

            The card doesn’t appear to work like that. It appears to only pull from your available Google Wallet balance.

            Though if it could pull directly from your credit card, then don’t expect that to remain free either.

  • TimTheK

    My problem with Google Wallet in general is that I don’t think you can earn points/rewards on your credit cards using it. At least not the cards that vary rewards based on merchant type…since everything runs through Google Wallet, I think the only info your credit card gets is “Google” and the amount. My wife and I charge just about everything and earn quite a nice cash back reward each year. With some transaction types earning 2% or even 5%, having everything go down to the standard 1% rate would be a waste.

    Someone please correct me if I am mistaken….

    • TerryR

      I don’t think this is true. I use my google wallet via nfc on my phone all of the time in cabs and at Duane Reade and the purchase point of origin always shows up on my statements. It always reads GOOGNFC*[place of purchase/corporate store name], so you should still get bonus points for qualifying purchases.

    • Jansen Wendlandt

      TimTheK you are correct, though TerryR might get location specific rewards with his card, it’s card dependent

      https://support.google.com/wallet/answer/2688794?hl=en&ref_topic=3210037

      • TimTheK

        So basically, if your credit card gives you a flat (like 1%) rate back on all transactions then, you can probably use Wallet and still get your rewards (though you obviously should verify that with your card issuer). On the other hand, if like mine, your card has different rewards depending on the merchant (ie. 5% gas, 2% supermarkets, etc) then you probably don’t want to use Wallet.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Where do you think the $ for those points/rewards comes from? The major CC providers charge merchants (even Google) a certain percentage for the privilege of accepting and processing CCs (and from other fees). This is where the “cash discount” for NOT using a CC comes from, if you ask certain merchants nicely.

      • TimTheK

        I’m not sure what this has to do with Google Wallet. Yes, you will probably still get 1% back if your card has a flat reward rate, but for those of us with variable rates we are not going to get those special 2% or 5% rewards from certain merchants when using Google Wallet. Google becomes the actual merchant of record and they only pass along the retailer name for your information.

    • androidscales

      from my use I see who I charged to thru Google wallet. think of what you do with Amazon’s prime when you purchase items from third party

      • TimTheK

        “Seeing” where you charged something and getting the appropriate merchant-type rewards is another thing. Google says in its info about Wallet that “If you receive additional rewards when shopping at a specific merchant,
        these benefits may not be applied when using Google Wallet.” So, as I said earlier, if your card gives you a flat 1% on all transactions, then you will probably still get that 1%. But if you get 2% at gas stations, letting Google Wallet process your transactions at Sunoco is going to result in you only getting your standard 1% instead of your gas station 2%.

  • Justin Kenyon

    I love what you are describing, Phandroid… but, it looks like it works differently. I don’t think that it will pull from credit cards/bank accounts if your balance is $0. That would be great, but it seems that it will just pull from the existing Google Wallet balance. Please prove me wrong!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Looking more into it, and not seeing it specifically mentioned anywhere (although that’s how Wallet works with tap-to-pay as well as the PayPal debit).

      Google did say you can withdraw cash when making a transaction or through an ATM, providing your bank account is linked.

  • Corey0928

    So its a card that you can use instead of your card?

    • No_Nickname90

      LoL!! It adds protection. I think…

  • bradley lanphere

    Just ordered mine even though my device is NFC capable ;-)

  • lookatmyfunnyusername

    yes

    • Matthew Mahon

      This is pretty funny.

  • CerealFTW

    Is there a fee to use debit cards through Google wallet? I’ve been hearing mixed answers

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      There faq says “Google Wallet does not charge fees for purchases or ATM withdrawals, but some providers may charge fees for the use of their ATMs.”. Also, the fraud prevention is free; citibank charges me for that on my other CCs.

  • I got your snowball right here

    Breaking news: Google has announced that they will begin selling snowballs from the Play Store, and they will begin shipping to hell within 30 days. However, still no ETA yet on Wallet, Music or Chromecast coming to Canada.

  • steveb944

    The only benefit I see for the ones that don’t have NFC or their carrier blocks Wallet is that you can carry 1 card instead of a full wallet of cards. And I think you may have better security by not using your actual cards.

    • yankeesusa

      Now any phone with kitkat or a kitkat based aosp rom can use the nfc portion of google wallet. It has just been updated. This means those that don’t feel like using isis can just get a kitkat phone or aosp rom on their rooted phone and use nfc google payments.

  • No_Nickname90

    No lie, I just want the card so I can have a card that says “Google”. How cool would it be if one day you get like 1% credit added to your Google Play account for app purchases with every swipe? That would get people to get the card.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Hah. Same. To be honest, it’s getting confusing with all these different accounts and payment methods that may or may not be linked, but, hey, “a Google card!” :)

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Okay, just updated the post. Now this makes the Google Wallet Card pretty much pointless. Who’s going to add money into a card, just for the sake of receiving email receipts?

    Once the card can use the default credit card on your Google Wallet account (or even your bank account), this is simply a useless piece of plastic.

    • Jared Meadows

      Wow, that makes me so sad, I was really hoping that it would work like the app for us. :-(

      Thanks for updating us on this thought Chris Chavez :D

      I’m just hoping maybe Google will change how it works in the future.

      BTW… did anybody notice how quickly Google announced this after Coin announced their awesome card? :-P
      https://onlycoin.com

    • No_Nickname90

      I actually use my PayPal debit instead of my bank card for email receipts. LoL!! It makes it easier to keep up with that stuff.

      Also, the moment my card is swiped I get an email. So this can help with security. So if my card number was stolen, the moment it’s swiped, I’d know.

      And I have my PayPal debit card linked to my debit card for a back up source if the account is empty. Which of course I leave it empty. LoL!!

    • Del373

      Even if it gains the ability to use the primary card on file it’s still kinda useless…or rather, redundant. Why not just use the credit card?

      • dattas

        The idea I thought of is being able to remove my debit, credit, and work credit card and any other credit card from my wallet and being able to use this single one? If we could switch sources on the fly like we can with nfc, this would shrink my wallet considerably.

        • babarj

          Google ‘coin card’
          This does what want and if really cool

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      I just use a service like mint with all my accounts. I don’t want to get this junk in my email.

  • yankeesusa

    Or now with the update to google wallet you can use any phone with nfc and an aosp based rom to make tap and go payments.