Two credit card and Digital Wallet tips

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Digital wallet and credit card expiration and automatic extension

Investopedia : What Is a Digital Wallet? Also quote Investopedia

There are several digital wallets available. Here are some of the most well-known:

Cash App
Apple Pay

Google Wallet
Samsung Pay
Walmart Pay
Vodafone M-PESA

Personally I use Apple Pay (in store) and PayPal (online stores). I know some investors or speculators like to dunk on the PayPal stock $PYPL. But I noticed in recent years that both Apple Pay and PayPal do CC renewal (extension) automatically: at least for the Chase CC. This is good – one less hassle. When you think about this automatic renewing feature: it’s very similar to the “opt-in” feature in some of the apps or websites.

On the contrary, credit card stores on e-commerce website (let’s say MSD or Spire Gas company payment section is also e-commerce) usually just let the stored credit card expire: from Amazon to Panera. Basically if we want to use the credit card again, we need to either edit or delete/re-add the card.

Apple Pay

For me I didn’t use Apple Pay extensively until I got the Apple Watch. I saw it first hand at the “Daily Grind” coffee shop at Mastercard O’fallon campus: I noticed my colleague was paying via Apple Watch. One thing I didn’t try: I may try next time if I get a chance, I heard the campus only accepts Mastercard. So what if I pay via a Visa card on Apple Watch? 🙂 Anyway I pay mostly via Apple Watch nowadays at grocery stores: Aldi, Dierbergs, Trader Joe’s and Schnucks. One more tip: for PayPal, I encourage you set up multi-factor authentication (YT Video).

I have used the Square (now Block) Inc’ Cash App and Google Pay in the past too. I liked Cash App. It seems to me Google Pay (chrome web browser version) seems a bit half baked for me 🙁

Back to the credit card expiration, I noticed, on many automatic payment websites, e.g., MSD, CCRC and the J etc., I need to manually update the expiration date or re-type in the CC information on their website. This is okay, as I don’t have to a ton of places to update. Although I appreciate if they can just automatically update themselves. I had some glitches with MSD website after updating the card – had to try a few times to make sure the auto pay is still setup and work as intended.

This reminds me of the e-wallet for kids. We have seen those in the Scholastic book fair at school – e-wallet for teachers or kids. However, debit card or Apple Pay (on Apple watch) has much wide usage.

Kids debit card or CC

I found Chase offers a kids debit card. There is a caveat though: I found I cannot fund the account online. So I still need to stop by the branch sometime to put in some money there so my 9 year old can use at her Dragon Den (LFGCPA spirit wear/swags store) this fall 🙂

Also I noticed Amex offers CC (additional cardholder) to kids 13 and older. I gave my 13 year old this card. Btw, not too long ago, she had it lost from theft. Amex texted me right away – and I was able to remediate quickly. Thinking this is somewhat like safety or security feature: I mean shopping credit card. It provides a digital trace. For example, I know at which store my card was being used.

Don’t lock in the foreign exchange rate

Use credit card internationally: make sure use no foreign transaction fee card; no need to lock the rate – it will be more expensive to pay the fees for “locking the rate”. Many years ago in Shanghai, at the Courtyard Xujiahui – I locked the rate after the receptionist 店小二 told me about this feature, and later on I realized the rate (the fees) is not favorable to me.

I used CC in Shanghai in 2016, as well as shopping at Amazon Germany store (and maybe, Amazon Canada, and some other online store in UK), and I chose not to lock in the rate from then the Courtyard Xu’jia’hui stay.

Note in China, the Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover credit cards are not widely accepted. The most popular payments methods in China are Alipay and WeChat Pay. It seems from the Merchant perspective, the latter 2 are much cheaper (source: X).


A related topic, is the profit margin of Stripe. Quote:

Stripe’s EBITDA profit is $100M, and they processed roughly $1 trillion in 2023, which means their profit margin is 100m/1tn = 0.01%.

I actually agree with Cristina Cordova: processing volume ≠ revenue

This got me thinking, what is Stripe’s annual revenue? Per Backlinko: Stripe’s gross revenue reached $14.4 billion in 2022. So the math is 100 / 14400 = 0.69%

Last but not least, make sure you get a “no foreign transaction fee” credit card: Chase offers quite a few cards with this feature, namely, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Amazon and Chase Hyatt. Amex Gold doesn’t have foreign transaction fee either.

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