Physical Google Wallet Cards are In Hand, But what are the Benefits of Having It?

December 3, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Back in November, we told you about Google now opening up the flood gates to get physical Google Wallet cards. But we didn’t know much else about the card, or what some of the perks were. Most of us figured it must  be like PayPal, you put money in your Google Wallet account and you can swipe it like any other card, seeing as it is powered by Mastercard.

The card is only available and working in the US, and we know that because it uses the magstripe on the back, instead of the EMV technology that’s used in other countries. Google also specifies in black-and-white terms that the card cannot be used outside the US. What’s even more disappointing, is how the card actually works. About a year ago, we saw some leaks about Google working on a universal payment card that could take the place of any plastic credit or debit cards you carried in your wallet, with a single card where you could control the source of funding on the fly, from the Google Wallet app.

Those “leaked” plans were actually scrapped before Google I/O back in May, leaving this new Google Wallet card as a very watered down debit card. However, Coin is planning to do the thing that Google wanted to do. The card is actually really easy to activate, just head into the Google Wallet app, or call the number on your card to activate it.

Funding the card is where things get tricky, you can add funds from your other accounts you have connected. But in the FAQ for the Google Wallet Card, all it tells us is that you can take out up to $300.00 per day at ATMs. Google also doesn’t charge fees at ATMs, but some of the providers might. However to fund Google Wallet from a credit card there’s a 2.9% fee involved. Using the card is very simple, just swipe and either sign or use your PIN. Just like any other debit or credit card.

Is the Google Wallet card for you? It might be, it might not be. For me, I already have a PayPal card, so I don’t really have a need for Google Wallet, but it is nice to have. How many of you have used the Google Wallet card already?