2017 Guide to Finding the Best Wallet App

Our world is all about convenience and finding the ability to handle our own finances with ease. Smartphones are continuously making this easier than ever with the addition of apps specifically to store our pertinent credit and debit card information.

These “virtual wallet” programs give us the convenience of paying with plastic at the checkout without wrestling with our wallets. Standing in the checkout line while hunting for your credit card wastes valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere. Instead, you can now issue payment at the register with your mobile wallet and just a few taps of the screen.

Best Virtual Wallets Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Virtual Wallets

Deciding on the right wallet app for you requires knowing which services you need and use the most with your credit and debit cards. The virtual wallet you select will be a unique reflection of your financial needs.

AdvisoryHQ wants you to have all of the available resources to manage your money. Using one of the wallet apps that are rising in popularity could be advantageous to help keep your finances straight. Find out which of the best wallet app programs will meet your needs in the detailed reviews and ranking listed below.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Virtual Wallets

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the virtual wallet apps below to go directly to the detailed review section for that mobile wallet):

Top 6 Best Virtual Wallets | Brief Comparison

Virtual Wallet Apps



Android PayFreeStores loyalty cards and gift cards
Apple PayFreeStores loyalty cards and gift cards
Capital One WalletSMFree with debit or credit card from Capital OneKeeps receipts and digitizes gift cards
Google WalletFreeSends and receives money, does not hold credit or debit card information
PNC Virtual Wallet®$7.00 per month, waived under certain conditionsManages bill payments, creates a budget, and offers cash rewards
Walmart PayFreeAllows in-store payments at Walmart with any credit or debit card and phone

Table: Top 6 Best Wallet Apps | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Is a Virtual Wallet?

In a world that has become increasingly dependent on technology, we are now turning to our devices to manage our finances with the advent of wallet apps. How does it really work to be able to use your smartphone or tablet at the register to cover the cost of your goods? How else can a virtual wallet app be used to our benefit?

In its simplest form, a virtual wallet is nothing more than an app that is designed to hold and store your credit card or debit card information. It can be used at participating retailers to pay via their credit card machine without having to dig through your wallet for a physical card.

However, the best wallet app options give you additional perks such as the addition of loyalty cards or retailer-specific gift cards. By including this information into your wallet apps, you can significantly reduce the amount of plastic that you carry in your wallet. Never again will you have to hunt through your bag for the rewards card you seldom use.

What Is a Virtual Wallet

Image Source: Pexels

Many consumers may very well be concerned with the safety of the wallet apps available through the various app shops. The good news is that many of them have been enhanced with rigorous safety features to put your mind at ease.

Most of the wallet apps included on our list will send a private and personalized card number to the cash register instead of your actual card number.

Additionally, they frequently give you the ability to put a lock on your account even if your smartphone goes missing. You can monitor transactions and purchase history straight from your mobile device to ensure that spending is happening only on your own terms.

If you identify a problem, clearing the information out of your virtual wallet should be simple with just a few taps of the screen or clicks of a mouse.

Top choices for the best wallet app will also include features to track your spending habits, store receipts, or send money to friends and family. Before you download any program that is advertised to be the best wallet app, you’ll have to decide which features are the most important and useful for you to have within your wallet apps.

You may very well decide that you could benefit from a combination of services. If so, feel free to download several wallet apps so you have the exact program you need whenever the need arises.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review—Top-Ranking Best Virtual Wallets

Below, please find the detailed review of each app on our list of digital wallets. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these best digital wallets to score so high in our selection ranking.

Android Pay Review

Consumers interested in adding one of the best wallet app programs to their smartphones will love the convenience offered by Android Pay. Designed to hold your debit card information and so much more, Android Pay is one of the most popular and best mobile wallet systems available on today’s market.

The Android digital wallet allows you to enter information from all sorts of places to be used when you pay in stores, through apps, or during online shopping. You’ll need to gather all your cards up to store the information from your:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Loyalty card
  • Gift card

Most of the top banks in the United States are eligible to have their credit and debit cards added into the wallet apps from Android. American Express, Navy Federal, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, along with many other financial institutions, all support this best mobile wallet.


One of the major benefits of the Android Pay virtual wallet that qualifies this as a best wallet app is that you can store the information from your loyalty cards. Most consumers find managing their rewards cards a hassle, taking up valuable space in their physical wallet. With the wallet apps from Android, you can store and earn your rewards points fairly effortlessly.

In case your phone is stolen, the Android Device Manager allows you to lock your information no matter where you’re located. You can secure your settings with a whole new password or wipe out all of your personal information remotely using this wallet app.

Apple Pay Review

Combined with the convenience and prevalence of Apple products, Apple Pay has quickly become recognized as one of the top digital wallet app programs available today. Users who download this virtual wallet can use it from their iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac devices for simplified transactions.

Checking out at the register is fast, no matter which type of device you have this virtual wallet downloaded onto. You can hold your iPhone near the reader while holding the touch ID or double-click the side button on your Apple Watch. This virtual wallet can also be used within other apps you have downloaded previously as well as when online shopping.

Apple Pay - wallet apps

Image Source: Apple.com


One of the major benefits that qualifies this is as the best wallet app is the fact that your information and purchase history is not stored. In an age where we are always concerned about who can view our Internet usage and history, the wallet apps from Apple do not tie your transactions back to you personally.

For your convenience, you can view your most recent transactions through their digital wallet app though.

You can also use Apple Pay’s best digital wallet app to accommodate and store some of your loyalty cards. Currently, only a handful of options are available through these wallet apps, but more are being added on a regular basis. Store credit cards can also be added here, including from brands such as:

  • Kohl’s
  • BJ’s
  • Ulta
  • Meijer

Utilizing this best wallet app from Apple is a simple and convenient method of storing all your credit card and loyalty card information. Take advantage of it to declutter your wallet quickly.

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Capital One WalletSM Review

Consumers will be able to better organize and manage their recent transaction history when using the best wallet app from Capital One: the Capital One WalletSM. It offers convenient features to help you keep track of your spending as well as to alert you to potential security issues.

This mobile wallet app is available to credit card customers in good standing, as well as debit card customers with a Capital One® Bank or Capital One 360® debit card.

You can use the Capital One WalletSM to keep better tabs on your receipts and previous purchases. With the receipt capture function, this virtual wallet will allow you to immediately take a picture of your receipt and store it until a time where you no longer need it.

Decluttering your wallet occurs quickly using this digital wallet. You can digitize your gift cards and add them onto your Capital One WalletSM account for use whenever you’re ready. Keep in mind that not all retailers will be able to process gift card payments using the virtual wallet app, so you should keep the card itself until you’re certain.


The major benefit to using this best digital wallet is the ability to secure your spending from anywhere, even while you’re on the go. In just a few taps of the screen, you have the ability to lock your card until you’re ready to turn it back on.

Purchase notifications add another layer of security. Even if you weren’t the one using your card, the Capital One WalletSM mobile wallet app will let you know that your card has been used, where it was used, and how much was spent. These instant notifications are available for consumers who use a Capital One credit or debit card.

Google Wallet Review

The unique virtual wallet app from Google Wallet is all about sending and receiving money quickly and easily. Unlike many of the other candidates for the best wallet app, Google Wallet takes a completely different stance on abilities that users are granted and how they can use this virtual wallet to their benefit.

Google Wallet is unlikely to help you if you were most interested in decluttering your wallet of your credit cards and loyalty cards. In fact, it offers no way to make payments at the checkout line when you head to the store. Instead, it focuses on allowing you to make more personalized payments with ease.

You can send money or request money from anyone, even if they don’t have any virtual wallet apps downloaded onto their device. All you need to know is their phone number or email address to be able to notify them with this virtual wallet.

Once you set your default method, all money received through this best wallet app will be directly transferred to your preferred account.

Google Wallet - best wallet app

Image Source: Google


Consumers will thoroughly enjoy the ability to track shared expenses through Google’s wallet apps. It can assist you when it comes to paying a bill or just splitting the cost of your mom’s birthday gift. When you send a request for money to your friends or family, it allows you to easily identify who still hasn’t paid their portion of the expenses.

Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to use Google Wallet to accept payments for commercial uses. Whether you need to collect rent from your tenants or want to be paid for your painting services, this digital mobile wallet can assist you in requesting the money that is owed to you.

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PNC Virtual Wallet® Review

The PNC Virtual Wallet® works slightly differently than some of the major wallet apps available today. It combines three accounts from PNC Bank all in one place to give you every perk and benefit right at your fingertips.

You can manage three different types of accounts all in one place to give you the best wallet app imaginable with the most convenient features:

  • Spend account for a non-interest-bearing checking account
  • Reserve account for an interest-bearing checking account
  • Growth account for an interest-bearing savings account

Under certain circumstances, the PNC Virtual Wallet® will waive your monthly service charge of $7.00. You must have an average monthly balance in your Spend or Reserve account of $500 or make $500 in monthly direct deposits to your Spend account during the statement period.

Alternatively, you can also opt to use self-serve electronic methods to make withdrawals and deposits exclusively or provide proof of enrollment in an educational institution.

PNC Virtual Wallet® - wallet app

Image Source: PNC


This best wallet app is designed to help you better manage your bill payments with a handy calendar built into the programing. You can see when bills are due and when payments will be received so that it can be easily incorporated into tracking your spending and crafting a budget.

One of the biggest perks of the PNC Virtual Wallet® is the ability to earn cash rewards on your purchases from participating merchants. Offers for where you will receive cash rewards and how much you will receive are issued on a personalized basis depending on your PNC debit card usage.

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Walmart Pay Review

While it might seem like wallet apps from specific stores would be exclusive to their own form of payment, the Walmart Pay digital wallet provides surprising flexibility. Designed to help consumers pay in their checkout lane faster than ever, you can upload information from any credit, debit, prepaid card, or Walmart gift card to pay with just a few taps.

This mobile wallet allows consumers to pay at any checkout lane with ease. All you need to do is open the Walmart app and scan the code to connect the digital wallet feature. As your cashier scans and bags your items, a receipt is created and available through the best wallet app for your future review.

Because the receipts are available through this wallet app, it makes it easier than ever to navigate returns without keeping track of slips of paper.


The Walmart Pay mobile wallet app gives consumers a fast way to pay while in line at one of their stores. Unlike some of the wallet apps that require you to enter your information and connect through apps and online shopping, this virtual wallet is designed only to be used while shopping in-store at Walmart locations.

This best wallet app is also designed to be used on any smartphone that can download apps, including iOS and Android options. It can also be used in combination with multiple payment types at the register and paper coupons.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Virtual Wallets

Consumers who want to find a convenient method of removing some of the bulk from their wallet will want to investigate the usage of a mobile wallet app. There are many choices available through iTunes and the Google Play store for the best digital wallet, but you’ll have to decide which one will work the best for you.

Depending on your unique financial needs and circumstances, you will want to consider which features will be the most beneficial in your wallet apps. Do you want something to store all of your card information (including loyalty cards)? Do you need to send money to family and friends on a regular basis?

All of these features are the solution to a real and present need for many consumers. While there is no wrong choice for the best mobile wallet, there is likely one that weighs more heavily in your favor than another. Evaluate what your real needs are when it comes to a digital wallet app.

You’ll find convenience and fiscal responsibility can be tied together using one of these wallet apps to manage your money.

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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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