Normally I write about different types of technology such as hardware or software, however after trying this I wanted to share my experiences as I thought this might benefit others who may not know about it. It’s still tech, but in a different way.
Like many people I do not carry allot of cash with me and largely rely on credit cards for purchases such as gas, food, and various supplies throughout the week. The problem obviously is that with credit cards you get a bill at the end of the month and if you have not tracked your expenses all month, you could be in for a surprise when the bill comes. In comes the Google Wallet Card which for me ends up being a nice blend of the convenience of credit cards, and the control of cash, all without any fees.
Features – How does it work?
The basic premise of the card is that it is partially linked to you bank account, however you control the flow of the money. Nothing is withdrawn from your bank account automatically as you will need to transfer funds from your account to the card yourself. Another words, once I have the card, I will populate it via the app or via the web with the money I want to transfer. The other really cool thing is every purchase almost instantly shows up on your smart phone. In my experience with the card, the expense showed before I was even gone from the place where I made the purchase. When I ordered some fast food, the charge showed in my app before I got my meal, and when I was at the gas station, it showed before I got back into my car. The upside to this of course is that you can better monitor your spending, know quickly if something gets compromised, and all without any cost or fees. Though I do not ever get charged ATM fees, many people do and this card actually allows you to spend your cash with any fees making a great alternate to cash. Though you can effectively spend cash with a debit card, there are some risks. Having been cleaned out once when someone stole my debit card, I speak from personally experience. Yes the bank refunded everything including all the bounced check fees (Approx $225 worth), the hassle factor and tarnish to you payment history convinced me never to use a debit card again. Until now, for me it was AMEX or cash. That said, the Google Wallet Card is a great way for me to deal with the everyday expenses without worrying about cash, or getting a heavy bill at the end of the month.
You access the app with a pin where you can view the detail of your purchase, view a summary, and transfer money. As a bonus, you can send money to anyone for free as long as they have a Google account (I hope that PayPal is paying attention).
Though it only has been a couple of weeks, I am really enjoying this and find this approach to really work for me. This may not work for everybody, but for me it really fills a void and adds control and convenience. If you are like me, you might want to give this a try, its free and very painless to setup.