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Google Wallet Gets into Award Wallet Territory

A few months ago at the Chicago Seminars, Google had a table set up and I got to chat with the rep. She informed me about Google City Experts which is a review site similar to Yelp. It’s limited to a handful of metropolitan cities and as an incentive, those who submit 50 reviews receive invitations to special Google events and other perks. I’m currently working on getting 50 reviews approved so I can provide feedback on the program and what the perks are, first hand.

It seems Google is making additional advancements into the travel sphere, this time invading Award Wallet’s territory.

I got an email recently from Alaska, notifying me of a new partnership with Google Wallet, which enables Mileage Plan members to track their award balance. I decided to download the app and see if it was any good. Google Wallet supports several reward programs, including Alaska, Amrak, Avis, BJ’s, Orbitz, and various retailers.

Right now the only useful program supported by Google Wallet is Alaska Mileage Plan. My assumption is that eventually they’ll get other airline and hotels programs on board.

The set up process is simple:

1. Download the free app from iTunes or Google Play.

2. Go to “Loyalty Programs” on the lower left side.

Google Wallet Award Program Tracking

3. Pick your program. If you don’t already have an account, you have the opportunity to create one.

Google Wallet Award Tracking App

4. Add your reward number and verify your name and date of birth. You’re given the option to “Scan your barcode” if your rewards card has one.

Google Wallet Award Tracking Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Your award balance will be shown and that is pretty much it. While I like the simple, clean interface, Google’s reward tracking feature has a long way to go.

Overall, Award Wallet is better in several regards and if Google Wallet wants to improve, it needs to 1. Support more reward programs, and 2. Allow for more than just balance tracking. Award Wallet keeps track of your travel plans in addition to tracking your balance. This is a far more compelling reason to download and use the app.

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Ariana Arghandewal

5 Comments

  1. Google Wallet is useless. A 2.9% fee for using a credit card to load Google Wallet is ridiculous. Unless you figured out a way to manufacture spend on Google Wallet at a lower cost?

    • Nope, meant to take that sentence out (it was written a while ago). I still like Squarecash though, for generating easy points on debit cards.

  2. PC, I sent money via sc a few days ago and it has yet to be deposited (debit went through fine, ha). I have contacted sc support. Have you heard of anything like this?

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