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COVID-19: Safeguard Your Wallet And Health: Stick To Credit Cards, Mobile Payments

In the current climate, it’s crucial to prioritize both your own health and the health of your community.

Though your chances of being infected with the novel coronavirus aren’t heightened by handling cash, utilizing alternative payment methods can help limit your exposure to frequently touched surfaces and public spaces.

Online shopping: Stick to credit cards

Essential travel, such as to grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, is permitted within stay-at-home order parameters, but it’s best if you can substitute your travel to one of these places with online shopping.

Consider home delivery

Instead of physically going to the grocery store to purchase food for the week, you can utilize grocery delivery and pick-up apps like Instacart or order items online directly from your local supermarket.

Instacart, in particular, accepts credit and debit cards and mobile wallet payments using Apple Pay or Google Pay — meaning you don’t exchange payment from person-to-person and can stay within your residence. In some cases, you can even earn rewards for these purchases.

American Express, for example, is said to categorize spending with Instacart as a U.S. supermarket purchase. If you’re interested in earning rewards on grocery delivery services, contact your issuer for merchant code specifics or test the waters with a small purchase. Online orders from supermarkets should also qualify.

At the store: Utilize mobile payment technology

If you must travel outside of your home to complete purchases, make use of your credit card’s contactless technology or phone’s mobile wallet. Both contactless cards and mobile wallets operate via near field communication, allowing you to hover your phone or card above the payment terminal to complete the transaction.

Depending on your card, you may be able to avoid touching the payment terminal altogether. As of April 2019, cards on Mastercard’s network can benefit from its no-signature policy.

“With modern, advanced forms of authentication now available, removing the requirement for signature capture at the point of sale and now signature panels on Mastercard cards is an important step in support of our digital evolution,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president, U.S. merchants, and acceptance, Mastercard, in a previous statement.

BankRate, posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, April 10, 2020

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