Comparing mobile banking apps — who wins?

Most major credit card issuers offer a mobile app for smartphones, tablets and other devices these days, and for good reason. For starters, consumers are spending more time on their phones and away from bulky desktop computers. Plus, they’re more likely to pay bills, monitor spending and track their rewards on the go — all functions you can accomplish more easily with a mobile application.

But, which mobile app is best? That really depends on how you plan to use it and what other banking features you might take advantage of. Here are a few of the top banking apps and some info on their winning features.

Chase mobile app

Chase Mobile Banking makes it easy to keep track of all of your Chase accounts from your smartphone. You can monitor your checking, savings and debit transactions, for example, and you can even deposit checks and pay bills. You can also rely on this app to monitor your growing stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points — a valuable rewards currency you can earn with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom.

Where it shines: If you use Chase QuickPay or Zelle, you can use the Chase mobile app to send and receive money with almost anyone using nothing more than a phone number or email address. 

Ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study: 6th out of 10 

American Express mobile app

The Amex mobile app is another comprehensive financial tool that lets you monitor and track your spending, stay on top of your finances and keep track of your rewards and cardholder benefits. You can set up payment alerts or even see six months of spending history directly on your device. You can even pair it with Apple Pay for an easier way to pay for purchases in-store or online.

Where it shines: If you have the Platinum Card from American Express or the Business Platinum Card from American Express, you’ll also be happy to know the Amex mobile app now lets you check in to Amex Centurion lounges directly from your smartphone.

Ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study: 2nd out of 10

Discover mobile app

Discover’s mobile app is another useful player that works well for consumers who use their cash-back credit cards and banking products. This app makes it easy to access your account, see your FICO score or set up and manage mobile alerts. You can also opt to receive push notifications on your phone, pay Discover credit card bills and monitor or redeem your rewards. 

Discover even makes it possible to view new credit card offers from their app, including money-saving balance transfer offers you may be eligible for. 

Where it shines: Discover’s Freeze It feature lets you temporarily “pause” your credit card to prevent purchases, cash advances or balance transfers in the event your card is lost. Once you find it, you can simply “unfreeze” your account using the app. 

Ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study: 1st out of 10

Citi mobile app

If you’re considering a travel credit card like the Citi Premier or even a cash-back credit card like the Citi Double Cash, you may want to consider downloading Citi’s popular mobile app. This app makes it easy to set up real-time notifications that inform you of purchases, payments that are due and more. You can even make bill payments from the app, deposit checks and activate new Citi credit cards you may have. 

Where it shines: If you have a checking or savings account with Citi, you’ll be happy to know the app lets you oversee all your accounts in one place. You can also send or receive money from virtually anyone, and of course you can track and redeem valuable Citi ThankYou rewards points. 

Ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study: 7 out of 10

Bank of America mobile app

Bank of America offers its own highly-rated mobile app with features that make banking and managing your rewards a breeze. This app lets you pay bills, transfer money, deposit checks and set up alerts from your mobile device. You can even see your FICO score for free directly on the app. As an added bonus, you can tap into financial management and budgeting tools that let you set spending goals and find ways to beef up your savings while you’re on the go. 

The Bank of America app also lets you utilize BankAmeriDeals, a feature that lets you save up to 15% on certain purchases with restaurants, retailers and more.

Where it shines: For added security, the Bank of America app lets you sign into your account using face or touch recognition with no need for a pass code. 

Ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study: 3rd out of 10

In a nutshell

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, you may want to consider the benefits you’ll get from downloading different card issuer apps. Some make it easier than others to monitor your purchases and rewards. And there are a handful that let you connect with any bank accounts you have, send money to other people or get access to special perks like a free FICO score. 

Which mobile app wins? Only you can decide which app offers the banking products, credit cards, and features you want. 

Holly Johnson

Personal finance writer

Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who focuses on credit cards and credit, early retirement and travel. Johnson blogs at ClubThrifty.com and is also the co-author of Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love, which is available on Amazon.com.