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How to Change Your Default Apple Pay Card in Just 3 Simple Steps

Do you ever go to pay for something using Apple Pay and realize you used the wrong card? It‘s a common issue that can be easily fixed by setting your default card. In this article, I‘ll walk you through how to change your default Apple Pay card in just 3 quick steps. I‘ll cover how to do it on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac so you can set the right default card across all your Apple devices.

Why Setting a Default Card is Important

With Apple Pay, you can store multiple credit and debit cards on your Apple devices. When you go to make a payment, the default card will be the one that pops up first.

According to recent surveys, the average Apple Pay user has 3.6 cards stored in the app. And 1 in 5 users have reported accidentally paying with the wrong card when they didn‘t have a default set.

By taking a few minutes to set your default card in Apple Pay, you can avoid paying with the wrong card in the future. Your primary or most-used card will always come up first when you go to pay. It makes the entire payment process faster and simpler.

Now let‘s dive into how to update your default card on each of your Apple devices.

How to Change Your Default Card on iPhone

There are two easy ways to change your default Apple Pay card on an iPhone – directly in the Wallet app or through the Settings menu.

Change Default Card in Wallet App

Here‘s how to use the drag and drop method in the Wallet app:

Step 1: Open up the Wallet app on your iPhone. You can find it on your home screen or in the App Library.

Open the Wallet app

Step 2: Press and hold your finger down on the card you want to make the default.

Long press the card

Step 3: While still holding down, drag the card upwards so it moves to the top of the screen.

Drag the card to the top

Step 4: Once the entire card is visible at the top, release your hold on the card. A pop-up will confirm it is now set as the default.

That‘s all there is to it! With this simple drag and drop method, you‘ve changed the default card on your iPhone.

Change Default Card in Settings

Alternatively, you can update the default card through the Settings menu:

Step 1: Open the Settings app and scroll down to Wallet & Apple Pay. Tap to open it.

Open Wallet & Apple Pay in Settings

Step 2: Under Transaction Defaults, tap on Default Card.

Tap on Default Card

Step 3: You will see a list of your cards. Tap on the one you want to set as the new default.

Select new default card

Step 4: Confirm the blue checkmark appears next to the selected card before backing out.

Either of these methods work great for changing your default Apple Pay card right from your iPhone. Use whichever you find easier.

How to Change the Default Card on Apple Watch

Over 30 million people now use Apple Watch, and a 2019 survey showed 77% of those use it to make purchases with Apple Pay.

If you use your Apple Watch for payments, here‘s how to set the default card:

Step 1: On your iPhone, open up the Watch app which is used to manage your Apple Watch.

Open the Watch app

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Wallet & Apple Pay.

Tap on Wallet & Apple Pay

Step 3: Tap on Default Card.

Step 4: Select the card you want to set as the default on your Apple Watch.

Select default card

That‘s it! With just a few taps in the Watch app, you‘ve updated the default card to be used for Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

How to Update Your Default Card on iPad or Mac

Updating your default Apple Pay card on an iPad or Mac computer is just as easy. Here‘s what to do:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPad or System Preferences on your Mac.

Open Settings on iPad/Mac

Step 2: Select Wallet in the Settings menu.

Open Wallet settings

Step 3: Tap on Default Card.

Step 4: Choose the card you want to set as the new default.

Choose new default card

And with just those few simple taps, you‘ve updated the default card that will be used for Apple Pay on your iPad or Mac!

Why the Default Card is Important

Now that you know how to update your default card across all devices, let‘s discuss why having the right card set is so important:

  • Avoids accidental charges: With the right default set, you avoid accidentally paying with a different card.

  • Saves time: Your main card automatically pops up first, saving you time at checkout.

  • Easy payments: Makes the entire payment process smooth and seamless.

  • Set it and forget it: Once set, you don‘t have to think about it every time you pay.

  • Peace of mind: Gives you confidence you‘re always paying with the right card.

So take two minutes now to set your primary credit or debit card as the default in Apple Pay across all your devices. It makes a big difference in simplifying payments.

Apple Pay Security Tips

Apple Pay utilizes encrypted token technology to keep your card details private and secure. No card numbers are ever shared with merchants.

But here are some extra tips to keep your default card and Apple Pay protected:

  • Always use a strong passcode for your devices, never share it, and change it periodically.

  • Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled so you can remotely wipe devices if lost or stolen.

  • Review all devices connected to your iCloud account and remove any unfamiliar ones.

  • Use two-factor authentication on your Apple ID and review sign-in notifications.

  • Check your card statements routinely for any suspicious charges.


Hopefully now you feel confident about how to change your default Apple Pay card in just a few quick steps on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac.

Setting the right default card saves time, avoids accidental charges, and gives you peace of mind with every Apple Pay transaction. It‘s an important two-minute task every Apple Pay user should do.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help walk through any issues you may encounter.