Leave those plastic cards at home: Google Wallet lets you add and redeem gift cards in US

Google has updated the Google Wallet app for Android and iOS with the ability to manage your gift cards, digitally.

"You can now easily manage your gift cards and redeem them in stores using the Wallet app. Never worry about forgetting your gift cards at home again," announced Google through a blog post published on Tuesday.

The company said you could easily add your physical gift cards to the Google Wallet app by snapping a picture of them or entering card information manually. If you received a gift card electronically, you can save it to your Google Wallet app directly from the e-gift by clicking “Save to Google.”

In order to redeem your digitalised cards at stores, just show your card via the Google Wallet app to the cashier. Certain gift cards - like ones from Sephora, AMC, Best Buy, Whole Foods, etc - will even allow you to check your balance in real-time and get reminders to use the cards when near a relevant store.

READ: Google Wallet adds PayPal billing

Apart from gift cards, the Google Wallet app now lets you request money from friends or send money with your debit card at no extra cost. But this feature is limited to people in the US who are 18 years or older. You can even send your friends a reminder to pay up through the app.

And finally, Google Wallet is now available in Spanish, though you'll need to activate the Spanish language settings in your Android or iOS device.

You can grab the new version of the Google Wallet app on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store over the next week. The updates are rolling out now to US users.