File this one in the "Did you know?" category of weird limitations placed on Google and Android services. If you have many gift cards that you want to add to your Android Pay account, you might hit an arbitrary and unforeseen limit at some point. Tipster Ananya Gupta encountered the issue while adding several gift cards to his account: the above pop-up showed up and he couldn't add any more cards. So he contacted a Google support rep who explained the limits:
Although you can add as many loyalty programs as you'd like, Android Pay has limits in place for how many gift cards you can add. Within 30 days, you can add up to 10 cards total and 5 cards per merchant.To add more gift cards, you'll need to remove an existing one.
We've been scratching our heads over at the Android Police virtual headquarters trying to understand the logic behind this limit and we still can't come up with a very valid one. The most plausible explanation is that if you have many cards for the same merchant, you might be confused as to which one to pick while at the terminal, which would slow down everyone and give Android Pay a less than ideal image in the eyes of the seller, buyer, and all the other people in line.
However, that only explains why there's a limit to adding multiple cards per merchant, but not why there's a total limit within 30 days. The common sense reason would be to curb fraud and limit theft... but then again as Cody argued with us, that doesn't really make a lot of sense when you think about it. Thieves would either be picking up all the cards of one person, in which case the limit works but it does so on both the legitimate user and the thief, or they'd be picking up plenty of cards from one merchant, in which case yes, the limit of multiple cards would have an effect. But say you're a thief who happens to have multiple stolen gift cards from one merchant, would you be dumb enough to use a trackable way of storing them and paying with them? Especially one that's tied to your phone and could technically lead to your location? That's ridiculous... but I guess some thieves might not stop and consider that possibility.
The more we think about it the more we have question marks regarding these seemingly arbitrary limits to adding gift cards. Plus, Google never mentions it, not even in the Android Pay Support pages — and support pages are usually where Google doesn't shy from stating limitations and fine-print.
If you've encountered this limit before or you know why it might be in place, chime in in the comments. Otherwise, keep using/not using Android Pay like normal.
- +Ananya Gupta