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Apple Pay is now available to some iPhone and iPad users, with Monday marking the start of Apple’s new mobile payment system many have dubbed “the credit card killer.” CEO Tim Cook announced the program launch at a company event Oct. 16, about a month after unveiling the newest iPhones and the Apple Watch.

The company says 220,000 stores accept Apple Pay, and that number will only go up. Before you get too excited, you have to make sure you’ve got the right hardware: Apple Pay is available only to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and Apple Watch owners. (The new iPads started shipping today.)

If you’re among that group with the latest Apple technology, here are some stores where you can start showing off at the cash register:

  • Chevron
  • McDonald’s
  • Macy’s
  • Panera Bread
  • Subway
  • Walgreens (yes, New Yorkers, that includes Duane Reade)
  • Whole Foods

You can see a longer list on Apple’s website, as well as some of the merchants that will support Apple Pay in the future.

Don’t worry, you’re not required to actually go to a store (gasp!) to use Apple Pay, because plenty of apps support the service. To name a few:

  • Airbnb
  • Groupon
  • Lyft
  • OpenTable
  • Target
  • Uber

Again, there are plenty of apps planning on incorporating Apple Pay into their payments processing in the coming months.

Like all new technology, you probably shouldn’t expect Apple Pay to take off without issue. Not only are users going to have to get used to using it, but cashiers have to adjust as well, meaning using mobile payments might slow you down before making transactions speedier.

One more thing: Your credit or debit card issuer has to be on board, otherwise you won’t be able to use it through Apple Pay. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are in on it, but only six banks are ready to go so far: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. Chase has been particularly enthusiastic about the launch, peppering its Twitter followers with reminders to add their cards as their form of payment on iTunes.

(Smart move, Chase — you can add cards directly to iPhone’s Passbook, but it seems Chase is trying to pick up extra transactions by having customers add their Chase cards as their default payment on iTunes. Whatever card you have in iTunes can easily be added to Passbook by entering its security code, provided it’s part of Apple Pay.)

Make sure you keep up with your credit card transactions, whether you’re sticking to plastic or trying out mobile payments. Taking a daily glance at your card activity will help you spot fraud, which can be a hassle to deal with, particularly if it goes on for long.

If you’re one of the early adopters, let us know how you like your experience with Apple Pay. Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Image courtesy of Apple

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