Sure, it may only be a 2.125” high by 3.375” wide piece of plastic. Pretty small, right? Yes, but what is not small is the number of credit cards in circulation; an estimated 2.7 billion by the year 2015!
Unfortunately, when they expire or need to be replaced, many people just chuck ‘em. However there are some crafty ways you can bring new life to your old credit card. Here are 5 ways you can re-use them for something else.
That may sound crazy, but do a Google search for “credit card jewelry” and you will see there are tons of pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that can be made from them. But more surprising is that many of them actually look pretty cool! Many make creative use of the person’s name that was embossed on the credit card. Meanwhile, others make a pop-culture statement on status by crafting American Express Gold and Platinum cards into chic accessories.
2. Ice Scraper
Have you ever been caught in a snowstorm without an ice scraper? As someone who grew up in Michigan, trust me, it’s not fun! Thankfully the time it happened to me, I had a couple credit cards in my pocket. Obviously they aren’t the ideal tool for the job, but I was successful nonetheless in using them to scrape ice from the windshield. You never know when your spouse, relative, or friend might borrow the scraper from your car and forget to put it back. So if you live somewhere it snows, you may want to shove a couple old Visa or MasterCards into that glovebox.
At the Graphic Design Museum in the Netherlands, there’s an astonishing mosaic that’s completely made of credit cards. It takes up an entire wall and the cards are arranged by color. But if you think mosaics are the only thing you can make, think again. Check out the mosaic and more to see the dozens of different ways people have incorporated these pieces of plastic into their artwork.
4. Phone Stand
I love my iPhone, but what I don’t love is the fact that there’s no built-in stand. Fortunately it’s as simple as folding a credit card in two different places and voila! You have a fully adjustable stand. Best of all, this cheap and quick iPhone stand can be assembled in a matter of seconds, wherever you may be. The author on the aforementioned link notes that it’s the perfect stand for flying, since it’s so compact and portable.
This is another use I can personally vouch for, because I’ve used old credit and debit cards on a number of occasions. How so? Well it’s the perfect rounded edge for caulking and a straight edge for plastering (i.e. fixing nail holes in your wall with a dash of plaster). In fact, during the last occasion, I actually found my old Bank of America debit card to work better than my $6 edging tool from Home Depot.
So there you have it… 5 ways to give your old credit card new life. It’s worth pointing out that not only will these uses work for bank cards, but also just about any plastic card you can think of. Everything from an old Walmart gift card to an expired YMCA membership card. So next time you find yourself with one that’s no longer needed, save it for later use.
Mike owns and operates CreditCardForum, which is a message board for comparing credit card deals and what people are saying about them. His most recent review was of the Walmart Money Card, which he gives a big thumbs down to. Rather than paying the high fees on it, he recommends using it for any of the five purposes above!