Organize Credit Cards Physically Using Business Card Holders

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A reader asked me how I keep track of so many credit cards, and I wasn’t sure what they meant. I track active credit card offers using online calendar reminders and a simple spreadsheet, but physically I keep them all in a business card organizer (if not in my wallet). I realized that I still had an old article published way back in 2007 about repurposing my old baseball card sleeves and a 3-ring binder. I’ve deleted that post since it’s very outdated and replaced it with this one, as I’ve actually used a business card holder for several years now. Mine looks almost identical to this 4.6 star item or this smaller 4.7 star version on Amazon (both around $7):

As a few readers back then noted, my baseball card sleeves were a little too big and the cards could fall out if the binder was tipped upside down. With these business card holders, the sleeves are smaller and the openings are on the sides for a much more secure fit. This also makes the overall package smaller, making it possible to keep nearly a hundred cards in a single, compact folder.

I have three of them altogether: one for credit and debit cards, one for gift cards and loyalty/membership cards, and one for business cards. Instead of a “sock drawer”, I have a subtle, black folder that blends in discretely on a bookshelf, and is also easy to quickly throw into a lockbox for added security. Of course, these days it’s also handy to keep all your credit card numbers in a password manager like Keeper or Dashlane.

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  1. Thanks Jonathan, very interesting! And I have all four cards you pictured. Probably, over the years, I learned about the cards on your blog and didn’t realize it. 🙂

    Physical cards are less important with the increased acceptance of Apple Pay and Google Pay. I keep just three physical credit cards in my minimalist wallet. These include a business card that isn’t usable in Apple Pay and two that in addition to the usual cashback have special offers from specific retailers; often, for whatever reason, these special offers require the physical card and won’t work when Apple Pay is used.

    The rest of my physical credit card collection (accumulated to maximize cashback rewards of course) sits stacked in a lockbox. Not as fun to display as your book, but I only need them the rare times I need to enter the number somewhere.

    • Hey Dan! I agree, with the current pandemic I have been using Apple Pay much more often. I only really use the Blue Cash Preferred at groceries so it works well with Apple Pay (still get 6%), and I was happy to find that it works with AmEx Offers as well (small biz promo). However, I have run into a several situations where the Apple Pay just wouldn’t work at all at the terminal for some reason, it may be my phone or phone case or who knows. So I feel like I still have to keep the physical cards in my wallet, just in case. When I am trying to be super-minimalist, I do have a little elastic pouch on my phone case that holds a driver’s license and one credit card, and drop the wallet entirely.

  2. He remembers me the good ideas! Thanks, man!

    But seriously, I feel dumb that it didn’t occur to me that credit cards are about the size of business cards and a business card portfolio would be a good way to store and organize them.

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