Odds are that most of you reading this go through more than your share of credit cards, prepaid cards, debit cards, gift cards, and other sorts of rectangle-shaped plastic. What the heck do you do with all that stuff when you’re done with it? There are a few different paths you can go down.
The environmentally conscious option
Unless they’re made out of metal, credit cards are made from number 3 plastic (the recyclable kind). However, things like holograms, magnetic stripes, and embedded chips make recycling problematic, so as best I can tell it’s not a good idea to put your cards in the recycling bin. But if you’ve ever seen Best Buy’s recycling center, they have a section for gift cards, so possibly credit cards would be acceptable there.
The hoarding / collecting option
This is my current method of dealing with excess plastic. I really do like old credit cards and I don’t plan to get rid of them any time soon. Did you know there’s a small number of people who collect old credit cards? There’s even an American Credit Card Collectors Society. I’m not a member so I have no idea what they’re all about; my collection activity consists of keeping all my old cards in a box.
If you’re curious about adding to your collection and/or getting rid of old cards, check out the eBay listings for old cards.
The arts and crafts option
This is the most interesting way to go. Did you know that old credit cards make for great guitar picks?
If guitars aren’t your thing, there are a lot of other uses. Pinterest is a good source of inspiration, and there are some odder uses here. You could always surprise a loved one with some recycled Starbucks credit card earrings. And somebody showed up to the Saverocity Do last year with a jacket made out of Vanilla Reloads (anybody have a picture of that one?).
One project I think would be really neat is to make a credit card / gift card table along the lines of the beer cap table seen here. Basically you’d arrange the cards into a shallow table top, pour epoxy over the whole thing, and you’ve got yourself a unique table to showcase your odd (but awesome) little hobby.
So what do you guys do with all your old cards?