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15 of the coolest (and weirdest) credit card gadgets and accessories

Emily Crone

I love the variety of quirky and bizarre products that can be found on the Internet. I spent some time on Google searching for credit card-related goodies, and I found much more than expected. Here is a list of my 15 favorite credit card accessories, gadgets and toys (sorry, I know this would have been more appropriate pre-Christmas … but there’s always Valentines Day?).

1)    Credit card-processing cell phone: A cell phone on the front and credit card machine on the back. Available only in Kenya, this device was introduced for independent merchants. According to its Web site, after South Africa, Kenya is Africa’s fastest-growing credit card market. This phone is great for small vendors on the move, and will hopefully be introduced soon in the States.
2)    Credit card alarm: This nifty device holds your credit card and beeps every 20 seconds when it’s empty. It’s not loud enough to cause a ruckus, but will help you remember to get your card back after a transaction. It fits right in your wallet.
3)    Credit card golf toolkit: If you are a golfer, this credit card-sized toolkit comes with everything you need. A divot tool, grip rest, ball marker, brush, pen and groove scraper. Not bad for a device only six millimeters thick. I also found several non-golf toolkits the size of credit cards.
4)    Credit card-sized flash drive: Do you like having a USB flash drive handy, but hate carrying it around? Try Wallet Flash – a USB device the size of a credit card that easily fits in your wallet. It’s also double-sided, making it easier to connect to hard-to-reach USB ports.
5)    Credit card dog toy: Would you like to apply for an Arfmerican Barxpress? This stuffed credit card toy is for your pooch. They also offer the the MuttsterCard and Barkingdales credit cards.
6)    Card organizer: This gadget organizes six or 12 of the cards currently in disarray in your wallet. It comes with six labeled buttons (with 18 interchangeable icons), and each one pushes two cards out for easy retrieval. There’s a money clip on the back for cash, business cards or anything else.
7)    Credit card bottle opener: This stainless steel bottle opener fits snugly in your wallet, but can easily be whipped out when you need to crack open a cold one. That’s one less thing you need to carry on your keychain.
8)    Credit card-sized cuff links: Going out to a fancy soiree, dressed to the nines, only to realize once you arrive that you have forgotten cufflinks? No worries — just whip out this credit card-sized tool from your wallet, pop them out and you are set.
9)    Credit card-sized ice scraper: It really sucks when you realize your windshield has frozen over and you have nothing but CD cases to scrape it off with (I’ve resorted to that method several times). If this tends to happen to you, I suggest buying this handy tool.
10)    Credit card-sized guitar picks: Much like the cufflinks, these guitar picks can easily be snapped out of its card when you find yourself in a musical emergency.
11)    Self-authenticating credit card: This new generation of payment cards contains an embedded battery, circuit and chip. When you are ready to make a transaction, you enter the static PIN on the card’s keypad. An algorithm-generated passcode is then sent to a display on the card, which is a temporary PIN good for only one transaction. This authentication process helps guard against fraud.
12)    Barbie boutique with credit card: This Barbie toy allows you to set up your own store and buy outfits for Barbie with a credit card. “Swipe the Fashion Fever credit card to ‘pay’ and find out the remaining balance on your account. But don’t fret. Once the balance hits zero, it will reset so you can continue to shop,” its description reads. Hmmm — that’s not exactly teaching kids the truth about credit.
13)    Credit card-sized digital voice recorder: If you are a journalist like me, you never know when you’re going to cross paths with an amazing source. But who wants to carry a clunky recorder around all the time? With this device, you just leave it in your wallet until you need it. Also good for people with a terrible memory.
14)    Credit card-sized dice: Similar to the cufflinks and guitar picks. Keep ’em in your wallet, and when a spontaneous game begins, pop ’em out and get rolling.
15)   Interest rate cufflinksHa…I bet credit card execs would find these cute. I also saw some on that site that said “Accepted” on one cufflink and “Declined” on the other.

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  • casey

    The most interesting is the credit card cell phone device. Apparently cell phones make a much bigger difference to entrepreneurs in Africa than internet access. NPR has had several stories on it (one example: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11630589 ).
    I don’t know who in their right mind would spend money on a plush credit card dog toy. I mean, is that even funny? Who comes up with ideas like that?