It’s wonderful to be involved in a hobby in its early stages. As you continually improve and enlarge your credit card collection, it’s easy to feel satisfied with your accomplishments. But are you really doing the best job possible?
Collecting additional credit-related items
Let me point out an area you may not be aware of. There are several credit-related items you can acquire to add fascination and value to your collection. The best part is that some of these non-credit additions are free.
Save the mailing envelope and contents
One important free addition to your credit card collection is saving the mailing envelope in which new credit cards arrive. You can open the envelope neatly with a letter opener.
Be sure to save all the papers inside the envelope. The original envelope and enclosures will help authenticate your cards and make your collection more complete. Mailing envelopes with their enclosed documents are on the top of the list of items that add value and interest to a credit card.
One note of caution: The papers in the envelope contain as much information as the card itself. As a matter of fact, they may contain more. They have your credit limit and sometimes your personal identification number necessary for cash withdrawals. Protect the papers as you would the card itself.
Collect credit card application forms
Another item to save is the credit application for a credit card. Applications are free and available in unlimited quantities. The credit application will complement the mint condition card, mailing envelope, and terms of agreement.
Credit applications of today are generally quite attractive. Some applications carry a colored photo or drawing of the card itself. Credit applications should make a welcome addition to any collection.
Let’s place everything written to now into perspective so the full significance can be grasped. An example would be if you had the opportunity to view a 1958 American Express card. Just the card itself is exciting. But then you notice the card was taken from the original mailing envelope pose marked Oct. 1, 1958. The thrill of examining the envelope and enclosed credit agreement is as exciting as viewing the card Itself!
For a final bit of excitement, you notice another piece of paper. It’s the first American Express credit application. Here’s American Express explaining why you should carry their $6 annual fee paperboard card.
Completing the set for your credit card collection
The credit card, mailing envelope with enclosures, and credit application make an interesting and historical set. The more supporting documents an item has, the more desirable and valuable it becomes. Besides, the idea of saving mailing envelopes, enclosures and applications doesn’t cost one cent to carry out.
And there are even more items you can add to your collection that will be very exciting to own in the years ahead.
Collect the related promotional items
American Express, for example, has issued a wide variety of items made to look like their charge card. Items such as clocks, radios, luggage tags, and calculators have been sold. American Express is probably the most enthusiastic issuer of credit card-related items. Macy’s has also issued a key ring with a metal representation of their credit card attached. There’s even a Macy’s soap-on-a-rope in the image of a credit card!
Beach towels have been manufactured to look like credit cards. There are Harrods (London), Bloomingdale’s, and American Express credit card towels. Charge coin collectors should also watch for related items to acquire.
One collector mentioned to me that he had purchased a charge coin purse. He said:
It has six little sections to hold the coins, three on either side. The center section holds your ID card and swings to either side. Each section the coins are in, is covered with a celluloid window as is the center name plate holder. This is the first one I’ve seen so far.
Look for credit card-related publications
Another interesting credit card collecting area is the literature and publications from the hobby’s early stages. Anything that has to do with the development of the hobby in its early years should be saved; saved in the best condition possible.
Vantage point in “future” retrospect
When forming your well-rounded credit card collection, view the hobby as though you are in the future looking back. Picture a hobby with full time credit piece dealers. Imagine an annual National Credit Card Collectors’ Show with thousands of people attending.
From this angle of vision, form your collection. What do you think these collectors will be interested in from our day and age? Is it something you would enjoy owning? That’s what you should consider collecting!
Copyright 1987 by Greg Tunks