Great! The mail man just left this envelope and I can feel the credit cards inside. I wonder who these cards are from? I’ll just rip this envelope open and see.
But wait a minute!
If you’re starting to collect credit cards, it’s important to learn the procedures needed to handle them. Taking proper measures are vital to assure that your cards stay in their original condition. Always handle your credit cards with care. By practicing the following steps your collection will remain in top condition.
1. Handling and treating your cards
Remove the credit cards carefully from the mailing envelope. Hold only the edges of the card with your finger tips. Never touch the card’s front and back surfaces. This will help keep fingerprints and scratches off the magnetic tape, which is easily damaged.
It will also help keep the signature space clean since it’s inclined to attract dirt. Anytime you handle a card use this procedure. When new credit cards arrive, examine them to see which are in the best condition. If you want to carry a card, this will help determine which one.
Examine your credit cards
To examine a credit card, hold it by the edges with your fingertips. Hold the card so light can reflect from it towards your vision. Rotate the card slowly back and forth. You’ll now be able to see the scratches and flaws on its surface. Leave credit cards in original condition. Don’t endorse the card’s signature space. One exception may be when an individual is famous. Their autograph may make an item more collectible. (This point is debatable.)
Retain the original condition of the card
It’s true that a famous person’s possessions do attract collectors. One solution is to leave the credit card in original condition without endorsing it. Include a letter stating ownership of the credit card and sign the letter.
The letter is important because there are numerous people with the same name. Many credit cards with famous names on them won’t belong to the famous individual. Save all used credit cards. Don’t clean them to “improve” their looks. You could unknowingly be causing damage so leave them alone. Every credit card including used, damaged, and dirty ones should be saved.
2. Keeping records of your credit card collection
Keep a record of every credit card. Some could become lost or stolen. These records will also help save time when ordering additional and replacement credit cards. You’ll have all the information readily available.
Encode your credit cards digitally
The best record keeper is your computer. Data management programs are readily available. All credit card information is easily stored and can be quickly cross-referenced. A code word can be used to stop unauthorized access.
Use index cards as an alternative and backup
A 3×5 index card can also be used. Place the company’s name on the top line. With bank cards, list the issuing institution’s name on the second line. Under this, list the name the account is in and then the credit card number. Finally, list the expiration information. You’ll then be able to record additional credit cards by only adding updated expiration information.
Keep all index cards in alphabetical order. Index cards make it easy to file new account cards. Your index cards contain as much information as your credit cards. Protect your index cards as you would your credit cards.
On the back of the index card, write the address the credit cards came from. You’ll then have the address needed for ordering additional and replacement credit cards. Make two index cards of each credit card account. Keep one set of index cards home and the other in your safe deposit box.
Register your collection
You’ll receive offers to join credit card registration companies. Their fees are minimal. These companies keep a list of all your credit cards and account numbers. If your credit card is lost or stolen, just call the registration company’s 800 number. They’ll notify all your credit card companies and order replacements. List your credit cards with a registration company.
3. Storing and protecting your credit cards
Store your credit cards in individual protective envelopes. I recommend using Worchester glassine envelopes #2. They measure 2-5/16″ x 3-5/8″. The envelopes are available at stamp hobby shops. All credit cards fit comfortably into these envelopes. Protect the credit cards you carry.
Tear off the envelope’s flap and place the credit card inside. Then place the envelope into the wallet’s credit card holder. Replace the envelope when it looks dirty. Every time a new credit card is received, replace the envelope.
Organize your credit cards alphabetically
Store your credit cards alphabetically in boxes that are used to hold business cards. These boxes can be purchased at business supply stores and print shops. Storage trays can also be used to hold your collection. These storage trays can be made inexpensively from cardboard. Cardboard can be easily cut, folded, and taped to make any desired size tray.
Use a safety deposit box
Keep your credit card collection in a safe deposit box along with your duplicate set of index cards. Protecting your credit card collection is a simple but important matter. Always handle credit cards carefully. Keep a record of every card in your collection. Place your cards in individual envelopes and store them in a safe place. This is how to protect your credit cards.
Copyright 1986 by Greg Tunks