Over the years, I have noticed that occasionally I will run into a Service Provider (e.g. a Physiotherapist, Corner Shop, etc.) that only takes either Mastercard or Visa (and neither usually takes Amex either) not both. This lack of choice annoys me because inevitably, I will want to pay for some large purchase but find out I must bring cash or direct withdrawal to pay for the service rendered. For example, I had to pay for a new set of Orthotics for my shoes with INTERAC because my Physio Provider didn’t take Mastercard. All of this contributes to Wallet Bloat.
It used to be that the Disney corporation only took Amex at their parks (which was weird), not sure if that has changed lately either, but that was primarily due to Amex giving them a sweetheart deal on charges with the proviso that Disney only takes Amex.
A lot of smaller businesses take only one type of card because they have made a better deal on purchases in how much the credit card skims off the price of the service or products bought. There may also be a monthly charge to the vendors for using the credit card service (I’m not sure; I don’t run a business that requires credit cards).
This inability to use certain cards at certain stores or services has caused Wallet Bloat (i.e. the George Costanza Wallet Syndrome) at my house because I have:
- A credit card for an electronics store because they have a “don’t pay for 3 months policy” on all purchases and that is nice to have.
- A credit card with a large Warehouse Home Repair retailer, because they offer don’t pay for a year on some items.
- One of many types of credit cards just because we need them at different places.
- A Gajillion points cards for each of the “buy and get points” programs we are in (look it up Gajillion is a real word).
- etc., etc., etc.,
I also have some pictures of my kids in my wallet, but I am confident they are at least ten years out of date.
This Wallet Bloat is dangerous because each of these credit facilities is a point of attack for someone to use my credit for their nefarious ideas. Worse still, it is a financial hot spot for me where I can build up short term HUGELY AGGREGIOUS DISGUSTING AND AWFUL credit card debt (the phrase Bad Debt doesn’t do this justice) and forget that I have done this, thus causing the classic “Credit Card Bill Opening Explosion.”
One day there may be a generic credit vehicle taken by everyone everywhere, but I think by that time, there will be one global monetary device as well, and by then, Skynet will have become self-aware so that it won’t matter.
Are there people with only one card, or better still, no cards? Chime in, oh wise readers.
Disney takes all forms of credit cards now.
I have now offloaded all (well, most) of my loyalty cards to a separate folding creditcard thingy. Being a female, it is socially acceptable to carry a purse, and having a collection of loyalty cards in one of the pockets (next to the spare lipstick, airline headphones and mints from some restaurant I went to a couple of months back. Keeps my wallet streamlined.
I’ve reduced the number of points cards in my wallet by writing several of my points “account” numbers all on the back of a single business card. Examples include aeroplan, airmiles, etc. Retailers can usually just manually type in your points program number…that way you don’t have to carry extra cards around.
For everyday use, I just carry a single Visa. For the large store specific purchases, usually you would know in advance that you are visiting that store and can bring the specific card with you for that trip.