Besides clutter in dressers and closets, I am strangely annoyed by all the membership and customer cards that seem to pile up in various places. Every store wants you to be a loyal customer. In turn, they want to put you on an email list and give you a plastic card for your wallet and two more mini plastic cards. Presumably so each person in your household can add the card to his or her key ring, and the lucky one gets to put an extra in his/her wallet too!
In theory this is a good idea, but if you visit more than about 3 places with such a card, your keyring soon holds many more cards than keys, the cards get beat up because they slam against your keys while you drive, you can't find what you need, etc. Drives me bananas. (I realize that many places allow you to look up your account with a phone number or zip code, but I have moved many times and quite frankly cannot keep track of that. The only numbers I know for sure - that do not change- are my Social Security and birthday)
So? How do I deal with my loyalty cards?Unsurprisingly, with a binder (of course!) as well as a separate key ring that lives in my car.
BinderI use a standard 3-ring binder and these magnificent sheet protectors sized for business cards. I can easily slip all the wallet-sized club cards in the sleeves in whatever order I'd like. In this case, I don't alphabetize but rather, categorize. It lives in my desk, but keeping this in the car would also make sense to me.
- TRAVEL- All frequent flyer cards and our Parking Spot card, which we use when we fly, are kept together. That's the page you see above.
- PHOTO IDs- Anything with a photo is kept together: my employee ID (yes I have one even though I am a remote employee!), membership cards, club membership cards for the amenities in our neighborhood, etc.
- MALL STORE LOYALTY CARDS- Cards for retail establishments at the mall are kept together, so if I am making a trip over there, I can determine what card I might need in an instant. Sephora loyalty card, this means you! There are also a couple of eateries that are only at the mall, so I stick their Buy 9 sandwiches and get the 10th Free cards in this spot. Personally, I don't go to the mall on a whim, so I don't need these extra cards in my wallet all the time.
- STORE CREDIT CARDS- This includes mall credit cards - I do have a couple- as well as any gift cards we might have to spend!
Key ringThe key ring is a cheap-o one that was part of a multiple package. No fancy equipment here. Why do I use the key ring? Some stops are less predictable than those listed above. Namely, CVS or food destinations. These cards are kept on the key ring and live in a cup holder in my car. This way I can swing by and always have what I need.
- Hallmark (I am a dork and would swing by any Hallmark for any reason, so it's in the car)
- Menchie's Yogurt
- Library Card