There are a new breed of high-tech credit cards that help you carry all of your credit and debit cards on a single card, protect against loss or theft and just plain cool looking credit cards. These high-tech credit cards and credit card replacements are a handy way to keep your cards with you at all times without worrying about carrying a George Constanza wallet that can cause back pain.
Most consumers own more than one credit card, and carrying around two credit cards, a debit card and the few store credit cards you keep for rewards is cumbersome. Enter a new wave of high tech credit cards that combine all of your credit cards into a single card or device.
You can’t get this morphing credit card that fights fraud with changing numbers just yet, but you can sign up to get these high-tech credit cards in 2015. Best of all these high-tech cards work with the credit and debit cards you already have. You don’t need to go apply for a new credit card and open up yet another line of credit, you just add your current cards to these high-tech options.
After using one of these high tech credit card replacements for the last four months it is an awesome way to carry all of your cards in one single card, but in the early days you may need to carry a backup. At least until the bugs are all worked out.
Coin is a credit card replacement that can hold credit cards, debit cards, story loyalty cards and gift cards as long as they have a magnetic stripe. You can store eight cards on the coin and an unlimited number in the app. The card syncs to your phone to update the cards on Coin and you push a button on the Coin to switch between cards. Coin works in an ATM and it slides right through any reader we’ve tested it on.
After spending four months with the Coin beta it’s clearly a handy device to carry with us. This beta version does not work in every reader, but that’s what Coin is working on completing before the final version ships. Coin will allow users to lock the Coin with a tapped out pass code so it is useless if lost and there will be an option to get alerts if you walk away from your card after paying. You can use the Coin without an internet connection after you’ve added your cards to it.
Users can buy the Coin for $99 and it will ship later this year. The Coin will last approximately two years before the battery dies.
Another high-tech credit card is Plastc. This credit card combines all your cards into a smart credit card with an e-ink touch screen display that you can use to carry credit cards, debit cards, ID cards, loyalty cards and more.
Unlike Coin, Plastc includes NFC for contactless payments and it supports Chip & Pin, plus it can show a barcode. All of this is in addition to a standard magnetic swipe. You enter a security pin on the touch screen to unlock the card and swipe between cards. There is also an alert if you leave the card behind and the option to wipe the card remotely. Plastc lets users charge it and upgrade it with a dock.
Another high tech credit card is Swyp, a metal credit card that can hold all of your current credit, debit and loyalty cards with PIN protection and an option to track expenses with receipts right after you make a purchase.
One way that this stands out is that Swyp claims it can predict the card you will use so that you don’t need to click-through the cards stored on the device once it learns your usage.
Like the options above you can use this in any credit card reader and any ATM. There is a restaurant mode to prevent accidental changes when you hand the card off. Swyp locks when you walk away from it, but you can unlock with a Pin to use without your phone handy.
Swype is $49 as part of the pre-order with shipments this fall and the retail price is $99.
Another option is Apple Pay. With this high-tech credit card you turn your iPhone into a credit card and you can even use the Apple Watch as a credit card. This option only works with select Apple Pay Bank partners and only at Apple Pay stores that are set up to take contactless payments.
You can add credit cards and debit cards to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus or to the Apple Watch on the iPhone 5 and newer. You don’t need to buy anything extra, but you cannot use this at an ATM or at stores with older point of sale systems. Apple Pay is available now on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with iOS 8.
LoopPay & Samsung Pay
Another exciting option is LoopPay, which is a standalone card, but that is now built-in to the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Instead of using NFC, these options send a wireless magnetic stripe signal so you can use it almost anywhere. The feature is unique to the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge for now.
LoopPay, which powers this service also sells a LoopPay card that works with iPhone, but Samsung just purchased the company and is using it to power Samsung Pay. The LoopPay team is still independent and is selling the individual card and the iPhone case that can carry it.
One downside is that early reviews say you cannot use LoopPay in an ATM and machines that require putting the card into a slot. This could be a problem for LoopPay and Samsung Pay.
Samsung Pay launches in summer 2015 and you will need to own a debit or credit card from a participating bank, similar to the Apple Pay model.