What's in your wallet? -- 04/02/08

Yesterday's entry was the obvious prompt for today's thoughts -- What's in your wallet?

What is in my wallet:
  • driver's license
  • credit cards: Discover, Visa, American Express
  • bank ATM/debi card
  • library card
  • TrinityRep subscriber discount card (get 15% discount from certain merchants, including the restaurant we usually eat at before seeing plays at TrinityRep)
  • CVS pharmacy ExtraCare discount card
  • Preservation Society of Newport County membership card
  • health insurance card
  • AAA membership card (American Automobile Association)
  • dental insurance card
  • Rhode Island Blood Center blood donor card
  • Mews Tavern VIP card (get discounts, free meal on birthday, etc.)
  • $15 (three $5 bills)
  • Coffee Depot coffee club card (buy ten cups and get one free)
  • half a dozen printed receipts from ATM transactions -- well, no longer, because I've just fed them to my shredder
I Googled "What's in your wallet" because I couldn't remember which credit card company had used that line in their advertising. I had thought it might be American Express but it turns out it was Capital One. But Google also told me about many other sites that picked up on that slogan. One was a Web site called The Simple Dollar, where the blogger wrote "financial talk for the rest of us."

One of his entries was called "What's In Your Wallet? How I Organize The Finances In My Pocket." In it he comments that he never carries his ATM/debit card unless he intends to use it and he only carries one credit card. I can understand his point, but I just know that if I did not have my debit card with me, that would be exactly when I would need cash. Also, I can't have just one credit card. My first choice for using a credit card would be my Discover card (because it pays cash back) but not every place accepts Discover, so I also need my Visa card (which rewards me with a $10 L.L.Bean gift card for every thousand I charge). I generally try to avoid paying cash except for small transactions. Those cash back deals do pay off (assuming, of course, that you pay the credit card bill each month and never carry a balance so that you never have to pay a finance charge). I suppose I could leave the AmEx card out because that is my corporate card and I've not been a frequent flyer on company business for several years now -- but, on the other hand, I will need it for travel to the technical conference in Las Vegas that is only about a month away. (Actually, I've already used it twice recently for that trip -- booking hotel room and air travel.)

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