Vanity Credit Cards Are The Dodo Birds of Credit

Back in the 1990s, vanity credit cards were all the rage. These cards, with their "personalized" look; color schemes denoting your financial status; or designs meant to showcase your love of team, alma mater, or Disney character, are still around and relatively popular today. How many of us have signed up for a new card and say "oooh," checking the box for one of the vanity designs offered?

A new era of credit cards is coming, though, and those vanity cards will soon die out like the Dodo bird. They'll become a rarity, an unusual sighting, something to be photographed, before finally disappearing altogether. What's this new era?

All-in-one cards and services like Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and more are becoming popular options. Even PayPal is in on the act, with a sort of "pay anywhere" solution similar to those offered by the tech giants. Microsoft might be launching one too, if they can keep it from crashing. (Had to say it.)

Other services, though, might even eclipse those from the big boys. Like Coin. Coin is a credit card-like device that allows you to load all of your other credit, debit, loyalty, etc. cards onto one card-like device and use it to use any of them from one card. So instead of carrying two credit cards, a debit card, five store loyalty cards, and an ID, you can instead carry Coin and your ID. And maybe some cash if you're still that last century.

Coin recently began shipping after a very successful crowd funding campaign and two years of hard development. It launched to over 350,000 people who'd signed up with enough funding donation to get one when they came out. Those deliveries are going on now. Other cards in this space include Plastc and Wocket.

With services like Wallet, Pay and Coin, why would people continue to carry around a wallet stuffed with cards begging to be pilfered and misaligning their spine when they sit? Instead, just carry around a smart phone (which we already do) or a Coin and use some passwords and tap phrases (or any of a myriad of inventive security schemes) to pay for your stuff. Who knows? Maybe you'll even, eventually, get to pay bills without writing checks. We all have that one holdout utility that doesn't accept auto-draft. Sigh. Maybe they'll take Apple Pay instead. At least you can finally get rid of that Disney Princess credit card you accidentally chose thinking it was the Darth Vader offer in the catalog. Stupid form. How was I supposed to know that F was a P?