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I’ve talked a bit about buying gift cards for reselling over the past few months.  I’ve shared periodic deals where you could buy gift cards and then make a profit by reselling them as well as shared how you can get started in gift card reselling for profit

As for credit cards, I have been applying for multiple credit cards for my wife and I for the past 3 or 4 years.  We’ve probably signed up for 100 cards in that time, and currently have about 50.

All of those cards mean that it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a sea of cards.  Staying on top of these things is super important – otherwise you’ll find yourself where I was a few months ago – where disorganization cost me a $400 signup bonus.

My credit card organizer system

When my credit cards outgrew just keeping them all in my wallet (very quickly!), I used to just keep them all in an envelope in a drawer at my house.  That had the advantage of having them all in one place, but even that grew unwieldy fast.

Christmas 2015 Santa bought me a new credit card organizer system

dads-credit-card-binder

It’s just a 3 ring binder with baseball card sheets inside.

credit-card-binder-inside

I have it organized by issuing bank and primary cardholder.  So the first page is all of my American Express cards, then all of my wife’s Amex cards, then all of my Bank of America cards, etc.  I also have a few pages at the back for debit cards and miscellaneous other cards (like random city subway / transit passes)

Pros of this credit card organizer system – it keeps all my cards in one place – I like being able to easily find a card.

Cons of this credit card organizer system:

  • I think the baseball card sheets are a little too big.  I can’t put cards in the top row (top 3 slots) because then they fall out when I turn the pages.  I have heard that business card sheets fit better
  • Also, sometimes I have more cards for a given issuer than will fit on one page
  • And sometimes I like to keep some cards together – for example my wife is an authorized user on some of my cards, so it would be nice to keep those together instead of on separate pages.

I also keep a spreadsheet that has card numbers, credit limits and bonus targets so that I have that handy.  I do feel like I could do a better job of credit card organization with regard to spending and meeting minimum spends.  I am trying to do better at keeping my personal spend and any manufactured spending separately so that it makes for easier accounting.  See, it’s not just a lie that you tell to credit card reconsideration people!!! 🙂

If you’ve got tips or tricks for a better credit card organizer system, let me know in the comments!

My gift card organizer system

Several months ago when I first started selling gift cards, I didn’t do much for organization.  I just threw all my gift cards with their receipts into a big box

credit-card-organizer-box

As you can imagine, this was not the most organized system in the world :-).  And eventually, Carolyn started “encouraging” me to get this giant box out of our dining room.  Since most gift card resellers / buyers require you to keep your gift cards for at least a year or so (in case there are problems with the cards), I knew I needed to keep them, but I wasn’t sure what the best way.

My first try was going to the Container Store.  It took me awhile walking through there and the help of an employee, but I ended up buying something that looked like this.

gift-card-credit-card-organizer

The bin (and lid) were separate, and then the 3 green containers were separate.  All in all that cost me about $17.  My thought was to use each of the green sections to store different categories – cards that need to be processed, cards awaiting payment and finished cards – then when I got payment, I could move those to a more longer-term storage.

I ended up not putting any more effort into this system because I felt like it was overly expensive.  At the recommendation of some other people, I ended up buying these 3200 count baseball card holder boxes off of eBay (affiliate link)

ebay-gift-card-credit-card-organization

12 of those cost $41.99, and while it did take me a bit of time to figure out how to put them together once they shipped, so far they have been working well for me.  I am using the same plan as described above, where each column refers to a different category.  I usually rubber band the cards, receipts and an index card denoting where I sold it (with invoice # if applicable).  Then, once I am fully paid, I physically move it to a different category

Bonus – this gift card and credit card organizer system has also worked when I dabbled in the 5-back mania at CVS, before that ended a few weeks ago.  Again, same system where different columns meant different things (one column for cards to liquidate, one column for CVS cards, one for cards with $25 on it, etc.)  This organization has already paid off as it’s saved a ton of time trying to figure out which cards had which amounts of money on them, which money orders were already deposited online, etc.

Now it’s your turn – I would love to hear your gift card and credit card organizer systems – leave your best tips in the comments!

If you're not organized, you risk throwing away money. Here is my simple credit card organizer system and tips

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