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At first, you got a card for a gas company and then for a store chain. It continued from there until wallets and purses were full of plastic cards. Then came Master Charge (later MasterCard), VISA, American Express and more. The idea was to reduce the number of cards you would have to carry. Your wallet would no longer bulge. I remember this time. It seemed like a good idea. One card, one bill to pay.

These days, I look at my wallet and it is bulging again. Actually, now I carry two wallets, one for each back pocket and both are bulging. What happened? I would be better off carrying cash. Not only do I have many credit cards, I have debit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, point collection cards, like AirMiles, etc. Instead of getting a credit card for a particular store chain, I get a MasterCard for that store. What is the difference? Sure I can use it in other stores, but, the other stores are trying to get me to get a card tied to their store, all to get a few points. So, I go make my purchase in a store. First, I produce my loyalty card, then my AirMiles card, next comes a gift card, however, the gift card does not have enough of a balance to cover the purchase, so I get out one of my credit cards. After all the transactions are complete, I have to stand there and re-file all my cards.

Is this insane?

I won’t go into my concerns about chip cards. I have written about that elsewhere here.