There can’t be a person in the country who doesn’t have at least one credit or debit card in their wallet, and most of us will in fact have several. So that means millions and millions of cards and also millions of cards that are expiring.
But instead of just cutting them up, what other things could you do with them? Here, we have put together the most authoritative list of the 20 practical things you can do with your expired credit card.
1. Ice scraper
While the UK may have been partially submerged this winter under a seemingly endless deluge of rain and the odd gale thrown in for good measure, there is still the odd occasion, which of course always catches everyone by surprise, when the mercury drops below freezing.
While for many, this signifies a day off due to the inexplicable inability of the transport infrastructure to operate when the temperature drops below freezing, the hardy among us will still attempt to brave the elements by car, and if you don’t have a bottle of anti-freeze to hand, an expired credit card and some elbow grease can work miracles in removing the ice.
2. Smartphone stand
You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to make something practical out of your expired cards, and what could be more useful than a stand for your Android phone or iPhone? These days, your smartphone is in fact a complete entertainment system, and if you ever find yourself with a spare couple of hours, then why not sit back and watch a movie on a simple stand made from your expired credit card?
If you fancy yourself as a Mr Handyman around the house and suddenly find yourself minus your trusty tool box, then you can always use an expired card to apply filler to those nooks and crannies or grout tiles. While getting your hands dirty, you can always think how much money you are saving if you are doing this yourself and not paying someone else to do it.
The crafty among you can also use an expired card to make a super cute, little notebook. Why not keep a notebook on ways to save money, using your expired credit card as a cover?
Another surprisingly handy use for an expired card is to use it as a shoehorn. Not only does this save on purchasing a shoehorn in the first place – it also stops you damaging the back of your shoes.
6. Cheese knife
If you suddenly find yourself in front of a mouthwatering chunk of cheddar cheese without your precious and stylish Scandinavian cheese slicer to hand, you can always use an expired credit card as an impromptu knife. This application has several possible variations, such as if you are on a picnic and either forget or don’t want to bring any cutlery along – then you can slice through your traditional pork pie with your expired card.
Given the number of different cards and colours available, it is possible to create some masterful pieces of art, and in fact some artists have made a name for themselves by doing this. Thomas McKean, for example, has made a name for himself making art and sculptures out of expired metro cards, but any budding Van Gogh can equally use expired credit cards.
8. Pottery aid
People with serious gifts in the craft-making department can use a card to smooth down pottery surfaces or make patterns with it. Create something beautiful with an expired card, then sell it and make money!
9. Toys for dolls or children
An expired card can be a great educational toy for children. Play shopping with them and teach them about sound money management practices at the same time.
10. Mosaic tiles
If, as the years go past, you find yourself with a large pile of expired cards, those with an artistic streak can cut them up and use the pieces to make a mosaic of expired cards. This has many potential and creative uses, such as making picture frames or frames for mirrors or turning them into tiles for your kitchen or bathroom.
11. Body waxing aid
Another ingenious use for those ladies and gents in search of the smoothest body can use an expired card for smoothing down body wax. Ouch.
12. Pan scraper
Now if you don’t like the idea of soaking pans and dishes for hours to get rid of dried food, then using an expired card to scrape the pot or pan instead is a quick and nifty solution. Get rid of dishpan hands – use an expired credit card!
13. Lamp shade
Let your imagination really run wild – by gluing several cards together, you can make everyday objects such as a lamp shade.
14. Guitar pick
For musically minded readers, a simple and cost-effective solution for guitar players is to cut up your expired card to make some guitar picks. This solution is music to the ears for the cost-conscious.
15. Earbud holder
This is a real sign of the times: so many of us are virtually connected to a smartphone device, and earbuds are a necessity for the commute to work. How many times have you had to rummage through your bag or handbag to find them hopelessly tangled up? Turn your expired card into a handy earbud holder. This is a very practical and useful way to recycle a card!
Now this is a fashion statement and a half. You can always turn your expired bank and credit card into earrings. This seems to be quite a popular use for expired cards, and one that is also sure to impress your bank manager for your financial acumen.
17. Battery cover
Like the Bermuda Triangle, in everyday life there are two things that disappear mysteriously without trace: socks in the laundry and remote control battery covers. Who hasn’t at some point held a remote together with a rubber band? DIY addicts can turn their skills into crafting a simple battery cover from a credit card.
18. Light switch cover
See the light! This is quite a cool use for an expired card: express your uniqueness by creating light switch covers for your home.
Sometimes, it’s nice just to sit back and relax with a good read. Turning an old credit card into a bookmark is as easy as cutting a ‘V’ into the card. Simple.
20. Cable organiser
Do you have a bunch of cables cluttering up the back of your desk? This is a neat trick for getting some order to your mass of cables. This is, again, an easy and practical solution that does not need much in the way of DIY knowledge.