It is good to have a hobby, even a specialized one such as credit card collecting. This is a hobby that has been going on for a while and it involves a number of different credit cards. However, there are some things to know if you want to get in on this hobby.
When searching around the online auction sites, you may come across vintage credit cards. Many of these credit cards originated in Canada, The United States, China, and all around the world. For some, seeking out vintage credit cards is a hobby and it is one that is growing to the point that eBay had to establish a separate menu item to cover vintage charge and credit cards.
If you want to see how common collectible credit cards are, simply go to eBay and type in the keyword string, "collectible credit card" and see how many results come up. Chances are you will see around 50 pages of results and you may even encounter credit cards that are over 50 years old and have starting bids over $100.
The search results may also return novelty credit cards for sale. For instance, at one time there was a California Highway patrol credit card. You may even see one with a superhero on it. It is hard to tell what you will find, but the finds are usually quite fascinating.
Collectible Card Values
The American Credit Card Collectors Society has a valuation page on their website. According to that page, brands such as Diner's Club and American Express attract higher prices. As with most collectors' credit cards, the older credit cards are the more lucrative ones. Many hobbyists also prefer that the cards are in mint condition and they are willing to pay more for those that are unsigned and unused.
Other collectors focus on the appearance of the card, searching for cards that have colour pictures and unique designs. There are a number of pop-culture credit cards out there, such as those with Johnny Cash on them or a rock band. Some of these are very high in demand, but they are more common in the United States than they are in Canada. In contrast, credit cards displaying sports teams also appeal to collectors hoping to capitalize on fan loyalty. These are becoming more popular throughout Canada.
Rarity is another powerful factor. In fact, it is the most important because it can boost the value of the collectible card. Some of the rarest cards are those sporting landmarks. American Express had such a paper card from 1959 that sold for $1,500.
Strict Trading Rules
While eBay has reserved an entire section for vintage credit cards so collectors can deal in them on the site, there are some very strict rules when listing these cards. For instance, the card has to be inactive with an expiration date that is no less than 10 years old. When posting is allowed, the seller has to cover up at least a portion of the original cardholder's name, the credit card number, or both in the image that is posted on the auction page.
Collectors also have to check with the card issuer to see if the sale of expired credit cards is allowed. There are cardholder agreements that state in their terms and conditions that the card is always the property of the issuer. If the terms and conditions state that the card is the property of the issuer, the sale of even an expired card is banned anywhere, including eBay.
Celebrity Credit Cards
Another form of credit card collecting is the collecting of credit cards that were owned by celebrities that have passed away. It has been indicated that a total of eight store credit cards that Katharine Hepburn had were auctioned off and raked in high premiums. This is just as incredible as the sale of an American Express that was owned by Elvis Presley in the 1970s. That card racked up over $40,000. Part of the reason why it made so much money was because Elvis signed the card on the back.
There has been some research done in the collection of credit cards and how it is becoming an industry. Some of this research revealed that the recession in 2008 caused a slowdown in credit card collecting. However, many experts are very optimistic about the future of credit card collecting, as the global economy is improving and collectors are becoming interested again. It is a very specialized hobby, but it is one that can be rewarding.
Just like baseball cards, credit cards are gaining value. However, collectors are encouraged to hang on to their old credit cards. That way credit card collectors do not end up in the same boat they did with their childhood baseball cards and that was the getting rid of the cards before they were worth something. Now, many individuals who got rid of those old sports cards are regretting not hanging on to them because they are now worth money.
If you wish to collect credit cards, go ahead and hang on to the cards you have now. Place them in a fireproof box or another safe place so they do not find their way into the wrong hands. As stated before, a card cannot typically be sold until 10 years after the expiration. You can also try and find terms and conditions online regarding whether or not the credit card company owns the card. If you cannot find the terms and conditions, call the credit card company and they can check for you.
Credit card collecting can be fun and rewarding. Knowing what to look for in a card can help you if you wish to get in on this small industry. Then again, you may simply want to save your own cards with the prospect of making a little profit of them in the following decade.