Innovations and Payment Systems

10 weird credit card gadgets, devices and outfits


Credit cards are useful, but these objects shaped like or inspired by cards let you wear them, shoot them or even floss with them

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Scanners, shotguns, cocktail dresses and dental floss.

Who’d have thought that the unassuming credit card would one day inspire such madness?

Over the years, has surveyed dozens of card-shaped bobbles, gadgets, jewelry and novelties, yet each time we resume the search, we somehow unearth a fresh cache of weird.

Submitted for your amusement (and early holiday shopping): 10 zany credit card products that, trust us, you can probably leave home without!

10. Credit card floss
Your mother would definitely approve of FlossFirst, a card-sized dental floss dispenser containing 200 feet of waxed nylon floss or tape. Marketed primarily to dentists and as a promotional icebreaker for conventions and trade shows, FlossFirst comes in a cellophane wrapper that can be customized with your business card or corporate logo, and includes a “How to Floss” instructional graphic. How did we find dental card floss? Word of mouth, of course.

9. Payment bracelet
They’ve tried it with zipper fobs, they’ve tried it with rings – perhaps payment bracelets will finally become the wonder-wear to replace actual plastic. This summer, U.S. Bank unveiled its MasterCard PayPass VITAband, the latest fashion accessory for the tap-and-go crowd. VITAband contains a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip for speedy contactless payment that can lighten the load for sports enthusiasts and those who frequently forget their wallet or credit card. Should you find yourself on an extreme shopping tear, the band also contains a unique eight-digit identifier that can link first responders to your emergency medical information when you receive your bill.

8. Adult credit card costume
OK, we don’t know why you would want to dress up like a credit card; that’s strictly your business. But should the urge strike, this pink fabric-over-foam, one-size-fits-all (unisex? Hmmm?) adult credit card costume, issued by the Bank of Unlimited Shopping USA to one Lois Price (get it?), can be yours for just $39.99 from Go ahead, charge it. And no, we don’t want to see your ID.

7. Card pad and pen set
Welcome to Lilliput, guv’nor! Whether you’re tired of lugging around that bulky full-size pad and pen or you just want to roll with the little people for a spell, the Pico Pad Credit Card Size Notebook with sticky-note pad and toothpick-size pen is the perfect way to get small. Pico Pad retails for $3.49 (hand cramp not included).

6. Credit card boxed mints
Maybe it’s the thin mile-high air that prompted Denver candy novelty supplier Taylor Your Event to dream up a way to cram 50 peppermints into a credit-card-sized candy box. You access the tiny mints through a reclosable corner in the card, which can be custom printed front and back with your business card, company logo or other incriminating information. Cost: $1.30 for quantities of 100-200; sweeter deals for bulk orders.

5. Double-barrel shotgun
We didn’t believe this either: a Minneapolis gun shop owner and a local arms manufacturer devised a double-barrel shotgun the size of a credit card. Since shotgun shells don’t come in petite, this baby is a muzzleloader; you pour in gunpowder, add seven steel BBs to each barrel, tamp it down with a wad of paper and you’re ready to charge … uh, make that fire! The owner planned to sell the novelty weapon at $100 a pop, which coincidentally is about the sound it makes. It’s not much of a deterrent to armed robbers (unless you plan on making them laugh to death), but it certainly redefines the definition of concealed weapon.

4. Credit card cocktail dress
Recognize this dress? If so, you were probably watching the red carpet coverage from the 67th Annual Academy Awards in 1995, where designer Lizzy Gardiner stole the show in her elegant cocktail sheath fashioned from 300 American Express Gold cards. The dress was to be worn in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, for which Gardiner won the Oscar for Best Costume Design that night, but AmEx balked and the dress scene was shelved. Hollywood happy ending: the dress fetched $12,650 at a 1999 auction to raise money for AIDS research. Sadly, there have been few knockoffs. PVC is so underrated as a garment fabric!

3. Scanner
Hey, is that a scanner in your pocket? Say yes with the SlimScan from PlanOn Systems Solutions, a credit-card-sized stainless steel color scanner designed to electronically record receipts, business cards, magazine articles, contracts, recipes and other documents on the fly. Just push the capture button on the face, scan the document with the horizontal edge of the device and watch the image appear on the LCD screen. Also includes zoom feature and a USB drive for easy offloading. The SlimScan retails for $119 and fits into your wallet or credit card holder. The perfect gift for the OCD techie on your list!

2. UV meter
Frankly, we don’t get out of the office much. But if you do, you might find the Sun Meter UV Card from handy. The Sun Meter features a specially-coated panel that changes from white to various shades of purple when exposed to ultraviolet radiation (i.e., sunlight) for 10 seconds. You simply match the purple shade on your meter with the printed color key on the card and voile, you know which sunblock to use. The card will change back to its original color within minutes. Whereas you, of course, will not.

1. Credit card teether
So it has come to this: Baby’s First Credit Card Teether by Heelarious, a delicious-looking pink or green teething toy in the shape of a credit card. The 100-percent nontoxic teether, imprinted with a 16-digit card number and expiration date, comes with a nubby reverse side to soothe the tender gums of future power shoppers. Available in sets of two for $13.95 from To further scar your child for life, may we suggest the Ava Heelarious Baby High Heels for $25?

See related:New credit card-sized gadgets help you shave, pick locks, Still more credit card gadgets and gizmos you cannot live withoutMore wacky, wonderful payment card innovations and gadgets

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