How many cards to carry

Following on from the wallet thread, I would imagine that many of us on here have quite a collection of plastic.
(I know I have way too many cards lol)
Of those of us who do still carry a wallet, how do you decide what cards to carry and at what times?
I have been trying to thin mine down, but at the moment to no avail. I always feel that I’m guaranteed to not have the preferred card I want with me when I want it.
My normal seems to be a minimum of 6 cards, which I really need to get down a bit.

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I just carry my credit cards that can go in Apple Pay + a debit card and my suica

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I use Curve to try to keep my wallet down!

Generally, I carry a BA Amex (first line card in the U.K., don’t use it abroad), Aqua Reward (0.5% cashback, good where Amex is not accepted and go-to-card abroad) and the Nationwide Member Credit card (backup, in case the Mastercard network is down, and can also be used abroad fee-free).

I don’t generally carry any debit cards in the U.K. aside from Curve as I never use cash. If I did need to use a cash machine, I would use Curve (or use a Tesco/NatWest/RBS one and use the Get Cash feature).

If I want to pay in at the Post Office or something like that, I would shuffle my cards around and take a card for that.

Abroad, I would bring a few extra cards depending on where I’m going.

Like @Recchan, I use Apple Pay where I can so carrying any cards at all is my fallback, although I rarely go without my wallet.


What do you carry in your wallet out of curiosity? Outside of my license I don’t have any use for it, but I just carry it loose when I think I’ll need it

These days even in Europe I leave my cards back at the hotel or back in Blighty (for the sake of alliteration) as Europe has 100% contactless acceptance or very close to it, thanks to initiatives passed via MasterCard/Visa network to suppliers of machines

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I really must try harder lol
Going away for a few days later this week and I’m going to try and be really brave and just take 1 debit card plus my Amex and a back up credit card :upside_down_face:

At the moment:

  • Nationwide Select Credit Card (Highest credit limit of all my cards)

  • Tymit Credit Card

  • BA Amex Credit Card

  • Monese Card

  • Revolut Card

  • EHIC card

  • NHS Donor card

  • Staff ID card (carried at all times for free travel whether working or not)

  • Oh and a SIM card removal tool for when we are travelling outside of Europe lol


Are you an EU citizen? AFAIK EHIC has been invalid since we left , although maybe there’s been some replacement agreement?

Besides that and the few other cards like staff ID and I don’t get what exactly you need to carry

Can all go into your Apple Wallet and surely 90% of that is stuff you don’t use on a daily basis

The EHIC is still valid until expiry.

If you don’t have an EHIC its not the GHIC Card…:slight_smile:

EHIC is still valid until expiry date, and then it becomes GHIC :grinning:

Apple wallet no lol. (Android phone)
And As I have mentioned before, there are times when we go out without our phones, so need a physical card.

Although it’s not that often, we have been known to make a big ticket purchase on a whim and unfortunately, neither the Tymit or Amex cards have a high enough credit limit.

Is the GHIC just a replacement with the exact same rights to care as an EHIC? Presumably now it means global and will eventually be used for Australian MediCare (that we’re already allowed access to under a mutual scheme)

Edit: beautiful we actually sacrificed 4 countries of which Iceland/Norway/Switzerland are amazingly beautiful places and seemingly potentially dangerous in the case of Norway going north to see the Aurora Borealis or Switzerland skiing :expressionless:

Oh well, I guess it’s always been a given to get insurance anyways

Not that it makes sense to me why we didn’t attempt to integrate every major tourist nation into this, really makes sense to incorporate every country where healthcare for natives isn’t giga expensive


One mastercard debit card
One visa debit card
One mastercard credit card

Physically use none of them unless absolutely necessary as all purchases made via Google Pay, which covers about 8 cards, including curve and amex

All loyalty cards on Google Pay or their own app


The cards I listed plus a few loyalty cards (which I do have on my phone anyway).

It’s more of a backup than anything, I rarely use the physical cards - with the exception of Amex as Amex contactless does seem to be less widely accepted than Amex Chip and PIN.

It’s also a handy place to stuff receipts!

Indeed, there was a mandate that all terminals had to meet contactless standard by the start of 2020 - see here.

The deadline has already passed, obviously, so in theory everyone should now be up-to-date with acceptance.

Think I’ve cracked it (at least for this trip away)

  • Staff ID (for travel, obviously)

  • Tymit (paid off via Monese, so no need for Monese card :grinning:)

  • Amex (Used wherever possible)

What do you all think???

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My cards on Google Pay


I generally carry four cards with me:

  • American Express
  • Curve
  • Virgin Money Mastercard
  • Drivers license

The above bank cards are the only ones I normally keep in Apple Pay. Often I leave the wallet at home and use my watch but that’s not always practical. Specifically if I might need to fill up the car, use special loyalty apps, or hire a Voi scooter.

Travel gets more complex. I normally take two wallets when travelling, including Revolut.

That sounds slightly risky to me, you’re a Visa short of a full wallet!

I forgot to say, I do also generally carry my driving license (but that’s because it’s a convenient form of ID and I’m young enough to often need some).

You don’t actually, legally, have to produce your license on demand if an officer asks you to; it is within the law to produce it within 7 days at a specified police station. So I wouldn’t worry about not carrying it, and indeed I don’t always have it with me now.

I just carry a single card in my shoe. The rest are in Apple Pay.

I’m not sure how normal a behaviour this is, but i don’t actually keep all my cards in Apple Pay either. I have my primary debit card, a visa alternative, my primary credit card, and the cards of whatever fintechs im playing with at the moment.

The rest of my accounts, the ones banks probably consider dormant aside from a few transfers in and out every now and then, don’t go on Apple Pay. I’ve tried having all my eligible cards in Apple Pay and it just gets very cluttered.

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The only Visa card that actually gets any use is issued by Revolut. So if AmEx is screwed, and Mastercard is screwed, I’m doubtful Visa will be there to save the day!

I know. But I like to carry it and it does serve the occasional purpose (like when collecting a parcel). While I’ve never had cause to present my license to the police, it would be a ball-ache given I live in a semi-rural market town. It’s a thin piece of plastic so no hardship at all.

I’ve never actually found a store that only accepts one

What are these? I normally get them mailed to me at bigger stores and do most of my shopping online

Giving a receipt to a takeaway or the like has never affected me being able to exercise the basically zero consumer right I have with the places

I wonder what they’re doing with Japan, since it’s meant to the Olympic host.

In a completely piece of unrelated news I think certain large FeliCa providers are giving a rebate or 5% of VAT on card purchases, as something something (I’m guessing here) less tax avoidance if more income has an electronic source

Are you talking about buses? These things have been a nightmare with their shields that block the card reader too… I ended up really awkwardly displaying my hand to the driver when trying to pay with my watch. Thinking I’ll use the app from henceforth

However you do at a place that’s selling you licensed content like alcohol, very troublesome. Wish they’d make some sort of verification system within the Spoons app so you only needed to verify your ID once

Does this not get uncomfortable? Or potentially rather unpleasant for the card (especially in a rather hot and humid climate as U.K. can be legally for a few days a year)

Agreed, I stopped doing this and only kept to what I could ever see myself using, even the Starling is gone now as I don’t see myself wanting to give them interchange fee


Nope. I wear full cushion darn tough socks. They regulate temperature better than cotton socks, and since they’re cushioned, whilst I can still feel the card next to my ankle, it’s not uncomfortable. Doesn’t get sweaty or smelly.

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