Should You Have an All-In-One Credit Card? The Pros and Cons

all in one credit card

True story: Americans are carrying around a LOT of cards these days. Credit cards for cash and travel rewards, debit cards for ATMs, and even loyalty cards for our favorite stores.

Ever see that episode of Seinfeld where Costanza’s wallet explodes in the street because he tries to shove one too many receipts in it? The struggle is real.

That struggle is exactly what an all-in-one credit card – also known as a smart credit card – is trying to solve. These cards allow you to consolidate all of your credit and debit cards into one (you’ll still have to carry around those coffee and sandwich shop punch cards).

But are they safe? Do they really add value? And are they worth the cost? Read on to find out.

What is an all-in-one credit card?

If you’ve never heard of an all-in-one credit card before, it’s okay. This technology is only a few years old and hasn’t quite made it to mainstream use yet. Even digital wallets like Apple and Google Pay aren’t there yet.

Essentially, it’s a programmable credit card that you can sync all of your other credit cards and debit cards with. Then you can simply carry that one card everywhere you go.

So who offers this technology? Well, Wocket is the only real main player right now.

Stratos was acquired by CardLab Innovations earlier this year and is no longer giving out new cards. What’s more, people who put pre-orders for Stratos cards before the acquisition never received their cards or refunds for them.

Swyp, another contender, is currently only adding people to an email waitlist and not issuing any new cards.

What are the pros of a smart credit card?

1. You can carry just one card everywhere you go

If you get a smart credit card, you can add all of your other credit cards, debit cards, and even gift and loyalty cards to that one, enabling you to carry just one card to access them all. When you get your card in the mail, you’ll also receive a card reader which lets you easily swipe your cards to add them.

Each all-in-one credit card can sync a different number of cards. For instance, Wocket lets you add thousands.

2. They help you organize your finances

These all-in-one credit cards aren’t just convenient for your wallet, they’re also convenient for managing your finances. Each of these cards comes with an app to help you manage your cards.

3. They’re more secure

Smart credit cards can be more secure in a few ways:

  • There is no visible account number on the card.
  • The cards are password protected.
  • The cards are encrypted, keeping your information programmed on them secure.
  • If your smart credit card is connected to your smartphone and is out of range, it will automatically lock.

These four security measures make a stolen all-in-one credit card nearly unusable.

4. They make it easy to select the card you need

Depending on the card you choose, it’s pretty easy to select the credit, debit, gift, or loyalty card you need at the point of purchase. With Wocket, you select the card you want to use with a touch screen.

No matter which you choose, they all make it easy to quickly get to the card you need – so long as you remembered to add it to your account beforehand.

What are the cons of a smart credit card?

1. Most of them don’t yet come with chip and pin technology

These cards may not come emblazoned with account numbers, but they also don’t yet come with chip and pin technology. This is a technology that’s being introduced to protect consumers from the rash of data breaches that have been going on for years.

However, recent findings on chip and pin technology might make this con irrelevant, as some are claiming that chip and pin readers actually increase instances of fraud.

2. Their convenience comes at a cost

There are several companies making all-in-one credit cards these days, so the features and costs vary. You can get an all-in-one credit card for anywhere from $49-$179.

So why pay so much for something like this, especially considering regular credit and debit cards are free? Credit card security and physical and financial convenience are the main drivers of the value.

3. You may have to wait to get one

Each all-in-one credit card comes with a slightly different price, experience, and list of features. And if you find one that looks perfect for you, you might have to wait for it.

Wocket is available right away (and the most expensive card at $179 since it’s a mobile wallet, not just a card).

4. You may need a smartphone to go with your smart credit card

Many of these smart credit cards require you to have a smartphone to program them and use their app. Wocket is one that doesn’t require that, but, again, its cost is high.

Will a programmable credit card work for you

If you’re trying to decide whether or not an all-in-one credit card might work for you, think about what’s most important to you.

In 2014, the average American using credit cards had more than three – not counting debit cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards. If that sounds like you (and you’re tired of carrying them all around), then a programmable credit card could be a good investment for you.

Do you like the idea of being able to track all of your financial accounts in one place? The same answer applies. Worried about security? These all-in-one credit cards do offer protections that regular credit and debit cards don’t have.

But if you don’t have the money to spare – you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or are working to pay off debt – then these smart credit cards may be too expensive for your needs right now.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with Citizens Bank at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, Citizens Bank checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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