The Rest

Easy Ways to Organize Your Store Reward Cards

March 17, 2011

When did our wallets get so fat? My 15 year-old son just started carrying a wallet, the sum contents of which are a driver’s license, a library card, cash, and the occasional gift card. My wallet, on the other hand, has all of those, along with credit and debit cards, a health insurance card, and all of the store reward cards you see here.

The store reward cards, in particular, started to drive me crazy. I could never find what I was looking for in the checkout line and I was tired of my fat wallet. But as the person who does most of the purchasing for my family, I needed them. They save us a lot of money. If you suffer from the same dilemma, here are some tips I’ve discovered to help tame my ever-growing collection of store reward cards.

  1. Put any gift cards – the kind that are actually the same as cash – in with your money. Since they work the same as money, having them there will separate them from the rest of the cards that don’t and help you remember to use them when you’re paying.
  2. Separate your most-used reward cards from the rest of the pack and put them with your credit/debit cards, driver’s license, and other regularly used cards. For me, the most-used reward cards are grocery store and drug store reward cards, as well as membership cards to Sam’s and Costco.
  3. Put your lesser-used cards in a less prominent place in your wallet. I think of my wallet like real estate. I have a prominent, easily-accessed place for cards (high dollar real estate) and that is where my most- used cards go so I can find them quickly. I also have another, less convenient spot for cards in my wallet (second tier real estate) and that is where my lesser-used reward cards (pet, office supply, sporting goods stores, etc.) go. 
  4. Another option is to remove your lesser-used cards from your wallet completely and put them in a separate zipper case, like the one pictured here. You can even alphabetize them so you can locate them easily when you’re in the checkout line.
  5. Remember, some stores let you access your rewards account with a phone number or email address. I routinely use this option at the stores that will let me so I don’t have to get out the card at all.

Do you have a good organizational solution for your reward cards? Can you recognized the cards in this picture? I’ll be you have a lot of them in your own wallet!
















  1. If you have a Droid, check out Cardstar where it reads the barcode and remembers it to hand to cashier. I'm sure you can find something similar on all platforms. Haven't tried it yet, so you may want to bring your card along too.

  2. I have tons of them too. They’re everywhere! :)

    I have a separate card holder just for store cards that I keep stashed in the glove box of my car. When I go into any particular store, I can pull that card only. (This one in fact, although I got mine for $9: http://gifts.barnesandnoble.com/Alta-Black-Business-Card-Case/e/665788864017/?cds2Pid=25204)

    I also keep the keychain version on a completely separate key ring that I keep in my purse. That way they’re not tangled up in my every day keys, but they’re accessible if I need them.

  3. I only use one card, the grocery card to the store I most shop at. Instead of putting the other cards anywhere, I always make sure to associate a phone number with each card. The cashier can typically either type in the phone number and locate your account directly or enter your phone number to find your account number and type it in.

    1. Ruth, more and more I’m learning this is true. Even with the card in my wallet, I often give the cashier my phone number because it’s easier. Thanks for the reminder about this timesaver.

    1. Becka, thanks for sharing that great tutorial. Darling. I can’t sew a lick (wish I could) but I’m sure others who read this can. Great solution.

  4. I punch a hole in the upper left corner and put them on a latch-type key ring. You can just carry the key ring in your purse or attach it to your car keys, which you normally have with you in the store. I just hand the whole key ring with the correct card to the cashier. This works great for me!

  5. I have a separate key chain for all the key fob reward cards. But I keep it in the cup holder of my car and just grab it when I head into a store. I do like Card Star as well.

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