Tony Byrne’s View 10 July 2017

Jul 10, 2017 | Wealth & Tax Blog

Are you a collector of plastic cards for a plethora of uses such as store cards, reward cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, fuel cards, bank cards and credit cards etc?  If you are like me you probably have far too many cards to carry around with you in your wallet or handbag. Do you ever find that when you go to make a purchase, the one card you wanted to use you left at home because you didn’t have room for it? It’s so frustrating to miss out on a reward isn’t it?

Well actually you are probably not at all like me. I have about 100 plastic cards! Clearly I cannot carry them with me all of the time. So you can imagine what a godsend it was for me to discover an app called Stocard. This app enables you to carry these cards digitally on your mobile phone so you do not need to carry the physical cards with you! Stocard doesn’t store bank and credit cards though, but hey that doesn’t matter because I use Applepay for those ones!

The beauty of Stocard is that it is such a simple app. All of the main store cards are already embedded in the app meaning that all you have to do is literally search for your card then scan the bar code on the back and presto your card is stored electronically! I scanned and stored 14 cards one Sunday morning and it only took me about 10 minutes because I had to manually input a couple of the cards.

At this stage you could merrily cut up all of your cards and throw them in the bin but I wouldn’t be so hasty if I were you. I first tested my Stocard app in Waitrose recently and for whatever reason the bar code scanner did not like my iPhone so I had to use my plastic card. Baffling because it is the very same bar code! The lady at the till apologised for the recent IT issues at Waitrose tills apparently due to an IT upgrade. Hopefully this is a one-off exception.

Anyhow I am now happy in the knowledge that I can no longer leave any of my cards at home because I have them on my iPhone which is so attached to me it might as well be an extension to my right arm! I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. The phone that is, not my arm!  ‘Get a life’ I suspect.

I estimate that my cards generate rewards and benefits of roughly £200-£300 a year so they are a very welcome source of effortless revenue. Not a lot of money in the scheme of things, but all savings add up. As they say; “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.”

Interestingly if you were to save £22 a month for a working lifetime of say 50 years and your investment were to grow at a rate of 7.5% a year net of charges and taxation it would grow to a cool £100,000! So if you could find other ways of generating income or savings of another £198 a month in order to save £220 a month in total your savings would grow to an amazing £1 million after 50 years! Maybe earning and saving a little money each month and investing it isn’t such a bad idea after all. I commend this savings habit to you.