Personalize Your Credit Card – It’s Fun But Be Aware

Our society is increasingly interested in self-expression.

We like to feel that things we use are “ours.”  We get vanity license plates or sport jerseys with our own names on the back, among others.

In some cases, this feeling even extends to the way we feel about credit cards.  Many credit card companies let you personalize your credit card, and make it your own in some way.

Ways You Can Personalize Your Credit Card

Teams, Organizations, and Motifs

In some cases, personalizing your credit card is a lot like the way you could personalize checks, back when checks were in much wider use (though you can still get checks in all sorts of varieties – one of my favorites is the one where all the writing looks like it was written by a child in crayon).

The credit card issuer might have a number of approved designs to choose from.  Some of the options, depending on what issuer you get your card from, might include:

  • Your favorite sports team
  • A national organization or charity that you support
  • Various themes and motifs that you can choose from (scenery, cats, etc.)

You can browse the possibilities and then choose one that you feel reflects your personality and preferences.

This is one way to share your affiliations, the things you like, and what you find important.  Your credit card can be a conversation piece as well (if you’re into sharing those sorts of things with others).

Truly Personal Credit Cards

personalize credit card

Customizing a credit card can be fun. You don’t want the boring card above do you?

Some credit card issuers even go so far as to let you personalize your credit card with images of your choosing.

You can upload, to the issuer’s web site, an image of your kids, your dog, or yourself.  Anything you like can be uploaded and then used on your credit cards.

It’s important to be careful with these truly personal credit cards, though, since they can give someone insight into your life.

What if someone steals your wallet?  Do you really want them knowing that you have two cute kids?  And, since your address might be on the driver’s license located in your wallet, do you really want the thief to know where your kids live?  Just sayin’.

Even a less personalized credit card can offer clues and insights into your personal life.

Many people use sports teams as the basis for a password.  Your credit card could actually be a clue about your passwords.  An experienced scammer might be able to figure it out.

You want to be careful to ensure that your personalized credit card isn’t telling someone else too much about who you are.

Watch Out for Costs

You should also watch out for the costs associated with some of these credit cards.

While some issuers allow some degree of personalization for free, others might charge a fee.  This is especially true if you are uploading an image that the credit card issuer is supposed to use for your card.  In some cases a charge might be added to your card.  If you aren’t careful, you could end up paying the fee — and then interest on it if you don’t pay off the balance quickly.

To Wrap Up

Before you decide to personalize your credit card, stop and think about the implications, and consider the cost.  While it might be fun to have a personalized credit card, it’s not always the best option.  Reconsider your situation, and make sure that a personalized credit card is really what you want.

Have you ever personalized your credit card? What did you pick?



Published or updated July 29, 2012.

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