Reader Anne pointed me to a story about a product called Coin a few days ago. Since then, it seems that the idea has exploded all over the internet. Haven’t heard about Coin yet? Read on.
From the manufacturer:
Coin is a connected device that can hold and behave like the cards you already carry. Coin works with your debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and membership cards. Instead of carrying several cards you carry one Coin. Multiple accounts and information all in one place.
They also have a video that demonstrates the product quite nicely:
As someone who carries several credit cards, this is potentially huge. Currently, I’ve got the following cards with magnetic stripes in my wallet:
- US Bank Cash+ (5% on hotels and restaurants)
- American Express Platinum card (Delta and American lounge access)
- American Express SimplyCash card.
- Chase Freedom (5% on Amazon.com this quarter)
- Chase Ink (5% on office supply store purchases)
- Capital One card (0% foreign transaction fee)
- Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion card
- Starbucks prepaid card
If all of those can be consolidated into one device that is the size of a credit card, that’s a huge win for me and is definitely worth $50.
My travel-blogger friends are not universally sold on Coin though. Many have pointed out that, while Coin sounds like an awesome product, it has some pretty glaring drawbacks:
- Coin is battery-operated and the battery is neither user replaceable, nor rechargeable. Coin’s designers expect that Coin will last approximately two years, after which you will need to replace it.
- To get Coin, you must “pre-order” for $50. The product isn’t built yet, and pre-ordering a product that hasn’t been built, from a startup that is just getting off the ground is a bit risky.
- Credit card companies won’t like Coin, since they want to have THEIR card be the only credit card (or one of only a few credit cards) in your wallet. Credit card companies could shut Coin down in a number of ways: They could restrict their merchants from accepting “copies” of credit cards, or they could require merchants to. Credit card companies could also sue Coin to shut down their operations.
- Merchants may refuse to accept Coin. Will the Admiral’s Club accept a Coin, with my assurances that it will go through if they run it as an American Express Platinum card? Will Delta let me into the lounge with the magnetic stripe on the Coin?
Certainly there will be bumps in the road, but I am excited about this product and have put down the $50 to try it out. If it works, awesome. If not, I’m out at most $50.
If you’re interested, go to the Coin website to find out more and pre-order.
Coin does offer a $5 referral bonus (up to $50) for people who refer friends to Coin. The links in this post are my referral link.
Readers, are you getting a Coin?