Slideshow 7 Creative Combo Cards

  • February 07 2014, 4:36pm EST

Payment cards can sometimes do more than just make purchases. Some pack in odd functions; others are high-tech takes on the aging magnetic-stripe card. (Image: ShutterStock)


Coin is a card that is meant to replace an entire wallet. The $100 product can store the data from an unlimited number of other card accounts, allowing consumers to switch payment methods before they swipe.

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PayPal Instant Credit

PayPal's digital wallet and card have an odd twist – they let users change the funding source even after a purchase has been made. This is accomplished through Bill Me Later, PayPal's instant credit operation, which provides a five-day float for purchases made in stores. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Walgreens Balance Financial

Walgreens' Balance Financial card integrates so completely with the store's loyalty program that it allows shoppers to leave the loyalty card at home. Shoppers can access the prepaid account and the loyalty account with the same swipe. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Dynamics ePlate

Dynamics' ePlate card, issued by UMB, allows users to choose their rewards on a purchase-by-purchase basis by pressing a button on the card. An earlier version, which Citigroup tested for just over two years, allowed consumers to choose whether to use credit or reward points for each purchase.

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Fifth Third's Duo Card

Fifth Third's hybrid debit/credit card, introduced in 2011, lets consumers choose at the point of sale whether to pay with debit or credit. It's considered a rare success in hybrid cards; last year, Fifth Third said Duo accounted for 25% of its new monthly credit card accounts.

Bitcoin Trojan Horse

Most merchants do not accept Bitcoin, but they accept gift cards. This is becoming a loophole for Bitcoin devotees, who can use the digital currency to purchase digital gift cards through Gyft and then use the gift cards to shop at major retailers like Burger King, Lowes, American Eagle and Nike. (Image: ShutterStock)

Ticket to Ride

Cards such as the Hong Kong's Octopus and Chicago's Ventra can be used both for regular purchases and for transit fare. (Image: ShutterStock)