It seems that faced with a crisis we Brits are an innovative lot and will find a solution wherever we can. And in many cases people reach for the plastic in their purse or wallet to use as a handy tool.
According to research carried out for us*, the most popular alternative use for their card is as a small ruler. Here are the top ten common alternative uses for your plastic:
1) As a small ruler – if you need to draw a straight line or maybe even rip a piece of paper cleanly in two, your card will do the job. It might not be as long as a traditional ruler, but at least it has a straight edge.
2) Scraping ice off your car windscreen – waking up to a frosty car when you’re in a rush for work might be a nightmare but if it comes to it, you can de-ice your windows with a debit or credit card.
3) Cleaning or filing your nails – the thin edge of your bank card will fit behind your fingernails so you can clean away any grime. You could even file a sharp corner off using the raised numbers on the card.
4) As a makeshift screwdriver – if you need to take out or tighten a slotted screw, an old credit card will come in handy. Make sure that you only use an expired card for this, as you could easily snap it by trying to remove a difficult screw.
5) Cleaning a computer keyboard – dropping crumbs between the keys of your computer keyboard is inevitable if you eat your dinner at your desk, but you can clean out any mess with a bank card.
6) Opening a door if you’ve been locked out – this always seems to work in films; just by sliding your credit card through a spring latch lock, you can ease it open if you’ve accidentally forgotten your key.
7) Letting kids use it as a toy – for any children who like to play shop, add a sense of realism to their games by giving them your old credit card. They’ll love using it to pretend to buy items, and you could use it to teach them about money early. Best to use an old card for this too – you may never get it back!
8) Spreading glue or grout – if you’re having a DIY disaster, an expired credit card will make a rudimentary grouting tool for getting into the little areas between your tiles. The rounded corners can even help you get a smooth finish to your grouting.
9) Cutting soft items – a credit card can even double up as a cake knife if you don’t have anything else to get the job done. Just make sure you wash it properly before it has any contact with food.
10) Propping up a wobbly table or chair leg – for that annoying table where one leg is slightly shorter than the others, a slim credit card could slide underneath and balance all of the legs, so your table will stay sturdy.
Have you come up with an ingenious use for an old credit card or bank card? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.