Can We Stop Making Unboxing a Credit Card a Thing?


When I first started this blog a decade ago, credit card bloggers weren’t very common. In fact, there were only a handful of websites dedicated to credit cards.

And most were large corporate sites that simply peddled credit cards.

Today, the landscape is a lot different, almost unrecognizable compared to 2007. Nowadays, it seems anyone who has ever opened a credit card has a website devoted to the rectangular pieces of plastic (or metal).

Perhaps even more infuriating, many of these bloggers feel the need to post content as often as possible to stay current, even if it means posting absolute nonsense.

I completely understand that fresh content is a good thing for a website – if you don’t write anything new, your blog will seem stale. Some might even think you finally threw in the towel.

But it seems we’ve gone too far; it’s as if writer’s block has been told to go jump in a lake and never return, at the expense of quality, and maybe even common sense.

Today, it’s all about posting the most stuff as frequently as possible. It’s kind of like using dynamite to go fishing, instead of carefully picking the right spot, getting the right bait, and simply being patient.

Remember Patience?

I know I know, I sound like an old coot, hooting and hollering, complaining about the frequency and content of blog posts. How dare I judge another’s blog. And I get that. We are all free to write about whatever we want to write about, and that’s great.

It’s just this one fairly recent trend that has me perturbed. The unboxing of stuff. For the sake of this credit card-minded blog, we’ll get even more specific and say the unboxing of credit cards.

First off, it’s annoying that credit card issuers are boxing them to begin with. What happened to the plain old white envelope?

I already complained about Citi wasting all sorts of paper when they released their Citi ThankYou Premier Card in what could have housed an iPad.

The whole thing comes off as cheesy and pretentious. Here’s your fancy new credit card in a special box because you’re special. Really?

It’s just a rectangular payment device. Is it really a status symbol? Do I need to be told how special I am for applying? Can’t mostly anyone get approved as long as they have decent credit and a job? And the willingness to pay the exorbitant annual fee?

Stop the Unboxing Madness!

To make matters worse, credit card bloggers have bought into the whole song and dance by creating “unboxing” posts.

Yes, they actually show you the parcel the card came in – usually a nondescript white box or perhaps just plain cardboard.

Then they open the box and find another box, usually a much nicer box emblazoned with the credit card issuer’s logo.

Once that’s open, there’s some sort of welcome message that ushers you into a world of greatness, an exclusive club, one which anyone else can join, as noted above.

My point? Who cares! It’s a box with a credit card in it? This isn’t the next iteration of the iPhone or a Tesla press conference. By the way, those are just as nauseating.

But come on, do you really need to look at pictures of the box the credit card came in so you know what to expect?

It reminds me of the YouTube videos my nieces watch of other people (adults) opening kinder eggs. It’s just plain weird.

Instead, can’t we just focus on the numbers? What’s the sign-up bonus? Does it have an annual fee? Anything else interesting about it?

At the end of the day, I don’t care what type of box it came in, or what it looks like, I care what it offers.

(photo: Erich Ferdinand)

By Colin Robertson

Colin created this blog after spending several years in a job that required him to scour credit reports on a daily basis. His goal is to help individuals better understand their credit and get the most out of credit cards.

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