CardStar iPhone app wrangles multiple membership cards

iPhone application helps store membership information so you won't need to carry cards around.

Don't even think about it. The ladies at the reception will know you are not me. Dong Ngo/CNET

I went to the gym yesterday and forgot my membership card at home. Like many times before, I was able to smooth talk the reception ladies into letting me in anyway. But the point is, it's really a hassle having to carry those cards around.

I have one for the gym, one for my car insurance, one for my health insurance, another for my dental insurance, and another, of course, for Subway . There's only so much room in a wallet.

Coincidentally, my colleague Josh Lowensohn pointed me this morning to a really cool iPhone app called CardStar.

Basically, it's database software designed to store most, if not all, of your membership cards for virtually all merchant and service categories: drug stores, grocery stores, gyms, libraries, retailers, and travel and entertainment agencies.

The app includes about 130 companies in the U.S., Canada, and U.K. If you are a member, you can just enter the membership number and the barcode of the card will be automatic retrieved and stored in the iPhone. Next time you need to use the service, you can just display that code on the iPhone's screen and show that to the scanner instead of the card.

The nicest thing about CardStar is that it also allows for entering membership of merchants or companies that are not already included in the app. I tried that with 24 Hour Fitness and it worked. Now all I need to get into the gym are tight shorts and my iPhone, which I would normally carry anyway.

Mesa Dynamics, the developer of CardStar, said that going forward, it would add more features, including access to additional information of a merchant, plus coupons and promotional content.

The CardStar app is available now at App Store. It normally costs 99 cents, but currently is available for free. Do your overstuffed wallet a favor and go get it.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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