What is the best pen to sign a credit card?
A credit card is one of life’s many unnecessary, but highly useful tools. Owning a credit card is a rightful passage and a welcome into adulthood. The shiny piece of hard plastic represents financial capability and consumption obligations. Not only is it a liability, but it’s also a huge responsibility. It’s one of those things that only looks too easy to get, but is actually very complicated.
So basically, before signing a credit card, you need to get a card first.
A handful of kiosks in every shopping mall, commercial centers, and community places offer “easy” and “manageable” credit card options. Once they lure you in, it becomes an outrageous mountain of paperwork and fine print you’re too sidetracked to actually read. The credit card people make you sign a series of clipped, stapled, and folded papers, while simultaneously asking for Identification Cards, proofs of billing, and so many other paper junk you usually just throw around.
That’s just one way of getting a thin, shiny, expensive piece of plastic.
Another way is voluntarily coming to a bank, in all its pristine countertops, carpeted floors, convenient air-conditioning, and endless lines and actually applying for a credit card. It’s best to go to a bank you already have an existing account with. Although, it’s definitely not an easier feat than getting sucked in an exasperating, overly eager bank representative at the mall kiosk.
Going directly to the bank is an adventure on its own. Having to wait in a seemingly endless line, or having to wait for your number to be called, or some banks even pick who looks like the most important person in the room first.
You usually get handed a big piece of paper with very tiny print and even tinier boxes to fill in. It makes you put in your most basic details like your name and address, and your most tedious information like your mother’s maiden name or your office’s Human Resource Office fax number. Sometimes, they even ask your first pet’s name or where your parents met, just like online profiles make you do, in the unlikely case you forget your own password. It’s used on a credit card application? Who knows.
It’s naïve to think that once you passed all that, you can go home and patiently wait for your new card to arrive. Nope. Filling up that huge sheet of paper is only the first of many steps. You now have to provide several copies of several Identification Cards, billing statements, deeds of properties under your name, actual proof that you work and can pay off credit card debts, and often, even recommendations.
After that, another round of questions and options need your attention in the hypothetical event your credit card application gets approved.
Do you want airline points? Do you want discounts at the grocery? Do you want to be able to eat at fancy restaurants for cheap? Hotel perks and discounts? Flexible condo unit payment options? Free large intricate iced coffee from overpriced coffee shops monthly? There are countless options, but you can’t have them all. It’s a dilemma to pick just one.
And of course, it’s not really a “freebie.” You would have to able to spend a huge load of money through credit card debt to even scrape the surface for a “freebie.” That delicious iced coffee with different fancy syrup and twice shaken whipped cream that’s supposed to be free? You must have spent at least fifteen thousand on indebted shopping or utilities in a month with your credit card.
Unless you hold a pretty strong and loyal bond with the bank, you won’t know for sure if your application is approved right away. The bank employee stationed at the desk will just politely accept the mountain of requirements you brought, tell you they will process it as soon as they can, and let you know whatever progress it makes.
Now, before you can go around town swiping away with your shiny new card, you have to sign it. At the back of the card is a tiny strip of white, blank space allotted for your signature. Simply grabbing any pen and signing it won’t work. The card is made of plastic. There is a great tendency the ink will just smudge, or fade altogether. So, choosing the pen to sign it with is a crucial thing. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a dirty looking, smudged up a credit card.
The ideal pen should be black—so it’s easily seen, clean, crisp, and classic. Next, it should be quick-dry—so as to not have the untidy, smudged effect once you sign it. And third, it should be permanent—not one of those pens that you can easily erase with a quick swipe of a wet wipe or with sweaty hands.
Once you’ve found candidates to sign the pen with, do a test run with an old card. It could be a membership card to that store you once obsessively bought from. Or an old, expired Identification Card. Or any hard plastic made of the same material as your credit card. When you have satisfactorily written something without smudging or messing it up, that pen is now ideal for signing that credit card.
The back of your credit card will most likely be placed in one of those many card pockets your wallet has, or maybe a cardholder if you’re one of those really organized people. It’s crucial that the pen you sign with won’t transfer to the cloth, leather, or whatever material your wallet has. It could damage your wallet and the card, too.
A number of options could come up for the perfect signing pen—a ballpoint pen, a fountain pen, a gel pen, or even a calligraphy pen perhaps?
The perfect pen to sign a credit card might not even be a pen. According to a number of online threads, forums, and blogs, the actual perfect pen is a Sharpie. The marker that’s usually just lying around in your house, inside random drawers or haphazardly sledded between corners and crooks.
A sharpie stashes the perfect amount of rich, black ink and glides smoothly across the blank space at the back of a credit card. Plus, it only takes a couple of seconds of drying time before you can touch your signature.
Sharpies also offer a wide variety of options in terms of color, size, tip, and texture. They even have glitter sharpies now. But that would be too bizarre to sign a credit card with. And as aforementioned, nothing looks as classy and clean as a fine-tipped black ink. The Sharpie features quick-drying, fade-resistant ink that won’t bleed through paper.
So basically, sharpies are markers that have the most prominent name in office supplies because of their excellent strokes, waterproof non-toxic inks, smear, and fade-resistant and fine handle. Handles or grips are a kind of design where few writers can appreciate but writing artisans sought of.
Why go all through this trouble of finding the best pen for the sake of writing a “unique scribble” on a credit card? Well, like I said earlier a credit card is no ordinary plastic wherein when it touches an ordinary ink it will just make smudges and ruin the card itself or if you’re unlucky, they will even forfeit your card if it doesn’t match your other “unique scribble” on some of your ID’s just because you’re not used to writing on a piece of plastic. You don’t want them to forfeit your card right?
Second, the owner of the card doesn’t usually write on plastic materials on a daily basis. Well, who does that anyway? You don’t go to school and write down important notes in Psychology using a plastic pad or a plastic leaf on your notebook.
Or if you’re an office person you don’t make your reports by writing on a piece of plastic that has the same texture as that of the credit card. Even if you’re an engineer, you don’t make designs and blueprints using plastic. Same with teachers, they don’t write lesson plans and learning plans on plastics. A sharpie does all that for you; you won’t even notice that you’re writing on a piece of plastic.
Sharpies have this kind of feature wherein the ball or the tip of the pen doesn’t clog and continues on rolling even to the slightest touch. Some pen when exposing to smooth surfaces like plastics and glossy pages tend to slide through and not roll. So what I’m saying is, in order for a pen to continue on writing, the ballpoint or the tip should keep on rolling.
Third, you need to use a writing material wherein you won’t even notice that you’re writing on a piece of plastic in the first place. The key is to find the Sharpie that has the perfect point tip, 0.5 to 0.7 ideally, with classic black ink, and glides on as smoothly as butter. And once you have that, your credit card is all set to get signed.
On a serious note, the sharpie really does the difficult job for you. And it is up to the owner to do the basics—writing down his signature.
Congratulations on your new perfectly Sharpie-signed piece of hard plastic.