The ChargeCard: a credit card-sized iPhone USB cable

By , Apr 1, 2013

chargecard 1

Late last year we covered an interesting little iPhone accessory called the ChargeCard. It was just a Kickstarter project at the time, but we were really intrigued by the credit card-sized USB cable that’s capable of feeding power to your iPhone.

Apparently others were too, because it blew past its funding goal to become a real product. And now that it’s shipping, the ChargeCard team was nice enough to send me one to check out. Oh, and they sent me something for iDB readers too…

I’ve been playing with the iPhone 4 ChargeCard all weekend. I was told that it’s a ‘live beta’ unit, so I really can’t speak to its packaging or even build quality. But I can talk about its functionality, form-factor and some of its other attributes.

After pulling it out of the shipping envelope, the first thing I noticed about the ChargeCard was its size. It’s really small. I’d obviously seen photos of it prior to then, but I still had a “I can’t believe they fit a USB cable in there” kind of moment.

The Card has a rectangular frame, with a 30-pin connector at one end and a thin USB cable in the middle that measures just a little over 2-inches. When not in use, the cable snaps into place in the center of the Card so it can lay flat.

chargecard 2

Neither the 30-pin nor the USB plug seem thick enough to make a proper connection, but they are. Both ends fit snugly, the USB cable seems fairly durable, and I had no problem charging my iPhone 4–though admittedly, it did feel a bit slower.

The creators claim the ChargeCard is small enough to fit in your wallet, and I can confirm that. My [beta] Card has a smaller footprint than my debit card, and is about twice as thick. I don’t think I’d have any problem carrying it on a daily basis.

But the big question is: should you buy one? That depends. Do you ever carry around a USB cable with you in case your iPhone dies? Or would you if you could without having to deal with messy cords? If so, then the answer is yes, you should get one.

And there’s never been a better time to get one. The ChargeCard team is offering iDB readers an exclusive 20% discount off of all of their products—there’s Cards for the iPhone 4, 5 and a Micro USB model for Android devices—for a limited time.

To take advantage of the offer, just visit the ChargeCard website, add the items you want to a cart, and enter ‘iDB’ in the discount code box during the checkout process. The Cards are normally $25, so the 20% off will knock them down to $20.

Twenty bucks for one of these things and free shipping worldwide? Not a bad deal if you ask me.

What do you think?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    Impractical object.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hahn5757 Brian Hahn

      You may not use the ChargeCard every day, but a week down the road, I can bet that a situation will arise where your phone is dying, you are trying to meet up with friends or waiting on a business call, and you will think, “dang, I have to go home and charge up”. Then the light bulb will go on and you will ecstatically remember you have a ChargeCard in your wallet. If it saves you an hour of your time, just once, its worth $20. And I can bet you, you will use it more then once…

      • ReanimationXP

        That’s assuming no other cheaper options are available. There are :P

      • FabianPVD

        This alone is reason enough to buy it.
        Been carrying a freaking cable with me around and I’d rather the ChargeCard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cameronrc Cameron Chao

    Nice, just got one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nihasnebas Nihas Nebas

    wasnt there a review of the similar type of product in a revious post?

    • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

      Read the first sentence of the post again :)

  • DB

    Sounds like a great product but just tried to order but website error when adding to cart. I am outside of the US but they say they ship to worldwide free.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hahn5757 Brian Hahn

      Hey, what did the website say? We get a ton of international orders without any issue, maybe try it again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cameronrc Cameron Chao

        Why no white model?

      • ReanimationXP

        Why do people care about the color of their charging cable, especially when it’s hidden in your wallet -_-

      • http://www.facebook.com/cameronrc Cameron Chao

        when its out of your wallet and you are charging the white iPhone 5 :)

      • DB

        Brian – thanks yes i tried your website about an hour later and it worked fine. Thanks for the response and ordered 2 iphone4 and 1 iphone 5 – look forward to receiving them but I think the i5 doesn’t ship for a while unfort. Thanks

  • ReanimationXP

    That design is just awful.

    And I’m not talking aesthetics. Plus, lightning.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hahn5757 Brian Hahn

      We are always looking for suggestions on how to improve the concept. Any and all input is taken seriously. brian@chargecardproject.com

      • ReanimationXP

        I appreciate your reply. First it’s too thick. I realize it needs to be durable but feel it could be achieved with a thinner design.

        Second, a fully rubbery traditional flat cable that folds up into the shape of a credit card (think egyptian spiral) would be much more useful and would allow the phone to lie flat on whatever surface. If that’s not doable at least find a way to make the solid part some kind of stand rather than the awkward setup it is now.

        Lastly, price. As others have mentioned, it’s no secret the chinese make things like this for pennies. Charging $25 for it is just as bad as Apple. This should be a $5-10 item. MAYBE $15 at the very most, but I probably wouldn’t buy at that point.

        Sell them like hotcakes and skim the profits off thousands of units instead of a few hundred rich folks.

  • Brandon

    Way too expensive, $5 seems about right. And what about lightning support?

    • Ahmadjoon

      If u read complete u can see iPhone 5 support

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.niffen Bob Niffen

    I am so excited that I just bought mine!

  • JaeM1llz

    Can’t justify spending $25 on a charging cable, especially considering my $0.99 cable fits in my wallet just fine as it is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hahn5757 Brian Hahn

      Use the discount code “IDB” and it is $20. I know it is more then $.99, but I feel pretty confident it fits in your wallet better. Because we removed the USB “Key” and the large overmold, the USB plug alone is three times thinner.

  • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

    At first I believed it was an accessory that would allow you to charge your device on the go, like a juice pack kind of thing. I thought it was pretty awesome. But then I realized it’s just a glorified cable. I don’t think I’d have much use for it to be honest.

  • http://mikelightman.com/blog mikelite

    Gotta love the very honest iDB crowd, right? If you’re someone that likes to prepare, like me, then it’s a great idea. I love how everyone has their views on how much something should cost, with no idea what manufacturing or marketing costs are, aside from maybe a little profit for the creators. I can’t disagree that $25 is pretty expensive for a charging cable, but it’s designed & manufactured in California. i’d rather pay a little more & support US manufacturing then buy more cheap crap from China.

  • notewar

    No offense,,,,but my gut feeling is telling that a chinese ver. is coming very soon

  • http://www.facebook.com/gianandrea.gajo Gianandrea Gajo

    Hi guys! First of all thank you so much because your blog is really awesome!!!

    Second thank you for the discount code…I’ve just ordered 2 charge cards from Switzerland :D

    I hope it was worth it…

    Have a nice day!

  • Brian Yap

    I’m sorry, where are we supposed to input the “iDB” discount code?

  • kvmstuff.com

    The ChargeCard is a professional product. You can assure you that if you buy this product, you will get your money’s worth in no time! I didn’t expect this to be nearly as good as it is.