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?