Meet Walter Cavanagh, a 73 year old American with the largest collection of credit cards in the world, clocking in at 1497. He’s also the Guinness World record holder for the world’s largest wallet, which can hold 800 cards, stretches 250 feet and weighs a staggering 38 pounds. Imagine carrying that around in your back pocket.
Walter explains how his obsession began:
I got started in the late 1960s.
Me and a buddy in Santa Clara, Calif., made a silly bet: the guy who could collect the most credit cards by the end of the year would win dinner.
I was fresh from the Peace Corps and I got 143 cards by the end of the year. My friend gathered 138.
He’s still a pharmacist – like I was back then – if only he had worked a little harder maybe he could have been the one here today.
It’s nearly perfect. I have a nearly perfect credit score. I only use one card and I pay it off at the end of the month. But you should see the length of my credit report – wow!
Only J.J. Newberry Co have ever denied me a credit card – they said I had too much credit.
To this day I don’t have a Newberry’s card in my collection.
Featured Image VIA
Walter explains that if ever a company denies him a credit card these days, he writes to them explaining his collection and desire to maintain the title of ‘Mr Plastic Fantastic’ – a title bestowed on him by the Guinness Book of Records in 1971. He’s appeared in the book every year since and intends to keep doing so.
In order to do this, Walter copies whole pages from directories of U.S. businesses and mounts application blitzes. His collection includes cards from gas stations, airlines, bars and even a Texas ice cream store. He doesn’t intend to let go of his record lightly, clearly.
It’s a pretty sick idea really – just getting so many credit cards that you can just use one and pay it off at the end of the month and keep going, enabling you to have a perfect credit score and keep the pony scheme going for ever – but I’m not sure if it’s really that cool/ethical, even if Walter is in the Guinness Book Of Records for it. I’d rather do something cooler like this badass Russian who absolutely screwed his bank over and did it in style too.