Payment Card News

New Color of Plastic

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Gold cards have generally lost their luster and platinum cards are beginning to tarnish — so what is the new color of plastic money? According to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com) the new card colors include black, diamond and titanium. American Express recently introduced the ‘American Express Black Centurion’ card in the UK. The card, which is available by personal solicitation only, is targeted at consumers with annual incomes above 150,000 British pounds. The card is positioned as a notch above the AmEx ‘Platinum’ card, however it features many of same benefits such as unlimited access to more than 250 airport lounges, airline upgrades, free companion tickets, and private banking. AmEx is charging 550 British pounds per year for the new card product. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the ‘Diamond Card’ is beginning to take hold. Capital One now offers a ‘Diamond’ credit card that offers an initial credit limit of up to $5,000 compared to Capital One’s ‘Silver Card’ (up to $2,000 credit limit) and Capital One’s ‘Platinum Card’ (up to a $20,000 credit limit). Atlanta-based CompuCredit, a sub-prime specialist, also offers a ‘Diamond VISA’ with initial credit limits up to $10,000 compared to a maximum limit of $7,500 for its ‘VISA Gold’. CompuCredit’s ‘Platinum VISA’ also offers a $10,000 maximum credit line. And finally the ‘Titanium’ card has picked up some competition. First USA introduced the ‘Titanium’ card last year. However Fleet recently introduced its version of ‘Titanium’ with a ‘Titanium MasterCard’ featuring a 9.9% APR and $50,000 credit limit. To check out the ‘Diamond VISA’ dial www.compucredit.com. For the ‘Titanium VISA’ from First USA visit www.firstusa.com.

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