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Credit cards that generate personal equity in the stock market now run the gamut from green horns to blue bloods. This month, the prestigious investment firm William Blair & Company has teamed with MBNA America to launch a high credit limit VISA card for its well-heeled clients. Last month, Bank One and online brokerage firm, ShareBuilder Securities, launched a free VISA card that dumps card rebates into an investment account. Two years ago, Chase and Stockback Capital rolled out a pioneering MasterCard that automatically sweeps card rebates into an investment account managed by Merrill Lynch. The new “William Blair & Company Quantum VISA” deposits cardholder rebates into client designated securities account. MBNA’s “Quantum” product, launched in June 2000, offers credit card limits of up to $250,000 with the option of extending credit limits up to $1 million through related loans. The new “ShareBuilder Platinum VISA” offers one point for every dollar of credit card purchases. Once the cardholder earns 2,500 points, a $25 deposit will be swept into a ShareBuilder brokerage account. Cardholders can earn a maximum of 60,000 points per year. Unredeemed points expire after 24 months. In addition to the cash rebate benefits of the new card, ShareBuilder’s “Investor Rewards” program provides customers with additional incentives such as cash back promotions, commission rebates from Costco ShareBuilder, and mileage rewards on Alaska Airlines. A 12-month 0% APR is offered on purchases and balance transfers. Thereafter, the rate is Prime +4.65%, Prime +6.65%, or Prime +10.65% based on credit score. There is no annual fee. The “Stockback MasterCard from Chase” gives up to 11% of purchases back in the form of rewards that are automatically invested in a mutual fund. The card offers up to 10% back with participating merchants and at least 1% back on every purchase. Once a month, your Stockback rewards are automatically placed in an investment account managed by Merrill Lynch. Cardholders can withdraw the money at any time, for any reason. For more information on these cards visit http://www.stockback.com or www.sharebuilder.com or http://www.williamblair.com.

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