Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Just a Credit Card, Stupid!

The reactions I get from people when I pull out my American Express Blue credit card never cease to amaze me. Folks really like the way it looks and often people ask if they can see it up close. See, I don't get that - it's just a credit card. We use the Blue card because of the cash back rewards, and I couldn't care less about what it looks like. Anyway, a few weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal, I stumbled across a full page add for a new card: a black VISA card - I am not going to add a link to this page, because I don't want to encourage the lunacy I am about to tell you about. If you are really interested, look it up on Google.

The card, marketed as the "World's Most Prestigious Credit Card", is supposedly made of carbon graphite (WTF?), but wait, it gets better. Here is a quote from the card's website:
Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon,  it is the ultimate buying tool. The Black Card is not for everyone. In fact, it is limited to only 1% of U.S. residents to ensure the highest caliber of personal service is provided to every Card member.
What?! The ultimate buying tool?! Look, using a credit card is not brain surgery. It does not require specialized tools, any old piece of plastic will do just fine. You know, I think some stores even accept cash if you insist. Also notice the blatant attempt to market a credit card as a status symbol... you can only get it if you are in the top 1% of the US population... Give me a break...

The best part? An annual membership fee of $495... 

Here's my take: if you apply for the card you are a member of a very distinct group, but I don't think it's the same group you set out to join...

I think I'll stick with my no-fee 5% cash back Blue card, thank you very much...

Here are a few other credit card related posts from around the PF blogosphere:

Consumerism Commentary had a couple of posts recently about the new credit card bill going through congress.

American Consumer News published a post about the right ways to use credit cards.

The Dough Roller reviewed a new credit card by Citibank.

Enjoyed this post? Please consider subscribing to Money and Such by free RSS Feed or by email. You can also follow me on Twitter.

5 comments:

Neongreen said...

A different iteration of this card has been around for quite some time with American Express, see snopes.com for more information; Visa is just attempting to copy 'em.

Shadox said...

Well then, I guess there are more stupid people around than I was originally counting...

frugal zeitgeist said...

Here's my take: if you apply for the card you are a member of a very distinct group, but I don't think it's the same group you set out to join...Classic.

Dough Roller said...

The Visa Black card is ridiculous, but I guess some people like that kind of stuff. I've never heard of the blue card, but at 5% cash back, they can paint it whatever color they want to!

Mr. (not) the Jet Set said...

"It's just a credit card"

Amen. We tell our FPU students the same thing as they push them into the shredder. Blue, black, purple, green, they all shred the same.