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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 47, November 19, 2006, Article 22

CREDIT CARD MAKEOVER: NEW DESIGNS WILL JAZZ UP THE FORMAT

Any numismatic museum covering the span of money through history
wouldn't be up to date without a section on credit cards.  A number
of numismatic collections include these as a sideline, and obsolete
credit cards are fast becoming a mainstream collectible in their own
right.  A November 15th Wall Street Journal article discusses a number
of new credit card styles and formats designed to "jazz up" their
appeal with consumers.  These newfangled cards will make interesting
collectibles in the future (and hasten the obsolescence of the "dowdy"
cards we take for granted today.  Some are coated with a new type of
plastic which mimics the feltlike feel of a tennis ball or the seam
of a football.  One maker even offers a scratch-and-sniff model that
smells like coffee!

"American Express Co. is testing a "Butterfly" card that folds in
half and pops out of a silver case attached to a key ring. Other
issuers and card makers are experimenting with cards that feature
various textures, light and sound, as well as high-tech security
features.

"There is a lot of conversation about how to introduce innovation
into the credit-card market and design is part of that," says Peter
Vaughn, vice president of brand management at American Express."

"The card-design boom recently got a boost when American Express
licensed the technology used to create its popular transparent credit
card, Blue. The clear card's unusual look received a wave of attention
when it was first issued in 2001."

"American Express is replacing its high-end Centurion plastic cards
with hand-crafted versions made of titanium. The new cards weigh 0.53
ounce compared with 0.17 ounce for a typical plastic card, prompting
company executives to describe the heft as providing "plunk factor"
when tossed onto a table."

To read the complete article (subscription required), see:
Full Story

[The titanium card is bound to be a rarity in the future.  I know
there won't be one in my collection.  My wife does a lot of shopping,
but alas, falls a tad short of the $250,000 minimum in annual charges
required for the Centurion account.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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