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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Personalized Credit Cards

Personalized Credit Cards

August 07, 2007
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Credit card applications for each and everyone

As the competition in credit card industry is developing, card issuers look for new ways to catch your attention. For years, credit companies have been developing partnerships with stores, charities and airlines to attract customers with various interests. Nowadays, they are looking for even more ways to personalize the cards, whether through new reward programs or unique alert services.

In order to increase their market share, credit card companies are ready to spend millions of dollars to find out what's going to be the next hit. Companies that offer customized credit cards are able to achieve that.

According to Adam Elgar, president of Serverside Group, customers with personalized designs on their cards are likely to use them more. Certain credit card applications are now offering a service that allows you to print a photo that could take up all of your card's space. The similar program has been around for some time already, but it only offered two-thirds of a card's space.

What makes it even more attractive is that customers are able to upload their pictures over the internet. The digital revolution has provided vast possibilities for customers to express their aesthetic ego.

Apart from your own or your kid's picture, you can print anything you like as long as it doesn't violate card's terms and conditions. For example, PetRewards Visa card allows you to print a picture of your favorite pet. The card earns points that you can later exchange for discounts at vet clinics, pet food stores and donations to animal shelter.

But the customization process doesn't stop here. A lot of banks are now offering optional features for cardholders' checking accounts.  The account allows customer to choose from: free checks, no fees for cashier checks or 50% off a safe deposit box rental. Such offers are provided by Birmingham-based Red Mountain Bank. Their plans also include discounted family memberships to Birmingham attractions and book club membership.

The advantage of such accounts is that customer is able to switch between the options whenever he wants and as many times as he wants. The ability to choose features will most likely appeal to customers who prefer hotel reward cards for traveling or customers who have not yet decided what kind of a credit card they want.

However, such ability comes at a cost. Setting up a service that allows clients to switch options of their accounts either by phone or online creates a challenge for the issuer. For example, Compass had to make changes to every computer system they had. Furthermore, employees had to be trained and informed about new features and the phone and online services had to be modernized to handle the changes.

Nevertheless, Compass is now ready to offer following options to their cardholders: free ATM service at other banks, interest on the checking balance, forgiveness of one overdraft fee a year and cash-back rewards. Customers are also entitled to a free design of their card when they sign up.

This practice has been showing positive responses ever since it first started. The fact that you can choose characteristics of your credit card on-the-go makes them even more convenient. You no longer need to apply for multiple cards, just phone your service provider and tell them to switch your account to any available option.

The fight for customers has never been so strong before. "Our goal is to become our client's number one card," says Matt Sloan, Discover's vice president of portfolio marketing. "People are choosing the card that best fits their particular needs. So, we must take every possible action to make our products attractive to new and current customers."

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