I’ve written a lot about credit cards over the years and covered everything from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard to the Pulaski Bank Visa. There are a ton of credit cards out there, but I think there’s plenty of room for more. For example:
A beer affinity card: Actually, such a thing already existed. Anheuser Busch launched a credit card in 2008 but it apparently didn’t do very well. It was a plain-jane 1% card and the points could be “redeemed for a wide selection of apparel, novelties, culinary and sports items available at Budshop.com and through Budweiser’s catalogs.” They apparently could not be redeemed for beer. I don’t know whether that was a strategic decision or if it was because of state and/or federal regulations I’m not aware of. Either way, it’s not a good value proposition.
Instead of 1% for merchandise, how about 2% in the form of beer rewards? There are plenty of people who don’t care about credit cards who would be interested in that. Granted, credit cards and alcohol are a dangerous combination, but that’s a small price to pay for society to optimize its credit card offerings. Besides, Amazon and eBay are already profiting from drunken shopping, so I don’t see why the people who actually produce the alcohol can’t get a cut.
Political credit cards: Both political parties have millions of members who are thoughtlessly loyal, and “thoughtlessly loyal” is the type of phrase that makes marketers salivate. A savvy bank would offer both a Democratic Card and a Republican Card with an anemic 1% reward–and then post the sign-up numbers for each side-by-side to spur competition for more sign-ups. For cardholders, every single transaction would be a chance to broadcast your odious political views! This would be a gold mine.
It goes without saying that Donald Trump should offer his own credit card as well. The card would be made out of brass and marble, and it would be the best card ever and make all other cards look terrible.
The Catholic Church card: What with the Vatican Bank mess and the sex scandal-induced bankruptcies, it’s been rough sledding as of late for the Catholic Church. So instead of siphoning off money from a charity to cover operating expenses, why not be more transparent and rake in the dough with good ol’ fashioned usury?
The Gray Card: Aimed at privacy advocates and/or the paranoid, this card would offer its members complete anonymity on everything. No sharing of data, not even with the credit bureaus. No intrusive marketing. It would probably have the word “Bitcoin” on it for some reason as well.
The McDonald’s card: Laugh if you will, but McDonald’s is the 12-biggest retailer in the country. 5% back on all McDonald’s purchases with your McDonald’s Visa Signature card would be a great value proposition. Also it would fun to call the McDonald’s Visa Signature concierge every now and then just to say you’ve done it.
A revamped Citi Driver’s Edge card: Offered in the mid-2000s, this one offered you rewards for miles driven in addition to spending bonuses. I’d like to see what the manufactured spending crowd would pull off in today’s environment.
A credit card with a whole bunch of lights on it: There’s that weirdo UMB Dynamics ePlate credit card that lights up, but it’s only one tiny light. I want the whole thing to light up. Is that practical? I don’t know. But it would be awesome. I don’t care how low the rewards are, I’d get one.
A comically enlarged credit card: It would be about a foot long, but would still be fully functional. There would be a magnetic strip on the side so it could be run through a reader. You could whip it out and say, “You wouldn’t believe the credit line I have on this one!” That would never get old.
What other credit cards does the world need?