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Experiencing Credit Cards

4em_3 Now that credit cards and rewards programs have become easily comparable commodities, card issuers are stepping up the innovation and competing to become the "card at the top of the wallet." Two different experiences count: holding and feeling the card when you use it, and showing off the card in front of others. 061117a Right now you can get an American Express card that folds. Soon you will be able to get cards with texture, scent and heft. Perhaps a resurgence in private label cards that communicate a stand such as environmental awareness or commitment to music will follow soon.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Credit-card appeal: a new look, smell, 2006-Nov-15, by Robin Sidel of the Wall Street Journal

...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. Company executives say that Blue cardholders hang onto the card longer than some other versions and consumers use it more often than the other cards in their wallets. "Everyone wanted a Blue card because it was sexy and neat to have in your wallet," says Nicholas Cooney, president of Versatile Card Technology Inc....