- Green Member
- Posts: 17
- Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:27 pm
- Location: chicago area
I'd like to say I never consider what a card looks like, only what it can do for me $-wise. But the fact is, I do like a good-looking card. Not that the way a card looks will make me use that card more or less.
My favorite-looking card is my Capital One card. It's got a great picture of the Kilauea lighthouse in Kauai. I think I like that picture most because...I took it! On our Hawaii vacation in 2003. When CapOne offered me the chance to upload one of my own pictures and put it on my card, I jumped at the chance. I decided right away that I wanted a vacation picture, partly because I pretty much only used the Cap One on vacation, as it has no foreign transaction fees, and partly because we have such a wealth of excellent vacation pictures, and I like to be reminded of the great places we've been. That the picture I selected was actually not a foreign locale was of little conseqence; it was just a dang nice shot, and fit the form factor of a credit card nicely. Though I knew from the outset that it would get scant use, it gets pretty much zero use now, as I have a better card for international use (the Schwab Visa). Still, I love the look of my CapOne card.
The only other card that let me use my own photo was my BofA PetRewards card. Now that card got some serious use. With 4% on pet-related stuff and 2% on everything else, it definately got a workout. And because I used it on all pet-related stuff, it made sense to have a group shot of our eight cats on it. The process was a bit clunkier than CapOne's; I had to snailmail in an actual print that they scanned and put in a box on the card (instead of a full-bleed picture). Still it was fun to have all my cats staring up at me when I used the card. But alas, BofA decimated the rewards program, and my cats now just stare at the inside of my sock drawer.
While Discover doesn't let me upload my own pictures, it does let me customize my cards by selecting from a large selection of backgrounds. My wife and I each have Discover More accounts, and each of us has a card for each account, so four cards overall. One of my cards has a nice underwater shot featuring a clownfish, and the other a fern background. My wife's have an underwater reef scene, and a Monet painting. Very classy, all. But I miss the orange edge. That made it easy to pick out the Discover card from amongst the crowd of cards in my wallet.
My Citi Driver's Edge uses the same trick; its edge is bright green, so I can easily single it out. The card face is a solid black background, with a stylized speedometer. Could be cool, I suppose, but somehow fails to inspire.
When my Chase Professional MasterCard changed recently to a Chase Ink card, the rewards and other card terms didn't change, but the card did. It went from a rather non-descript green background with the Chase logo, to a really classy looking metallic background, somewhere between a brushed-nickel and a gunmetal look, with the word "ink" across it in a sexy glossy embossed-black script. Easily the classiest card in my wallet to get regular use.
The Chase Freedom card design, on the other hand, remains fairly mundane. The original card featured a large Chase block logo over a background of smaller Chase logos at different angles, in shades of light blue. I just recently got a replacement card; it features a silver-grey metallic background with a single large Chase logo. Certainly an improvement over the original, but still not overly inspiring.
My CostCo American Express TrueEarnings card has a background featuring a stylized muted American Express logo. So stylized and muted, in fact, that at the outset, some places didn't want to take it at first because they didn't recognize it as an American Express card. Seems that retailers have gotten used to it, however. And it does look pretty cool.
My newest card is my Schwab Visa. Its background is in various shades of green-blue, with the "talk-to-Chuck" quotation logo in various sizes and shapes. Distinctive in its own way, but doesn't really grab me.
The rest of my cards aren't anything terribly exciting, and just sit in the sockdrawer anyway.
One of the few downsides to my multi-rewards-card approach is that because I have to juggle seven (currently) rewards cards in my wallet, I need stickers on the cards to clue me in to which cards to use where (and sometimes by amount as well). The stickers can somewhat mar the appearance of even the coolest card design. But function has to always triumph over form, at least in my wallet.