Back in the day when I churned like a boss, I would lie and wait for the postman to come with envelopes from Nebraska that were a bit bulkier than other parcels which I never bothered to open. I recall the AA Executive Card coming in a black box with a golden ticket a la Willy Wonka. That was a great day. I remember the same card coming again 90 days later, also a great day.
Today Christmas didn’t come early by way of a beautiful gift wrapped Citi Card. Since I had to get the card sent to an alternate address, it came in an unmarked Fedex envelope. No big deal I guess.
The letdown came when I opened the present to find the lamest card in the history of all credit cards! $450 for this flimsy piece of plastic. Am I supposed to be impressed because the blue arc is transparent? Not since my Amex Blue have I felt so cheapened by what was supposed to be a novel product. Go to a merchant with this card and don’t be shocked if the card breaks in half when swiping it through the machine. Compare this to the card made of steel, the Chase Sapphire, where compliments are given because its weight infers stature.
If you’re not in the points game you may find my rant useless but it does have merit from a marketing perspective. Consumers whether subconscious or not have pride in which card they chose to use when they go out. Heading to a nice restaurant, your more like to pay with your Sapphire (regardless of 2x bonus) than your local credit union card. Heading out for a night on the town you’re more likely to flash the Amex Platinum in a tacit way to let the bartender know that you are someone important.
Fortunately for Citi this card comes with great benefits so when I do get scowls from the maître d’ much like I do when I use my trusty Blackberry, I will have the last laugh knowing that I’m getting 5x on this, 3x on that, all to be enjoyed in an airplane lounge at a date not too far in the future.