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Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?

Valued Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

wasCB14 wrote:

A demographic with little disposable income...and the ones with good jobs probably wouldn't find it appealing.


Little disposable income now, perhaps.  Attacting new customers to a product in many ways is an investment for the future.  While they may not be overly profitable today, a few years down the road when their income/spend increases having them on board could be very beneficial. 


 That's probably true for some people, but not many.

 

Consider how enormously popular Star Wars is. Some people have Chase Disney Star Wars cards, but I don't see them very often, even though the people who had an affinity for that when young are now around their peak earning years. I wouldn't expect a few sparkles to be much more effective when the rivals are advertising big travel bonuses heavily.

Spend: CSR/Freedom/FU, BBP, Costco, Discover
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG, Hyatt, SPG
Rarely useful: BCE, ED, Arrival
2019 downgrade: Prestige
Message 21 of 51
Valued Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


climbfire wrote:

I work with interior designers, architects, and graphic designers on a pretty regular basis. I also run in investment circles, so I see the cards those people tend to carry. No one in either of these groups admits to carrying a card for looks; both groups talk about functionality when we happen to discuss.

 

The designers I work with tend to carry cards like CSP, Venture, BOA Travel Rewards, or the Citi TYPremier. They're generally well paid, travel a lot, and functionality driven. The investors almost all carry the AMEX Platinum backed by a CSR for places that don't take AMEX. They tend not to care about anything other than having their transactions go through and reach for the cards that make that most likely.

 

I do think that all of these people would appreciate better visual design on cards. Sadly, the cost of designing and focus grouping these new designs is much higher than you might think. Getting a cool design that would appeal to me, my mother, my wife, you, and the people that work for me would be an impossible task. Narrowing too far in on a demographic will result in lost opportunities from customers that would ordinarily pick your card or the requirement to market different designs to different groups.

 

The only design feature I'd seek would be a personal or business logo imprint on premium cards. I know issuers like Cap1 do this. Unfortunately, I'd want this on a true prime card and with a print and material quality high enough to be considered 'good design.'

 

 


Are they concerned that a different card wouldn't have the spending power? Or that their transactions would trigger false fraud alarms?

Spend: CSR/Freedom/FU, BBP, Costco, Discover
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG, Hyatt, SPG
Rarely useful: BCE, ED, Arrival
2019 downgrade: Prestige
Message 22 of 51
Regular Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


wasCB14 wrote:

 

Are they concerned that a different card wouldn't have the spending power? Or that their transactions would trigger false fraud alarms?


I think they've been using AMEX for years and haven't given an alternative a real chance. For most of them, getting a high enough credit line to meet their spending habits would take some real effort. I would also imagine some of them tried other banks over time, got (relatively) low starting lines, had false fraud alarms trigger, and just moved on. I did the same with Citi recently, and should probably suck it up and build a real relationship. I don't see the point when Chase and AMEX make things really easy.


Gardening from 10/1/2017 to 4/1/2018.
Message 23 of 51
Regular Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

climbfire wrote:

Getting a cool design that would appeal to me, my mother, my wife, you, and the people that work for me would be an impossible task. Narrowing too far in on a demographic will result in lost opportunities from customers that would ordinarily pick your card or the requirement to market different designs to different groups.

 


It's not necessary to appeal to everyone, though.  There's no reason a CCC couldn't offer 1 or 2 different design options.  As stated earlier in this thread, Discover offers about 50 options.  While that's obviously overkill, I don't think it's outrageous to suggest that a CCC could offer 1 or 2 different design options outside of the "standard" one (that likely appeals to the majority) that could potentially draw many new customers in.


Oh, I absolutely agree that credit card companies don't need to appeal to everyone with design. However, public companies are obligated to maximize shareholder value. Most of them interperet this as keeping cost low and focusing on mass appeal of general use products.

 

The Virgin America designs I linked upthread probably cost VA close to $1mm between design team effort, focus group testing, A/B testing, executive approval, etc. A drop in the bucket for a card like the CSR, but the instant brand recognition of the elite cards is important value that an executive won't give up. Everyone recognizes an AMEX charge card, so for the CSR to hit that status they need to look the same all the time. For cards in a lower status tier, I think reasonable corporate branding and a cool AND/OR understated design would be a nice feature.


Gardening from 10/1/2017 to 4/1/2018.
Message 24 of 51
Established Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?

Hehe, you think it's bad in America? Move here to the UK!

 

1. We just got the Amex Blue design (well, re-got, they had blue years ago). THANKFULLY, it's a redesign of a card I already had. They changed the Rewards Credit Card (equivalent to Everyday in the US - 1 MR per pound spent) from being the gold credit design (so like the US, the UK no longer has a card with the gold credit design - though Amex seems to be phasing out their credit designs totally) to being the Blue design. I think Amex Blue is one of the best designs ever, so I was quite excited!

 

Oddly, they didn't follow the US. they gave the Blue design to the equivalent to Everyday in the US (the free MR card), and the free cash card retains the platinum credit design.

 

2. Few (I can't think of any off the top of my head) banks issue unembossed cards. I far prefer unembossed cards as they stay nice longer and are significantly thinner. This would be the greatest possible improvement to the Blue design, but it just doesn't happen.

 

3. General design quality is quite poor. The US has a lot of really nice designs. By comparison, our designs here tend to be ugly and tacky. The US has gorgeous cards in general. Discover, as you note. But also look at Amex Blue/Everyday (ok, we have the Blue design here now), Bank of America, Chase, etc... all gorgeous. Even the newest Capital One card (Savor) looks like it's going to be gorgeous from the pictures.

 

4. But, the card situation here is way better anyway Smiley Tongue - almost all cards have contactless, and almost all shops accept contactless. So, ugly designs are trumped by superior functionality.

 

 

American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $11,000; American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday - £3,000; American Express Rewards Credit Card - £7,500; Aqua Reward Mastercard - £3,500; Bank of America Travel Rewards - $5,000; Barclaycard Freedom Rewards - £3,500; Citi Forward - $5,800; Discover It - $10,000; Halifax Clarity - £1,500; HSBC Platinum with Rewards - $5,000, MBNA Everyday Plus - £3,500
Message 25 of 51
Frequent Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?

A good topic to discuss. Regardless of whether you are someone who likes to feel proud when they pull out their card or a person who is focused on the functionality (or a little of both), from a product standpoint CCC will see more success in creating products that BOTH look good AND give awesome rewards.

 

If they are creating a credit card that gives great rewards but it looks ugly, you may not get the demographic of people who like a card that makes them feel good when they pull it out of their wallet. For the record, NOTHING wrong with that. On the other hand, if they make the most gorgeous card known to man but the rewards are crap, then you won't get the demographic of people who prioritize functionality. For the record, NOTHING wrong with prioritizing functionality. 

 

At the end of the day, sexy for some reason still sells...BUT to an extent. I think the next most popular card will be card that is both pleasing to the eyes and has great rewards; which I will be standing by for Smiley Happy



STATUS: Gardening until May 20, 2019
GOAL: Letting current cards grow Smiley Happy
CURRENT FAVORITE CARD: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Message 26 of 51
Established Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?

I get a lot of compliments about my "tinkerbell"  chase disney visa.

Message 27 of 51
Established Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

Thanks for the replies thus far everyone, but I'm not really hearing an answer above as to why CCCs don't take looks into consideration more in terms of attracting new customers and making more profits.

 

Honda may make some of the "best" cars in the world in terms of reliability, but if they didn't look good [to the people that buy them] how much do you think their profits would suffer?

 

When it comes to product sales, any product really, I think it would be very difficult to make the argument that a less aesthetically pleasing version would generate more profits than a better looking version.  Now, if a better looking version costs more to produce (or more relative to the additional expected profits) I get not doing it. 

 

These don't need to be earth-shattering, costly differences.  You don't need a card made out of 14K gold or with a diamond border here.  A card with some glittery crap could be a huge hit for younger females, for example.  Maybe something that had mirror effects.  Maybe a piece of plastic that changes colors depending on temperature.  I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud here. 


I noticed that American Eagle Outfitters has redesigned their card to go with the new rewards program I suppose (The new rewards program sucks in comparison to the old). I think the new design is an effort to attract younger people. 

 

american-eagle-outfitters-credit-card.jpgimage

 

This new design appears to be iridescent which seems to be really popular now

AAOA 15 months Fico 08's 714 717 678 11% Utilization
Message 28 of 51
Valued Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


wasCB14 wrote:

BrutalBodyShots wrote:

wasCB14 wrote:

A demographic with little disposable income...and the ones with good jobs probably wouldn't find it appealing.


Little disposable income now, perhaps.  Attacting new customers to a product in many ways is an investment for the future.  While they may not be overly profitable today, a few years down the road when their income/spend increases having them on board could be very beneficial. 


 That's probably true for some people, but not many.

 

Consider how enormously popular Star Wars is. Some people have Chase Disney Star Wars cards, but I don't see them very often, even though the people who had an affinity for that when young are now around their peak earning years. I wouldn't expect a few sparkles to be much more effective when the rivals are advertising big travel bonuses heavily.


Somebody I know IRL has been cleaning wallet, but won't close out their Disney card because of the design. They only use it for a few bucks every few months just to keep it active. I'm surprised Nasa FCU's Star Trek card hasn't taken off (pun intended) in a similar fashion.


TU FICO 8: 750 (5/18) — Ex FICO 8: 751 (6/18)
Message 29 of 51
Established Contributor

Re: Why aren't there more "cool" CC designs?


depdep8 wrote:

BrutalBodyShots wrote:

Thanks for the replies thus far everyone, but I'm not really hearing an answer above as to why CCCs don't take looks into consideration more in terms of attracting new customers and making more profits.

 

Honda may make some of the "best" cars in the world in terms of reliability, but if they didn't look good [to the people that buy them] how much do you think their profits would suffer?

 

When it comes to product sales, any product really, I think it would be very difficult to make the argument that a less aesthetically pleasing version would generate more profits than a better looking version.  Now, if a better looking version costs more to produce (or more relative to the additional expected profits) I get not doing it. 

 

These don't need to be earth-shattering, costly differences.  You don't need a card made out of 14K gold or with a diamond border here.  A card with some glittery crap could be a huge hit for younger females, for example.  Maybe something that had mirror effects.  Maybe a piece of plastic that changes colors depending on temperature.  I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud here. 


I noticed that American Eagle Outfitters has redesigned their card to go with the new rewards program I suppose (The new rewards program sucks in comparison to the old). I think the new design is an effort to attract younger people. 

 

american-eagle-outfitters-credit-card.jpgimage

 

This new design appears to be iridescent which seems to be really popular now


Is it bad that I kind of like that?


Message 30 of 51