Cards get collectable

DO NOT chop up your credit card when it expires. You may be destroying a collector's item. Old credit cards are starting to appear on stalls at collectors' fairs, alongside the stamps, postcards and phonecards. There are also several US-based websites selling credit cards through online auctions.

So far this has been a fringe market in the UK, but that may be about to change. Tomorrow marks the launch of the world's first designer credit card, in a limited edition of 500. American Express commissioned the card from the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, and application forms will be available in the international designer fashion room at Harrods.

Just 400 cards are being issued to the public. Another 99 are going to "invited celebrities", and one is going into the Design Museum.

But who wants a designer credit card anyway? "We have aimed the card at people aged 25 to 35 who are interested in fashion and art," says Deborah Davies at Amex. She is hopeful that users will pay for purchases with McQueen cards but admits that Amex will issue a second, plain card for cardholders who do not want to show off their flashy plastic.

Not to be outdone, Goldfish has launched the first "textured" credit card, allowing customers to feel the scales and fins on a goldfish. And People's Bank is giving customers the chance to put photos of their children on the front of a card.

Is it worth viewing credit cards as an investment? Quite possibly, according to John Moody, editor of Stanley Gibbons' collectors' magazine, International Stamp News: "There's no money in this for speculators but who knows? We have seen silly prices paid for phone cards. Collectors will pay pounds 100 for rare ones."

Advice on American websites says that best prices are paid for pristine, unsigned cards. Unusual designs are also highly prized. An average modern credit card is worth between 60p and pounds 6 to collectors.

Behind all these gimmicks is the battle for market share. Amex Blue and Goldfish are trying to woo notoriously apathetic customers away from the high street banks. They have a long way to go: Barclaycard issues one in three credit cards in the UK. Undeterred, Ohio-based Bank One will be the next entrant into the market. It plans to offer cheap credit cards in time for Christmas.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Danny Cipriani of England breaks clear to score his second try
Life and Style
New research says leaving your desk can help you to avoid serious illness
Arts and Entertainment
tvSPOILER ALERT: Like a mash-up of 28 Days Later, Braveheart, The Killing and Lord of the Rings, this GoT episode was a belter
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral