Worth their weight in gold?
Sunday 29 November 1998
Credit cards were introduced by Barclaycard in 1966. There were 37 million Visa and Mastercards issued in the UK at the end of last year, and about 1 million other credit cards (American Express runs a separate network).
With so many cards in issue, some companies also issue gold cards or platinum cards as a status symbol for wealthier customers. The situation is confusing because you can get gold charge cards (such as American Express, pounds 85 a year) as well as gold credit cards.
Your bank, or a US card issuer, may well offer you a gold or platinum credit card if you earn pounds 20,000 or more a year and already have a credit card. Capital One and RBS Advanta make the same offer (6.9 per cent and 7.9 per cent APR respectively) to standard credit-card holders as they do to those offered a "prestige" card. All you get is the kudos of carrying gold or platinum.
Some high-street issuers charge for their gold cards and offer extra benefits, such as generous purchase protection. The real perks are for gold charge-card holders. Customers pay more (Bank of Scotland charges pounds 70 a year) but get cheap automatic overdrafts, often at 2.5 per cent over base rate.
Free credit cards
Capital One Gold MC/Visa: 6.9% APR (until July 1999). 0800 952 5252.
RBS Advanta Gold/Platinum MC/Visa: 7.9% APR (to July 1999). 0800 077770.
Gold credit cards with a fee
Halifax Gold Mastercard: 17.9%. pounds 20 a year. Free appliance insurance; savings on hotels and travel; free card protection. 0345 283848.
Royal Bank of Scotland Gold Visa: 14.20% for 12 months from issue. pounds 35 a year. Savings on hotels and travel; free appliance insurance. 0800 161616.
American Express Green Amex: pounds 37.50 a year. Cash withdrawals charged at pounds 3/3% minimum and no automatic overdraft. Luggage and delayed travel insurance; personal liability insurance; savings on hotels and travel. 01273 620555.
Diners Club: pounds 38 a year. Cash withdrawals charged at pounds 4/4% minimum and no automatic overdraft. Luggage and delayed travel insurance; savings on hotels and travel. 0800 460800.
- 1 If you weren't afraid of flying before last week... you probably are now
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 Lauren Goodger calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after sex tape leaks online
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...