Gold cards are passe, platinum is in for banks

Gold cards are passe, platinum is in for banks


New Delhi: Banks seem to be seeing more colour in the silver-white of platinum than the bright yellowness of gold when it comes to credit cards — as being shown by their growing focus on the premium segment of customers for credit lending instruments.

The shift comes amid credit card companies seeking to tap the growing population of affluent people who, according to industry estimates, spend about Rs3,60,000 a year, 10 times more than the average consumer in the country.

There are about 1.5 million people under this category in the country and the segment is increasing rapidly at a rate of 25% a year.

Till a few months back banks like Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and American Express were offering high-end credit cards under the “platinum" and “signature" series, but today nearly all major players are offering such instruments that come with larger credit limits as compared to the lower-end silver and gold cards.

Typically, silver and gold cards offer credit limits of Rs20,000-60,000, whereas the cap on platinum and signature cards goes into lakhs.

American Express India vice-president (Engagement Brand and Lending) Amit Dutta said the bank was targeting high-value customers for its platinum cards.

Generally, such cardholders are international travellers in the age group of 35-45 years and include high salaried executives, Dutta said.

Emerging affluent consumers earn Rs20-25 lakh or upwards in a year, he added.