Some companies may even issue their own specialty credit card which offers discounts on their product in particular. For example, this is increasingly popular in the airline industry especially. Many airline companies offer its customers a specialty credit card whereby flights are earned depending on how much is spent on the card within a certain time period – e.g. £250 in 90 days can earn you a return flight. Similar offers abound in many retail sectors. You should be careful with these specialty credit cards, however. While it may be good value to use them in these specific ways, the specialty credit cards can often a bit more expensive overall than normal credit cards. Look at the overall cost compared to your current card. If you think it’s a good deal, then apply for it!
Otherwise, look at how you could still profit from it. For example, if you frequently use a certain company it may be worthwhile to get their specialty credit card and use it solely for purchases with that company, to incur the rewards, while not using it for other spending, where it would be more expensive. This only works if you are a regular customer of this company – specialty credit cards have annual fees like other cards and there are obviously limits to the number of cards you should have. This nevertheless could be a worthwhile strategy, particularly if your company frequently uses the services covered by the specialty credit card.
Many specialty credit cards offered by the big companies (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) are simply more competitive versions of their standard cards. As more and more companies enter the market, competition for customers steadily increases, and companies will offer more and more special offers. For example, many credit cards now offer air miles, gift certificates or money back (sometimes 1% of your purchases are refunded to you with your bill – making it possible for credit cards to be even cheaper than cash if always paid off). These types of credit card are certainly worth looking into.
An increasingly popular trend (coming from the USA) is towards branded style specialty credit cards. For example, the supporters’ club of a sports team could have its own credit card, designed to show support for the team. People use these as a way to strike up conversations with other fans or simply to show that they support their team. Many UK football clubs offer cards which donate a certain amount for every pound spent to developing young players’ football skills around the country, specifically at that team’s Youth Academy. By using their specialty credit card, you are doing something to secure the future of the club.
More altruistically minded consumers can opt for a similar style specialty credit card, but for their favourite charity. Again, there are a myriad of options for the interested customer. Almost every major charity will have its own credit card arrangement with one of the big companies. The advantage for the credit card company is that it gets to sell more specialty credit cards. The charity of course benefits from the fixed percentage of the amount spent on the credit card that it receives (at no extra cost to the consumer). This is the ideal option for the 85% of UK customers who said they’d like to do something for charity. Here is an option that costs them virtually nothing (other than setting up the actual card) and requires almost no effort on their part.
Of course, there are many other kinds of specialty cards aside from these ones that we focussed on – student credit cards, business credit cards, etc. Credit card companies are eager to specialise in many areas to attract as many potential customers as possible so there is bound to be a specialty credit card for you. Why not take a look at our offers and see what specialty credit card is right for you. You could save a lot of money, or help your favourite cause!