The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 April 2003

Make mine zinc

Jason Kottke explains the marketing rationale behind the titanium credit card:

Head of marketing: "OK, does anyone here know anything about science? What's better than platinum?"

Designer: "My computer is made of titanium. It's pretty solid. And the screen is huge. Have you seen that commercial with Mini Me and..."

Everyone: "Titanium! Of course! That's the answer!"

There's just one problem with that answer: titanium cards are not necessarily better than platinum. They may carry platinum-level credit limits, but they may not have platinum-level bells and whistles. Neither Visa nor MasterCard defines titanium benefits; these are determined by the individual card issuer. Gold and platinum cards, however, come with standard benefit packages.

The back of MasterCard's current Platinum Cardholder Benefits guide offers this hint:

These benefits are provided exclusively with MasterCard Platinum cards that have a credit line of $2,000 or more, or otherwise with cards expressly offered with such benefits by the issuer.

And only a few of them are provided with my titanium card; I get no roadside assistance or extended-warranty protection from it. (I do have a platinum card from another issuer, which explains why I have the benefits brochure.) Of course, this should be obvious: titanium — see your periodic table — is lighter than either gold or platinum.

Wonder what I can get with a depleted-uranium card?

Posted at 8:04 PM to Common Cents

What? No di-lithium card for Star Trek fans?

Actually, I rarely use my Platinum and Gold benefits. I guess it's nice to know their there, however.

Most of the time I use my Visa Signature. I don't even know how that differs from Platinum, only that they replaced my Platinum card with a 'Signature' card, which supposedly has no limit (like Amex).

Posted by: Ravenwood at 8:10 PM on 17 April 2003

If you follow that Visa link I put up, it details all the differences.

And Amex does have a limit, of sorts; they just don't tell you what it is, and they can shuffle it around as needed. (It's not "pre-set", in other words.)

Posted by: CGHill at 8:22 PM on 17 April 2003

Depleted uranium gets you whatever the heck you want!

I can speak to that Amex shuffle, having been later than they like with the ayment-pay a few times. It's real fun when it kicks in on day two of a five-day trip.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at 9:12 PM on 17 April 2003

I'm not sure what membership benefits you would get from a depleted uranium card, but I would defy you to find the door that you couldn't card with it.

Posted by: Joe Goodwin at 11:44 PM on 17 April 2003

"The American Express Neutronium card -- don't leave anywhere without it."

Of course, you couldn't leave anywhere with it...

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 7:23 AM on 18 April 2003

I was amazed when some twenty or so years ago upon making what I felt was a modest ($200. to $300.) purchase with my Gold card that first of all an approval was sought and second of all that they wanted to speak to me about it :( As it happened though all that was said was "you are aware that this amount will be due in full upon receipt of the bill" which of course I was and that was that. What some people may not have known though was that all Gold cards came with an associated line of credit and you were welcome to pay your bill with it :)

Posted by: ms7168 at 8:13 AM on 18 April 2003

Cash still works, doesn't it...?

Actually, with the advent of the "check card" and "debit card" feature of my bank's overall card structure, using the "credit card" just doesn't happen as often.

Posted by: DavidMSC at 7:43 PM on 18 April 2003

dear sir,
i am not able to find anything specific information which i alway's try to get to no about indian school's and soem other kind of information by using's a nice surf but it alway's has information which relates mainly on american and other developed countries and nothing specific about ther underdeveloped i would like to conclude if you can include the specicfic information i tihnk it's your job as you run this net ..well waiting to her from you sir....
honesty is the best policy.

Posted by: dorje at 10:56 AM on 4 September 2003

And this has precisely what to do with the topic at hand?

(Hint: Not a damn thing.)

Posted by: CGHill at 8:30 PM on 4 September 2003