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First USA Cards Going Heavy Metal

From Bloomberg News

First USA Inc. on Friday said it is issuing “titanium” credit cards, as it moves down the periodic table to attract customers jaded by gold and platinum cards.

In the escalating battle for customers, credit card marketers at First USA, a unit of Columbus, Ohio-based Banc One Corp., created a card that “goes beyond gold, beyond platinum.”

First USA is testing titanium cards, said spokesman David Webster. He declined to elaborate on features and terms.

Dallas-based First USA began issuing platinum cards in June 1996 as a more prestigious version of gold cards, which had lost their luster as they became increasingly common. The company had 9 million platinum cards in circulation at the end of September.

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Industry analysts said issuers need new gimmicks to grab the attention of status-conscious U.S. consumers, who face an avalanche of more than 2 billion card solicitations a year.


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