Business / Companies

Minsheng to offer new Amex cards

By Wu Yiyao (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-26 09:18

Of an estimated 400 million users in China, only a few enjoy the most exclusive services

China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd has become the latest Chinese bank to launch an exclusive credit card for its top-end customers.

The bank is now to offer the American Express Centurion titanium card in China.

There are more than 400 million credit card users in China, but premier cards such as the Centurion are offered only to top customers, very often private banking clients and high-income professionals.

The materials used on some of the most exclusive cards may even include diamond dust, and annual fees can be as high as $6,000.

Some high-end cards do not set upper limits on spending, or cardholders can have their credit lines adjusted based on their payment and credit records.

To qualify, there is actually a minimum amount customers have to spend annually.

Market insiders said booming demand for travel and lifestyle services and the rising purchasing power of the extremely wealthy have expanded the appetite for credit cards with credit lines higher than 500,000 yuan ($80,550) and those offering privileges to owners.

Shao Weiyang is the 58-year-old owner of a machinery enterprise in Fujian province, and said such high annual fees and exclusive issuance channels have not been enough to scare off many private enterprise owners he knows from obtaining a upmarket credit card.

Shao has four cards in his wallet, two of which are "strictly by invitation only".

"The added value of using the cards is not just about collecting points and redeeming them for gifts or free flights.

"The exclusive access to exotic destinations and private clubs allowed by being a cardholder actually helps me expand my life experience beyond business," said Shao.

The most upmarket cards in China are usually associated with privileges that cannot be obtained any other way.

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