First Direct, the HSBC-owned direct bank, is to bolster its credit card services by launching a gold card.
The new card will be available only to First Direct account holders and observers believe the bank will use it to increase its 900,000-strong customer base, as people open accounts to qualify for the offer.
The gold card will complement the existing First Direct Visa card. It will have an APR (annual percentage rate) of 18.8 per cent, which is average.
A spokeswoman for the bank will not reveal how many First Direct customers currently hold the Visa card and declines to comment on the launch of the gold card, believed to be imminent.
Alistaire Whitmore, director of financial services at MORI, says: “First Direct’s customer base is unique – young, upmarket and urban – and so a gold card would be a good fit. And because it’s a fairly recent entrant in the market, many account holders already have credit cards from other issuers. But a gold card could tempt them.”
The gold card is one of a series of new measures designed to strengthen First Direct’s position in the market.