RBS launches own-branded platinum card

Royal Bank of Scotland has unveiled its first own-brand platinum credit card, as it attempts to fight competition from US credit card operators.

The card is among the cheapest on the market, with an introductory eight-month APR (annual percentage rate) of 5.9 per cent, and a standard rate of 17.9 per cent.

Tim Lewis, marketing director for credit cards at Royal Bank of Scotland, says: “The number of platinum cards in the UK has doubled in the past year to about 600,000, but it’s still tiny compared with the US. I expect it to reach about 3 million in the next three years.”

The platinum card market forms the bulk of the “super-premium” credit card sector, which Datamonitor says comprised 630,000 of the 38 million credit cards held in the UK at the end of 1997.

Platinum cards are designed to attract high-earning customers, using low interest rates and a good benefits package. The platinum sector is dominated by US credit card operators. American Express was first into the market at the start of the decade. MBNA is the market leader with 100,000 cards.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Platinum Card is only the second UK-issued platinum card. Barclaycard introduced the first two months ago.

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