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BofA, Citi bet on black for wealthy customers

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Credit card issuers Bank of America and Citi are getting ready to introduce new black cards featuring the American Express logo, aimed at the banks' wealthiest clients.

Compare Reward Credit CardsThese new black cards represent the latest offerings with the AmEx brand that Bank of America and Citi have issued since 2006.

The Bank of America American Express Accolades card, launched on June 11, 2007, is designed for customers with between $100,000 and $3 million invested or saved with Bank of America.

Meanwhile, Citi is expected to launch its own version of the card within the coming weeks. Citi's black card will be offered to certain Smith Barney brokerage customers.

Bank of America and Citi are hoping that their black cards will capitalize on the appeal of AmEx's exclusive black Centurion card, available to customers to charge at least $250,000 annually.

The AmEx Centurion card has status among wealthy individuals and is only available with an invitation. Unlike regular credit cards, the Centurion card is offered in titanium as opposed to plastic.

With Bank of America's Accolades product, cardholders can redeem points for such rewards as luxury vacations, cooking lessons with top chefs and access to airport lounges.

Additionally, most cardholders will also be able to use points for charitable donations, which will be matched by up to $2,500 a year by BofA.

As its rivals offer more credit card products for wealthy clients, Bank of America has struggled to demonstrate its ability to offer the same type of personalized service to well-heeled clients. BofA notes that the Accolades card is its first created especially for clients of its wealth unit.

To comment on this story, write Editors@CreditCards.com.

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Published: June 20, 2007


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