Sotheby's credit card offers museum rewards

The Wall Street Journal reports that auction house Sotheby's plans to launch two credit cards in the spring of 2007 aimed specifically at wealthy museum goers.  The two MasterCard network reward credit cards offer points that can be redeemed for cash donations to art museums, in addition to goods and services.

Sotheby's credit cards are offered at two levels of service.  The basic credit card is for consumers with an annual income of $100,000 or more, at an annual fee of $85.  The other credit card is invitation-only affair for consumers who earn over $250,000, with an annual fee of $395 and no pre-set spending limit.

For every 10,000 points earned on $10,000 in purchases, a $100 donation can be made to one of 17 U.S. partner museums. These museums include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Fla.; the Delaware Art Museum and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.  Museum donations are not tax-deductible.

Cardholders will gain free entry to participating museums, invitations to special events, as well as "luxurious privileges" such as travel benefits and preferential restaurant reservations.

Additionally, a Rewards Concierge will be available to help in the selection of rewards from a "vast range of luxury opportunities."  Choices include one-on-one exhibit tours with curators, visits to artist studios, discounted auction catalogs and more.  For those really big spenders, 2.5 million points can be used to book a Sotheby's specialist to conduct a charity event auction.

Sotheby's chief executive explained that the charitable rewards are designed to appeal to potential arts patrons who don't necessarily require rewards points or airline miles.

While it has not routinely accepted credit card payments at major auctions, Sotheby's said it will take its own credit card at auctions "under certain conditions."

Appropriately enough, cardholders will be able to choose from credit card designs that feature paintings by the likes of art greats Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet or Rene Magritte.

Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Updated: 01-19-2019