A RevolutionCard That’s not so Revolutionary after all
If it wasn’t an article on USA Today yesterday, I probably won’t even know there’s a new kind of credit card on the market on September 24, 2007.
RevolutionCard is the name. However, after going through what the new card offers, I found that it’s basically a PIN-based credit card that doesn’t emboss account number and cardholder’s name on the card. Other than the card’s shape that doesn’t resemble any existing cards, I didn’t notice anything really revolutionary.
On the website, the new card lists some benefits including no annual fee and an APR that’s tied to one’s credit score. I won’t consider no annual fee as a benefit worth highlighting as there is no short of credit cards that don’t charge membership fee. As for the interest rate, ranging from 7.99% to 29.50%, the card claims that everybody can get a credit line with an interest rate that’s determined by the credit score. Though traditional cards don’t explicitly offer variable APRs based on credit score, credit history must be taken into account when determining the terms.
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Another selling point of the card is that every purchase requires a 4-digit PIN, not the signature, quite unique for a credit card. The purpose is to, as the issuer argues, “protect you from fraudulent purchases.” If you lose the card, no transaction will go through without a PIN if somebody gets the card and tries to use it. And in this case, your personal information won’t be at danger either as no such information will be stored in the card. I can see some value in using PIN in transactions, but I am not sure how much protection it can provide. If a PIN can eliminate “unauthorized transactions, significantly reducing costly disputes,” other banks should probably use it as well. But I don’t think that’s happening.
The USA Today article also mentioned that the issuer is planing to charge merchants who accept the card a fee of 0.5% of the sale price as compared to the average 1.9% charged by traditional credit card issuers. That may be good for merchants, but as a consumer, the RevolutionCard doesn’t appeal to me at all.
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