The United States Mint is a government agency that shows a profit. Why?
Because the Mint caters to collectors. It has extensive coin collector programs that generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profits annually. Walk into practically any United States Post Office and look around.
You’ll probably see at least one poster or display promoting stamp collecting. Why? Because stamp collectors are a major source of revenue for the postal service.
The baseball card collecting hobby has grown tremendously in a short period of time. Why? Because the baseball card issuers have gone out of their way to cater to collectors and for good reason. The profits on the billions of modern baseball cards printed annually is staggering!
Why isn’t credit card collecting the same?
Now, to credit card issuers. With over 100,000,000 people in the United States carrying an average of seven credit cards, you’d think card issuers would be rubbing their hands together thinking of the collector profits out there. Surprisingly though, very little is actually taking place.
But, is it realistic to think it would be profitable to cater to credit card collectors? You better believe it. A modern bank card, with a beautiful design, can sell for $15. Not bad for a piece of plastic.
Take, for example, Citibank’s National Football League series of Visas. Imagine if team cards were offered to collectors for $15 apiece. It could even be designed as a card a month program, or the entire set of 28 sports cards for just $395. On either program, the cards would come with a beautiful frame for display.
With Citibank’s 20 million+ cardholder base, only one out of 1,000 accepting the offer means 20,000 sets would be sold. Numbers like that make profits from collector plastic truly fantastic.
All that’s really necessary for a credit card issuer to have a successful collector program is foresight and patience. It would probably take time, but the market is untapped and wide-open to the first company with vision. The day issuers cater to collectors is coming.
Affinity credit cards are leading the way
Affinity cards already approach the idea by being credit cards with interesting designs for special interest groups. That same type of innovation and foresight which made affinity cards successful, is necessary to germinate the collectible credit card field.
Who the issuer will be with determination to dominate the collector credit card market is still undecided. But one thing is for sure, the American way of doing business has proven that if there’s a large potential market, with a big profit base, some company will eventually seize it.
Copyright 1989 by Greg Tunks