Sunday 1 October 2023

Insignia Attempt To Disrupt The Premium Card Market With Billionaire Card


The Billionaire Visa card has attracted some press attention recently, primarily as its made from solid gold and encrusted with diamonds, and is worth well over £10,000 in itself.  Much has been made in gushing hyperbolic prose about the amazing benefits of the card, such as unlimited spending, a never-fail concierge, and mythical additional features.  It is touted as dislodging the American Express Centurion from its throne, with even outlets such as the Financial Times championing it, and the exclusivity of it being limited to 150 applicants worldwide.  However, scratch the surface and all is not what it appears.

In truth, the Billionaire Visa is just one version of a card offered by the credit card company Insignia.  The firm, which launched as SBS in 1996 as a luxury lifestyle management company, has been creating financial products from around 2003.  It's difficult to know for sure from its own website, as it doesn't seem to have managed to pay for a web designer that could order the timeline properly, with being repeated after 2020.  What is certain however is that the supposedly members only credit card company has faced difficulties over the years.  Such as in 2021 when the Maltese Financial Regulator fined them 142,000 Euro's.

When closer attention is paid to the brand, it seems that even the invitation only nature is not strictly correct.  Their business card offerings can be applied for without any invitation being needed, see the link here.  Look closer still, and the idea of a premium product is somewhat diminished also, as the business card yearly fee is only 550 Euro's.  Which is considerably less than even American Expresses entry-level luxury card the Platinum charge card at £575.  

The reality is, these points mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg.  Insignia is just a business trying to make a buck, and the way they attempt to do so is by presenting themselves as a premium luxury service.  They are trying to seem a rival to the Centurion card and others like it, but these businesses built themselves up over decades, and have cast-iron relationships around the world that no upstart company can disrupt.  And as for the Billionaire card, this is little more than a product launched to promote Flavio Briatore's slightly vulgar Billionaire brand, see the link here for their launch information on this item.

It's important to think critically about these things, because when we do, we realise that; when you're truly exceptionally wealthy no card has a limit for you, so promises of no-limit's are irrelevant, and you probably have your own jet, yacht, or Netjet card, so promises of charter are irrelevant.  Further, promises of "all requests are fulfilled" is equally redundant, as if a place is full its full, and if somethings sold out its sold out, not to mention, again, if your truly wealthy you will have your own assistant to do the work for you anyway.  

As ever with these types of products, they are an aspirational item designed to fool those with a little wealth, that would love to seem like they have more.  Perhaps in that they are perfect for their customers, and they deserve each other, but we suggest looking towards the established businesses that know what their doing in these areas. 

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