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Breaking down the Color Code: The Platinum Card Meaning Guide

Have you ever been out to eat and looked around at everyone’s credit cards? They were probably like a rainbow of different colors. And maybe, just maybe, you spotted a platinum card.

Platinum credit cards are the card we’ve all heard about, but that only a lucky few have the privilege of using. But do you actually know what a platinum card “means?” Why do people want them?

Today, we’re unraveling the platinum card mystery. Let’s breakdown the platinum card meaning.

The History of the Platinum Card Meaning

American Express devised the color-coded system to represent what corresponded to the different financial states of Americans. Platinum was for the upper class, gold for the middle class, and plain for the working class.

The platinum card offered lower APRs, benefits like warranties and travel insurance, and extremely high spending limits. However, as other credit companies caught on, they too started offering cards with benefits and low APRs.

Some intervention from the federal government also did away with the extremely high spending limits.

Platinum Cards Today

Today, multiple credit card companies offer platinum cards, and the cards themselves are still premium products. The benefits usually include over-the-top travel benefits and higher limits.

Some platinum cards also function like charge cards. You’re responsible for paying the entire balance at the end of the month.

However, not all modern platinum cards follow the same rules. Some cards offer longer no-APR periods, while others have extremely generous point rewards systems.

When the Luster Wears Off

Platinum cards began as a marketing tool and today they’re still a marketing tool. Yes, certain cards offer great benefits. However, more companies are using platinum as a marketing tool, but not for the upper class.

Because platinum is ingrained in the public consciousness as a “good” card, many companies offer platinum cards that are essentially “plain” cards. They have no real benefits other than an APR-free period.

The next time you’re out to eat and someone slaps down a platinum card, they might not have the money you’re thinking. But then again, they might. It’s best to rely on card review sites like CardGuru to get the lowdown on the latest credit cards.

Debt, Debt, Debt

Credit cards can represent good debt. After all, we wouldn’t have written an entire article about the platinum card meaning if we didn’t think credit cards had their merit.

However, sometimes people get buried in debt. Sometimes, you need a little help to get back on the track towards financial success. That’s where we can help. Our site dedicates itself to helping you live frugally and beat debt.

Want to see how? Check out some of our articles. We’ll have you living large in no time.

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