Page 3: Affinity credit cards
Affinity credit cards offer something over and above what ordinary credit cards offer. Unlike many ordinary credit cards, affinity cards help card holders to portray an image and to deliver a message about themselves each time they use the card.
People like to be identified with the interests they pursue, the causes they support, the allegiances they hold. Carrying and using the card is a source of pride that may also carry potential for personal progress. It invites a response - e.g. 'RSPCA, eh! You must meet my daughter' or 'Arsenal, eh? I’m football daft too' or 'I went to Warwick too, you know' or 'MENSA! So what’s your IQ?'
Such responses open up the possibility of new friends, new opportunities, new horizons and enable card owners to support a cause in which they believe at no cost to themselves. This is because the affinity group (club, society, charitable organisation etc) receives a royalty each time that its member uses its affinity card.
The major benefit to the affinity group, in addition to the royalties, is that a good quality credit card represents a benefit that can be made exclusive to members. This makes it easier for the affinity group to persuade people to join. The major benefit to the card issuer is that the company gains access to a group that matches well with the consumer profile it has created for its product.