Accolades Card

Bank of America Accolades Card is the first premium credit card offered by Bank of America targeted exclusively for the banks “affluent, wealthy and ultra- wealthy clients served through Premier Banking & Investments, The Private Bank of Bank of America and its extension,Family Wealth Advisors." [ [http://www.paymentsnews.com/2007/06/bank_of_america_2.html Payments News: Bank of America's Accolades American Express Card - June 11, 2007 ] ] The card is notable as it is the bank’s foray into a new market segment as well as a product offered as a result of the bank’s acquisition of another bank, U.S. Trust, particularly since the larger Bank of America has taken the smaller bank’s corporate name inestablishing a separate legal entity for the first time in history. The entity’s name is U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/17/business/bofa.php Bank of America tries to burnish its image as it caters to the very rich - International Herald Tribune ] ]

The Bank of America Accolades Card, also called the Bank of America Accolades American Express Card, is a co-branded card that is accepted by merchants who accept the American Express card. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,280436,00.html FOXNews.com - Bank of America Introduces Credit Card for Wealthy Clients - Business And Money | Business News | Financial News ] ]

History

The introduction of the card coincides with Bank of America’s acquisition of U.S. Trust, a private bank that caters to those with extremely high assets and income. Traditionally, this banking sector has been dominated by JPMorgan and the large brokerage firm,Morgan Stanley [ [http://www.forbes.com/wallstreet/2007/07/03/banking-credit-wealth-biz-wall-cx_lm_0703credit.html The World's Most Exclusive Credit Cards - Forbes.com ] ] , as well as Citicorp and Goldman Sachs. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/17/business/bofa.php Bank of America tries to burnish its image as it caters to the very rich - International Herald Tribune ] ] With the acquisition, the private banking unitof Bank of America will be the largest in the world. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/17/business/bofa.php Bank of America tries to burnish its image as it caters to the very rich - International Herald Tribune ] ]

The Accolades card is seen as a tool to enter this market segment. [ [http://www.forbes.com/wallstreet/2007/07/03/banking-credit-wealth-biz-wall-cx_lm_0703credit.html The World's Most Exclusive Credit Cards - Forbes.com ] ] The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the bank has struggled to prove it can cater to wealthy clients with the personalized service offered by some rivals.” “The bank says the Accolades card is its first designed solely for clients of its wealth unit.” [More Banks Go Black with American Express Cards for Wealthy, Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2007, p. C3 ]

Competitors

The main competitor in this credit card segment is the American Express Centurion Card, which is black in color. The Luxury Institute's recent survey of customer preferences ranked two American Express Cards in the top two; Centurion Card first and Platinum cardsecond. [ [http://www.forbes.com/wallstreet/2007/07/03/banking-credit-wealth-biz-wall-cx_lm_0703credit.html The World's Most Exclusive Credit Cards - Forbes.com ] ] Special access, unparalleled benefits and enhanced customer experience were cited as the reasons for its high regard among customers as well as justification for the $2,500 annual fee for the Centurion card. [ [http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2007/06/11/daily2.html BofA launches credit card for wealthy customers - Sacramento Business Journal: ] ] [ [http://www.forbes.com/wallstreet/2007/07/03/banking-credit-wealth-biz-wall-cx_lm_0703credit.html The World's Most Exclusive Credit Cards - Forbes.com ] ] At about the same time of announcement of the new card, competitor Wachovia Bank announced plans to add 300 bankers to its private banking unit adding to240 currently on staff. [ [http://www.bnet.com/2407-13071_23-87914.html Bank of America Creates Credit Card For Wealthy on BNET ] ] Advertising segments for the new card began inSeptember, 2007. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/17/business/bofa.php Bank of America tries to burnish its image as it caters to the very rich - International Herald Tribune ] ] Citigroup reportedly has a competing cardplanned. [ [http://www.paymentsnews.com/2007/06/bank_of_america_2.html Payments News: Bank of America's Accolades American Express Card - June 11, 2007 ] ]

Benefits

It has been reported that card holders will receive points that can be redeemed for luxury vacations, cooking and other lessons, concierge services, and other benefits. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,280436,00.html FOXNews.com - Bank of America Introduces Credit Card for Wealthy Clients - Business And Money | Business News | Financial News ] ] [ [http://www.banknet360.com/news/NewsAbstract.do?na_id=9224 Bank of America, Citigroup Offering American Express Cards for Wealthy - BankNet360.com ] ]

An additional benefit included with the card is free access to a number of airport lounges worldwide. The benefit is provided by a company called Priority Pass. A free membership to Priority Pass is provided for the primary card holder only. [ [http://www.prioritypass.com/ Priority Pass - 500 Airport Lounges Worldwide ] ]

References


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