MasterCard to issue diamond-studded cards

diamond Royale MasterCard

We have earlier introduced you to some of the very exclusive cards, including the American Express Black Card, and the diamond-studded Royale MasterCard for Dubai’s elites.

Now, MasterCard and Kazkommertsbank, the second largest bank in Kazakhstan, together are bringing a MasterCard credit card festooned with gold and diamonds.

Known as the “Diamond”, the card has a 0.02-carat gem embedded in its centre and a picture of a peacock for female cardholders and a winged horse for men.

The card, which has a $1,000 annual fee, is to be issued in two weeks’ time by MasterCard and Kazkommertsbank, the second largest bank in commodities-rich Kazakhstan, where the oil and minerals boom of recent years has created a fresh crop of billionaires.

Asked about the timing of the launch, the bank’s head of international payment systems, Alla Voyakina, said: “The [financial] crisis is also affecting us but we are talking about rich people, they can afford to have such cards.It’s a question of prestige to have such cards in your -wallet.”

The diamond was “only a design element”, Ms Voyakina said. “It’s showing your status.” The card comes as even the super-rich are feeling the pain of the credit crunch.

Spending on items such as $1,000 mobile phones is expected to end a boom that more than doubled the size of the global luxury goods market in the past decade.

However, Ms Voyakina said the bank had a target audience of “the best of VIP customers” and only planned to issue 1,000 cards.

Each would have a credit limit of $50,000, about $20,000 higher than the highest limit on some MasterCard platinum cards (Pictured above is the diamond-studded Royale MasterCard issued earlier for Dubai’s elites).

Via FT