What’s the deal with ‘Premium’ cards these days?

I know the ‘must have’ these days is a metal card and pretty much anyone can get hold of one from the likes of Revolut if you’re prepared to pay for the privilege.

But it seems a lot of the ‘standard’ cards now are sporting visa and mastercard’s ‘premium’ logos. Question is why? What advantage is there in issuing ‘higher level’ cards to everyone? Surely the idea of having different card ‘levels’ is so some can be seen as ‘superior’.

My Starling and Monzo cards have been mastercard “world debit” for a while, although I have no idea what advantage that gives over a standard debit card.

Then this morning I’ve received my new Wise card and although I knew they were switching from mastercard to visa, I was astounded to find it is now a “visa infinite” card.

I was under the impression “infinite” cards were reserved for oligarchs, sheikhs and footballers’ wags. :thinking:

Surely it must undermine the whole principle of having ‘super premium’ cards if fintechs are handing them out willy nilly to us mere mortal plebs…? Moreover, what advantage is there to me of having an “infinite” card, other than some entirely false prestige?

Would love to know if there is anyone out there with any knowledge of this. And why does the phenomenon seem restricted to fintechs? My other banks are not issuing these premium branded cards. :man_shrugging:

Oh and the new Wise card looks so much like an updated Egg card it’s uncanny. Total trip down memory lane!

I could be wrong but I think it’s to do with the exchange rate (Especially for MasterCard)

Hmmm. I’ve only ever seen visa and mc publish one set of exchange rates. I’m not sure they vary by card ‘level’.

Although you’ve got me thinking it might me something to do with interchange fees possibly. Where the card issuer gets a slice of the fees paid by the merchant for accepting the card.

Still think there’s something bizarre about standard cards getting premium branding though. There must be more to it. Visa and mc must have something to say about their premium brands being misused, surely. I mean most visa infinite cards have annual fees in the hundreds. :flushed:

I think I meant interchange fees tbh. I’m not very clued up. Maybe asking one of the banks to clarify might help