Elite credit cards for millionaires are nothing new, but the new card that has just hit New York is different. Targeted at young adults about to enter their thirties, the Magnises card offers its users more of a lifestyle experience. Fancy parties, a townhouse owned by the card company, and even a car service are all perks offered by this new card.
Started by college dropout Billy McFarland, the Magnises card is named at New Yorker’s in their late twenties and targets them by lifestyle. The card’s application process includes questions involving where the applicants like to go to party, shop, and eat. The application process takes two weeks, and includes a Google search of the applicant and much vetting by Magnises’ staff. The card itself is made of steel and links to another card that the user already has in their possession. Costing only $250 a year to join, the card looks to offer its users something from a bygone era of service.
Magnises maintains a West Village townhouse, where card users can come after a day at work in the banking, fashion, or any number of professions that Magnises considers “elite”. The townhouse offers food and cocktails for the guests, one of whom says she was looking for a card to “curate [her] life”. Along with the swanky townhouse, the card also has on call a BMW and a driver, offers a concierge service, and even has free gym classes for its members.
Magnises has reached 1,200 users, not bad for a credit card company started by a 22-year old college dropout. But though McFarland may be a college dropout, he is no stranger to the business world. At age 13, the young entrepreneur started three companies, all of which were tech oriented. The credit card idea sprang from McFarland wanting to do something more community oriented. The perks of the card are more in line with what a young, hip, twenty something in New York is looking for rather than the more staid benefits of other credit cards.
The idea of a credit card for the elite is an old one. Most card companies have a VIP card, like an American Express Platinum or Centurion card or a MasterCard World Elite black card. These are a sign of prestige and power in the world of the super rich, and it makes sense that the next generation would want their own version of that.
These credit cards make big money for the credit card companies. As the recession continues to weaken, the credit card companies are redoubling their efforts to bring new customers to their cards. Though the yearly fees may be high, because of the status symbol of having them, people don’t mind spending the exorbitant fees.
Which is what sets Magnises apart, according to McFarland. By keeping the yearly fees on the Magnises card low, he puts himself at a mid range price point, which is exactly what he was looking to do.
With 1200 members, Magnises is looking to take over New York’s luxury credit card market. By offering perks and rewards that the other companies don’t, and by catering to New York’s young and wealthy, McFarland may do just that.
By Bryan Levy