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Trend spotlight: Designing your own card

Emily Crone

It used to be that credit cards were drab, outfitted in lackluster, monotone backgrounds. They’ve never been anything to brag about — until now. The age of personalized credit cards has dawned, and you can now customize your plastic with a monogram, a family portrait or even your dog’s cute little face. CreditCards.com ran a credit card design contest several months ago, and we received thousands of entries. If you’re also hankering to design a hipper card, here are some of your options:

  •  If you’re like me, your pet is like a child. Why not carry their mug around with you everywhere you go? PetSmart’s new Visa allows you to do just that. You can upload an image of your favorite pet when you apply for the card, and if you’re approved, a card with the image of your pet turtle printed across it will be sent to you. If you can’t decide which of your pets’ pictures to use, there are several standard pet designs from which to choose.
  • Capital One’s Card Lab is a nifty system that allows you to invent a credit card on your own terms. You start off by selecting your credit level, then your reward options and preferred APR and annual fee. Your next step is picking the design. You can go with a picture of a bald eagle, a tropical sunset, roses and a few other cliches, or you can upload and add your own image. Why not carry an image of your smiling children with you everywhere? Just a warning: It will be that much harder to resist buying things for them.
  •  If your WalMart Discover credit card is starting to bore you, you can add a custom image for $7.97 and have the new card mailed to you. If you don’t have the card yet but would like one, you can apply online and add a custom image at the same time. You can either upload your own image or select an image from the online gallery, and in two to three weeks, your new card will arrive.
  •  Discover is another issuer to introduce personalized credit cards, though its method is a little different. With the More card, you can’t upload your own photo, but you can choose from more than 150 designs. When applying online for a Discover More card, you can select your card’s design from 15 categories including sports, monograms, art, dogs (with 23 breeds to choose from — the images are super cute), botanical, decades, wildlife and even some modern clear designs. I had fun just going through all the images.

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