Don’t count the Swiss out of the war for top U.S. credit-card spenders.
UBS Group AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, plans to introduce a premium card this month as it seeks to strengthen ties with affluent Americans. The offering — dubbed the UBS Visa Infinite card — carries a $495 annual fee and sweeteners including an annual $500 airport lounge credit if users spend $50,000 a year.
With the new card, UBS “can have a more meaningful impact on our clients’ everyday lives and experiences,” John Mathews, the bank’s head of private wealth management and ultra-high-net-worth for the Americas, said in a statement Tuesday.
But the competition already is stiff. Lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and U.S. Bancorp unveiled new offerings in the past year as they seek to wrest market share from American Express Co., which long dominated the elite-card business. That’s left customers with a growing array of benefits to weigh, and in March AmEx shot back by retooling its Platinum card, adding $200 a year in Uber rides.
For its part, UBS said cardholders will be able to redeem 25,000 points for a $350 airline ticket, versus AmEx’s rate of 35,000 points. The new product will be available May 27, replacing the UBS Preferred Visa Signature card, according to the statement.
©2017 Bloomberg L.P.