Southeast Asia: Amex touts 'heavyweight' offer behind Platinum card

SINGAPORE: A year after it introduced a co-branded black card, American Express has again raised the stakes in Singapore's cluttered credit card market, launching its Platinum card as a "heavyweight" offer.

The Platinum card is touted as Amex's most prestigious offer in Singapore in the absence of its Centurion Card, which targeted the US' super-rich when it debuted in 1999.

Unlike the invitation-only Platinum charge card, the new card is open to any consumer who meets the minimum salary requirement of S$50,000 (US$29,792), just $2,000 less than the co-branded DBS black card, one of two launched in Singapore last year.

However, Amex's director of PR Sujit Mittra expects most applicants to have annual incomes of around S$125,000. But Mittra also stressed that the card would appeal to a target audience - affluent and lifestyle-conscious under-40s - not defined by demographics and financial status alone.

Tagged as "the credit card with substance", the Platinum is marketed as a "heavyweight" card as it provides numerous benefits to cardholders.

On top of golf and spa offers, Amex has sealed a partnership with Raffles International Hotels to create a 'Feed at Raffles' privilege card that offers free dinning at 19 restaurants in four Raffles International Hotels in Singapore. OgilvyOne's print campaign underlines the card's heavyweight status. One ad features the card weighing down a man's suit pocket, while a second ad shows a handbag that contains the card bending a chair out of shape.

On the day of the launch, a four-page "false cover" ad was deployed across the front and back cover pages of Business Times, bearing the masthead of the newspaper. To extend the heavyweight theme, the execution made use of a crumpled effect on the paper and text. The Straits Times also ran a four-page centre spread on the same day. The publicity wave also includes a building-wrap of Robinson Towers.

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