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Chase Freedom Card

posted by Adam Levitin

This evening I saw a commercial for Chase's Freedom Card, a Visa Signature card. The card has been around for a few years now, but what was remarkable in the commercial was that the card featured in the commercial did not have the Visa logo on it. In fact, there was no indication it was a Visa card.

Combine this with Chase creating its own proprietary contactless technology brand ("Blink") and its reduced ownership of Visa because of Visa's IPO, and one has to wonder whether Chase is laying the groundwork for ending its relationship with Visa. At the very least, Chase has no reason to subordinate its brand to Visa's. Chase is the second largest card issuer in the US, and with the dissolution of Chase's joint venture with First Data Corp, Chase is among the largest acquirers. If Chase became its own independent network, it would outstrip Amex and would have the dominate position in parts of the country (especially the Northeast). Would Chase ever become its own independent card network? Probably not in the near future, but if there are unfavorable outcomes for Visa from antitrust litigation or legislation, then go-it-alone might make a lot of sense for Chase. And that could be a very good thing for competition among networks.

Comments

Maybe this is petty, but I want my card to have the logo of the box I'm supposed to check when an on-line merchant wants to know whether something is Visa or MasterCard . . . . (Maybe put it on the back, by the 3-digit security code?)

Chase issues MC, also, so I suspect that's why they didn't brand themselves alongside Visa.

BoA has talked about starting their own network, but I haven't heard it mentioned in a year or so.

I carry a Freedom Plus World Mastercard. For this product, they offer all the MC and Visa network potential combos - World, Signature, and the two Platinums. I do not yet see Chase affiliated with AmEx at all, but they might consider it in an attempt to dominate the overall credit card network market share. They briefly offered the World Elite level (if that appeals to anyone) about six months ago but then stopped or hid it from normal inquiry. Visa Infinite I don't think is yet offered by any issuer in North America yet.

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