Getting your brand’s logo on a credit card is a common thing these days. Companies like UMB offer services like CardPartner specifically to allow just about any company or non-profit to have access to special plastic.For businesses, it’s an opportunity to make money off your fans. For consumers, it’s often a poor economic decision filled with outrageous fees, terrible interest rates and limited and targeted rewards.
Co-branded cards have been around for a few decades producing an archive of designs—some brilliant, some questionable and others downright horrible.
When you type in 'ugliest credit card' into Google, there's a reason this Robert Cavalli card shows up.
The pattern is one thing, but the obnoxious lettering on the right is just not the right compliment.
Gold, purple and green -- sounds like a bad Kanye West shoe.
Plenty of soccer teams have opted for branded credit cards, so it's no surprise the most famous European football franchise is one of them. This particular version comes from Malaysia's Public Bank.
Even if you are a Man U fan, this just doesn't look very good. As opposed to a gigantic Public Bank logo over Old Trafford, other United designs take a simpler approach, i.e. a better approach.
The good news for fans of the team is that Manchester United has partnered with a lot of different banks (Maybank, Public Bank, Danamon, MBNA Europe, Bluebean) over the years, so if you don't like this one, just find another bank -- maybe not in Malaysia.
The RushCards, a branded prepaid card with Russell Simmons, aren't exactly the finest designs in the business, but the Baby Phat card is probably their worst.
For some reason the Baby Phat card costs more than the other RushCards, even though it is clearly the worst visually. Pink on pink, random cat, the use of the term 'phat' -- it's just all the way around ugly.
Then there's the function of the card itself. You actually pay to use the card as a debit card, at one point $15 a month plus one dollar each transaction.
We've already mocked the Angry Birds credit card once and while it might be acceptable now--at some point it's going to be as in as a Giga Pets credit card.
Promsvyazbank is giving 100,000 fans an opportunity to get the initial run of the cards and we have our way, there will only be one run.
Fashion magazine ELLE is still in the branded card business in Europe and this 2001 Polish example proves the magazine has struggled with timeless design.
The red and dark mixture is ambitious enough, but a few images of the serif ELLE logo make it difficult to appreciate. Today, the ELLE cards are at least cleaner, but feature models--not exactly timeless.
HURT911 is a franchise of personal injury attorneys who decided to brand a card for their clients' settlements. The concept is quite simple: you get in an accident, you win a settlement via a HURT911 attorney, they place the money on a HURT911 debit card that you are given.
It's perhaps the pinnacle of the branded credit card business and one of the worst designs. The point is, with a bit of cash any business or non-profit can have a branded credit card, and oftentimes, it ends up looking as visually awful as this.
Street Fighter IV is a Japanese video game that doesn't hide too much in the name. It was released to consoles in 2009 and is popular enough to warrant a prepaid debit card, which according to the release was a first for the video game industry at the time.
It's not the worst credit card on our list, but this isn't a shining example of design creativity. Furthermore, what happens when Street Fighter V comes out?
Not only was this a candidate for worst credit card in history, the Kardashian Kard looked really bad.
Even if you are a fan of America's favourite reality TV family -- do you really want to look at this picture every time you need a latte at Starbucks. Also, the Photoshopping could have been a bit better.
This card was predictably cancelled and predictably became subject to the Taiwanese animation studio treatment.
The UFC is known for its brutality, and fortunately--brutality sells.
Offering a branded credit card isn't exactly shocking, but the card looks more like a WWE item. It's a belt, just like they have in every other combat sport--but the cropping and highlighting resembles everyone's favourite wrestling soap opera, and its love affair with faux belts, than it does a sport that prides itself with athletes like this.
World of Warcraft is a polarising video game, but it's also big business--like a billion dollar a year business.
It's no surprise the video game has attempted a plethora of co-branding opportunities ranging from action figures to magazines, so branded credit cards make sense.
There are a variety of questionable designs for the WoW Visa, but this one really seems to take the cake for being the most egregious.
Not only was Prime Mutual 's branded debit card a bit fraud-like, the plastic looks like it was constructed by a middle schooler with zero design experience.
It starts with a macro shot of the US currency design and then italicized 'Prime Mutual' over top--please stop.
You can debate over which one of Best Western's credit cards look worse, but the central problem is Best Westerns outdated 1990s logo. The attempt to infuse the logo, serif font, and the flattened globe just didn't work.
Best Western might be the world's largest hotel chain, although its not the place most people think of staying in Barcelona, but its Rewards card is a global fail.
Why anyone is desperate enough for Farmville credits to replace the iconic American Express design with one of a duck with wheat in its mouth is hard to fathom, but there probably is someone.
Yes, that is Usher, with his own credit card.
Shockingly, there aren't that many celebrities with their faces plastered on credit cards, but R&B singer Usher is one of the few.
It's not just debit cards, the singer also released a line of branded gift cards, equally as disgusting in artistic nature.
Donald Trump, your move.
Japanese bank JACCS launched a branded card for the manga series A Certain Scientific Railgun earlier this year.
We get manga is popular, but why are there six different logos on the card? It's a bit busy, a bit too anime and just a bit too ugly.
Other manga cards have been creepier, but this is one step away from NASCAR as far as the logos.
Twilight is one of a host of entertainment brands partnered with Plastic Cash International to offer prepaid debit cards marketed towards teens. There's a host of options featuring various members of the cast, each uglier than the card before it.
While there is a marketplace for Twilight cards, they suffer the same problem as all the rest: they might be passable when you are 14, but two years later they are going to look outdated, like they do today.
Hello Kitty ventured into the branded card business a while back. Since then, some of their designs have been acceptable, at least as acceptable as the cartoon pink kitten can be--but this orange version represents all that was wrong with the mid-2000s.
Eight years later, the card is predictably dated with its odd mixture of font and obnoxious background.
This wasn't a card made for older Hello Kitty fans to be embarrassed about, rather the press release made it clear that Bankfirst and Legend Credit specifically aimed at young children.
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