Pick a Card, Any Card

Cash-only perks are so five minutes ago. Today's Affinity cards are all about creative extras.
This story first appeared in the October 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

After nearly two decades tucked inside our wallets, affinity cards--credit cards that pay a small percentage to the organizations whose names they carry--are going from joint ventures to creative partnerships. Here are a few next-generation cards:

AlaskaAirlines VisaSignatureCard (Bankof America)
Best For:
Big-spending snow bunnies
Perks: Sign up for a platinum card and snag a $50 companion fare--ditto when you renew.
Caveat: The annual fee of $75 dampens any enthusiasm over the companion fare.

Elvis Presley Visa (MBNA)
Best For:
Graceland die-hards
Perks: Cardholders get 10 percent off tickets to Graceland and discounts at some shops and restaurants in The King's old 'hood.
Caveat: The low APR you start with accelerates quickly.

Starbucks Duetto Visa (Chase)
Best For:
Java junkies
Perks: This is a credit card, reloadable Starbucks card and donation-generator rolled into one.
Caveat: The charitable aspect of the card involves a one-time $5 donation to The Starbucks Foundation, which supports nonprofits.

Discover Card's WNBA Team Affinity Card
Best For:
Women's basketball groupies
Perks: This card gives you VIP-access to the Discover Fan Lounge at WNBA arenas and chances to mingle with players.
Caveat: Five-percent cash back is offered only on select purchases.

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