The best looking credit card designs
Written by Robert Bester, Consumer Finance Expert Robert has been a writer for six years, specialising in consumer finance and the UK lending market. Concentrating on consumer credit products, Robert writes informative articles that help customers manage their personal finances efficiently.
6th December 2021
3 minute read
While the design of a credit card or debit card isn’t exactly as important as how you use it, the way it looks is still a big consideration.
We’ve rounded up the most unique, quirky and inspiring card designs for you, so you can decide for yourself what the best looking one is. Whether you like a bright, colourful card, a sleek sophisticated one, or a minimal, trendy card design, we’ve picked out the best of the bunch below.
The HSBC Lions
HSBC have taken their iconic lions, nicknamed Stephen and Stitt after two former banking executives, and used them for their most recent range of credit and debit cards.
The story goes that they first made an appearance outside the Shanghai branch in 1923, but now they are featured outside branches in Shanghai, Hong Kong, London and Mexico City. People walking past have been known to rub their paws for good luck, but HSBC have recreated the design of the lion to represent the values of protection and prosperity, as well as supporting customers in achieving their ambitions.
The lions can be found on HSBC’s full range of debit cards and credit cards, available to new and existing customers to take advantage of.
The Virgin punk icons
Those who grew up listening to punk from the 70s and 80s will be delighted to know that Virgin have gone back to their roots and celebrated the early days of Virgin Records through their credit card designs.
When taking out a credit card with Virgin you can choose a tape cassette design (which might be a mystery to younger card-holders), or pick from one of three Sex Pistols designs, amongst others. The infamous band were signed to Virgin Records in 1977 after being dropped from EMI and A&M and they released ‘God Save the Queen’ to a hostile reception from most major outlets. In the same year they released their only studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols that has gone down as one of the pioneering punk albums of all time.
The Virgin Records designs are an option when you choose most credit cards from Virgin, included in our list of balance transfer cards here.
The AMEX Centurion
The American Express Centurion used to be reserved for the wealthiest customers and was seen as a very exclusive option appearing on the coveted black card. But nowadays, the iconic imagery crops up on many of their major credit cards.
The brand has recently gone through a redesign, with a modern upgrade to their logo and an improvement to the Centurion himself. Taken on by Pentagram design agency in New York, the character is now cleaner and crisper, while the logo can be used in more diverse ways due to a new typographic language being developed.
You can find the Centurion on the Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card within our list of cashback credit cards here. Alternatively, it can be found on their Preferred Rewards Gold card, as well as their range of business cards too.
The Starling portrait
Leading the charge as one of the top challenger banks of late, Starling caught headlines by having their range of cards exclusively available in portrait, rather than landscape.
Once you think about how a card is used nowadays; either contactless or by slotting it into the bottom of a card machine, the reasoning behind making it portrait makes perfect sense. The clean, minimalist design also means that all your information has been moved to the back of the card to leave the front clean and crisp.
The portrait cards are available on their current accounts and business accounts for all new and existing customers.
The N26 metal
Another challenger bank with a unique card on offer, N26 have distinctive metal cards that show off an incredibly sleek design.
The immediate look will remind you, possibly on purpose, of the current iPhone colours – rose gold, space grey and silver. You can already imagine that customers would ideally want to pair their new N26 card with their iPhone colour, resembling the sophisticated design that Apple are well-renowned for. Like Starling, all the card information is located on the back to keep the front uncluttered.
The N26 metal cards are available alongside their standard current accounts, as well as their N26 Black card that is made especially for those travelling abroad.