Another big theme park company is getting into the credit card business. Six Flags today announced a new co-branded credit card that offers extra rewards for purchases at its theme parks.
The Credit One Bank Six Flags Rewards Visa offers cardholders reward points equal to three times all their Six Flags purchases, including park admission, dining, and merchandise. Cardholders get two times reward points on gas, groceries, and hotel spending and then one-to-one points equal to spending on many other purchases.
In addition to Six Flags, Credit One has sponsorship deals with Nascar and the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders, among other consumer brands. The annual fee on the Six Flags card is $39 with an Annual Percentage Rate on purchases and cash advances of 23.99%.
Six Flags' choice of partner on this card allow me to tell one of my favorite stories about a big business screw-up. If you've been paying close attention, you will have noticed that Six Flags' credit card partner is Credit One, a Las Vegas-based financial services company, and not the more-famous big bank Capital One. The two companies' logos are almost identical, leading many consumers to assume that they are the same company or at least related.
Not so. Credit One Bank used to be known as First National Bank of Marin, before it rebranded in 2006 after a scrap with federal investigators. Two years later, Capital One introduced a new logo that looked almost exactly the same as Credit One's.
Typically, a company sues another that seems to copy its logo like that. But Credit One actually saw a big increase in business following Capital One's move, servicing more than 10 million cardholders in the U.S. now. So the confusion between the two logos seems to be working out for Credit One. And Capital One has no standing to make Credit One change, since Credit One had the logo first.
Anyway, I find that story fascinating. As for Six Flags, this deal provides the company with another revenue stream as Six Flags looks to recover following the pandemic. Disney led the way with branded credit cards in the theme park industry, with its wildly popular Disney Rewards cards that it now offers through Chase Bank. The reward structures of the two companies' co-branded cards are very different, but both cards represent ways that theme park companies are trying to maintain and reward customer loyalty to their brand.
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