Six Flags Gets Into the Credit Card Business

June 22, 2021, 4:11 PM · 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.

Credit One Bank Six Flags Rewards Visa
Image courtesy Six Flags

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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Replies (5)

June 22, 2021 at 4:22 PM

And just to put one last bow on this story, First National Bank of Marin started in, you guessed it, Marin County. It put down roots in San Rafael, to be precise, just across San Pablo Bay from scenic Vallejo, California where Six Flags Discovery Kingdom now entertains, ah, many guests every day. Marine World first opened in Redwood Shores, just a bit south of San Rafael and moved to Vallejo two years after FNBM opened its doors.

History! High-interest consumer credit cards! We love it, don't we folks!?

June 22, 2021 at 9:16 PM

Does this mean we'll finally get a real-life Bat Credit Card?

June 23, 2021 at 6:56 AM

Thank you for including the Capital One bank story. I could have missed the Credit One bank. I have lots of credit cards and always looking for a good deal. Now, to pay for the $39.00 annual fee it would require $1,300.00 in spending at Six Flags. This would not be a problem for a family of 4 with Diamond Elite memberships with the dining plan plan because for 4 people it would codt just under $1200 and spending an additional $100 would be easy but for just 2 of us spending an additional $700 is not easy, since the Diamond Elite membership already gives a 50% discount. On top of that my credit card already gives 1% cash back so the required break even on spending would require an additional $500 in spending so the credit card is not for us but it can be for someone with a larger family.

June 23, 2021 at 12:55 PM

One of my non-theme park related interests is credit card hacking. This card will be useless for almost everyone. The Citi Doublecash offers 2% back everywhere rather than just a few categories like this card. 3% at Six Flags is meh unless you spend a ton there to make getting an extra 1% worthwhile. Not to mention that the rewards do not appear to be cash back but rather you can "Redeem your rewards points for park admission, park dining passes, and more!"

June 25, 2021 at 12:56 AM

Mentioning Capital One - the Savor One card gives you 3% back on dining and entertainment including theme park tickets (works on Memberships too), so excluding merchandise you can that without an annual fee (and 4% with an annual fee).

I've also seen a lot of negatives reviews/comments on Credit One, also interesting that the annual fee depends on your credit level... The lack of transparency on the rewards is also a negative.

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