KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — As Marvel’s epic blockbuster, Avengers: Endgame continues to shatter records at every possible milestone, humans everywhere are dusting off their Captain America shield design or Iron Man arc reactor t-shirts to share their favourite Avenger with the world. But what if you could do that in a completely unexpected way, and in the unlikeliest of places... like when paying for things at the supermarket?
As it turns out, you can.
In line with the world premiere of Avengers: Endgame, Standard Chartered Bank Korea thought it was a good time to remind the world that it has a line of debit and check cards featuring iconic characters in the Marvel universe. (Check cards are essentially the card versions of a chequebook).
Originally released back in 2017, these cards are the result of a partnership between Standard Chartered and Disney, which allowed the bank to issue cards featuring characters and IP owned by Disney (which owns Marvel Entertainment). The line of Marvel-themed cards began with two of the most iconic Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): Iron Man and Captain America.
As Marvel released new movies in the MCU, Standard Chartered released cards featuring the Avengers who star in the movies, including Thor and Hulk as part of Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, and Captain Marvel earlier this year.
Of course, South Korea isn’t the only place where you can own a Marvel-themed card. As part of Avengers: Endgame, Standard Chartered Hong Kong announced four new Marvel ATM cards featuring — you guessed it — Iron Man and Captain America. The card featuring Ant-Man is particularly outstanding, with its subtle humour and white background. StanChart also previously released Marvel ATM cards in 2018 and 2017 with different designs.
Other than the Marvel ATM cards, Standard Chartered Hong Kong also released a special card with quite possibly the longest card name you'll ever come across: “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!” Special Edition Hong Kong Disneyland Corporate Card — Standard Chartered Privilege Pass. As its eighteen-word-long name implies, it's a corporate card that offers multiple free entries to Hong Kong Disneyland on top of the perks that come with the Privilege Pass program.
In case you're wondering, no, Standard Chartered isn't offering Marvel-themed cards for Malaysia. Its current Marvel campaign offers freebies like a Samsonite Iron Man hard case trolley luggage, Avengers reversible umbrella, and a three-day, two-night package to Hong Kong Disneyland for making deposits to the bank. No special edition cards in sight, unfortunately.
Meanwhile in the US, Marvel itself worked with Synchrony Bank to release the Marvel Mastercard. It’s a cashback credit card (like the Apple Card) that offers surprisingly decent perks, including 3 per cent on dining, online, and entertainment transactions, and 1 per cent cashback on all other transactions.
But the real draw, naturally, is the cards’ designs. Available in six different card faces, the cards highlight Avengers such as Iron Man (of course), Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Captain America. Sure, the Iron Man and Spider-Man action poses are cool, but the Black Panther's understated yet aggressive card design is particularly attractive.
Superhero themed cards in Malaysia
Malaysia's actually got quite a chequered history with superhero-themed cards. Years ago, BSN briefly brought the world's attention to Malaysia with the BSN Batman Visa Debit Cards, while Maybank had the Superman Visa Debit Card. Unfortunately, the uber-cool BSN Batman Visa Debit Cards were a limited-edition product, while the Maybank Superman Visa Debit Card was discontinued in 2017.
That same year, however, saw RHB release the RHB Justice League Debit Cards, which were also a limited edition line of cards. This year, RHB is back again with the adorable, limited edition RHB Chibi Justice League Debit Cards.
You'll notice that these heroes are all from the DC Comics universe, and not Marvel. And, they're all debit cards, which are less beneficial to use compared to credit cards - and therefore less likely to be taken out of your wallet, which defeats the purpose of a cool-looking card. Will we ever see a superhero themed credit card released in Malaysia? Given its partnership with Disney and Marvel, Standard Chartered would be best suited to introduce a Marvel-themed card for the Malaysian market. (Pretty please, StanChart?) After all, it did rebrand one of its older cards into the Standard Chartered Liverpool FC Cashback Card, so there is hope...
That said, if you really want a superhero-themed credit card in Malaysia, you could take a cue from Iron Man and make one yourself. The Alliance Bank You:nique credit card allows you to upload your own card face design (hence the wordplay on "you" and "unique"), allowing you to create your very own superhero-themed credit card. You’ll probably face issues to use copyrighted images, but with some creativity, you just might get it approved. Oh, and the card itself is quite decent, too, available either as a cashback card, rewards card, and a low interest rate card.
*This article was brought to you by RinggitPlus.com.