Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Warren Buffett On How AMEX took the Credit Card Lead away from Diners Club

"Well, what originally attracted me back in 1964 was that Diners Club got the jump. They were way ahead of American Express. American Express came in with a very interesting market and concept. People already were carrying Diners Club, and American Express wanted to enter the field. They charged more than Diners Club did for their product. Diners Club had this card that had a bunch of flashy little symbols and everything on it. American Express brought out that centurion, and originally it was the green card with the guy that looked like Mr. Integrity. If you went into a restaurant, and you were buying dinner for somebody, and you had a choice of pulling out this Diners Club card that looked like you were giving a check from your mother or pulling out this centurion that made it look you were J.P. Morgan or something – you went with Mr. Integrity. They actually took over the field by establishing themselves not as the low‑priced competitor but, but as the class
competitor. It was a great marketing arrangement. Then it swept the country. The card I carry in my pocket says, “Member Since 1964.”