Introducing the Must-Have Karl Marx Mastercard

And you thought the Chase Sapphire Preferred card made a statement..

I’ve written extensively about the three different types of cards you want — those with the best signup bonuses, those that are best to put spending on (other than meeting minimum spend for signup bonuses), and those that are best for the benefits (that you don’t want to put spend on).

But it turns out I’m missing a category of card. Some get their alma maters. Or their favorite charity. They get to affiliate with a cause and express themselves, and their alma mater may get a cut of the interchange fee.

Reuters reports on a new card that those with access to East German credit cards may want to consider: the Karl Marx Mastercard from Sparkasse bank in Chemnitz in Eastern Germany.

Some explanation:

Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, some eastern Germans are once again carrying round images of Karl Marx – if only in their pockets.

The disappearance of communist former East Germany has not deterred them from using credit cards emblazoned with the image of the man who foretold the end of capitalism and the triumph of communism.

More than a third of customers at Sparkasse bank in Chemnitz opted for the picture of a bronze bust of the bearded 19th century German-born philosopher, bank spokesman Roger Wirtz said.

…”We’ve even received inquiries from clients in western German states asking whether they could open a local account with us to get a card bearing Marx’s features,” Sparkasse’s Wirtz told Reuters

NPR’s Planet Money called for the card to have a tagline. Some possibilities:

I don’t always seize the means of production from the bourgeoisie, but when I do, I prefer the Marx MasterCard.

There are some things money can’t buy. Especially if you abolish all private property.

Don’t leave home without it. Seriously, bring it with you, you may get asked for your papers.

Che Guevara t-shirt: $15. Annotated copy of the Communist Manifesto: $10. Being able to demonstrate your ideological confusion every time you make a purchase: Priceless.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. For everything else, there’s #marxcard

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of cash back and low, low interest rates. #marxcard

Who’s going to look into adding this to their next churn?

(At the very least, a Capital One Image Card becomes more tempting. Wells Fargo, among others, offers a similar service.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Haha, I was just thinking about the Capital One option before reaching the end of your post in my reader. At least, for those who have the Capital One or Wells Fargo credit card, a credit inquiry could be saved in the next churn.

  2. The City was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt(city) until 1990. It’s hardly a statement for its residents.

  3. “My writings inspired the mass murder of 100 million people. What can your card do?”

  4. Seems this card follows an old tradition. In Russia, where circumcision was uncommon among gentiles, we had a joke (in good old times punishable by 25 years of hard labor).Q: Why they only make a bust of Karl Marx and not a statue of his whole body? A: That no one will see that he is circumcised.

  5. Actually pretty timely considering that the latest crisis of capitalism (over production, bubbles in the financial marketers, declining wages in industrial nations/integration of Asian labor markets and greater inequality) were predicted over a hundred years ago by Marx. As usual the quotes here fail to recognized Marx’s admiration for capital production and conflate his theories with the practices and mis practices done in his name but with little resemblance to his actual ideas.

  6. I am not sure it’s ideology that is making this card popular. Chemnitz was named Karl-Marx Stadt for most of the time East Germany was a separate country.

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