Hidden Influence: Big Credit Card Brand Colors & Their Meanings

Have you ever been drawn to a particular product, restaurant or object, but you couldn’t pinpoint the specific reason? More than likely, it was based on the subtext of color. Color affects the emotional state in a variety of positive and negative ways. Color speaks to the brain on a subconscious level, bringing up associations depending on which end of the color spectrum we’re seeing.

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For example, red stimulates hunger. This is why so many fast food restaurants use red in their advertising and decor. The same psychology of color applies to major credit card companies. Have you noticed how most major credit cards are blue, silver, and red? These colors inspire confidence, a feeling of luxury, and excitement, respectively. The following offers a guide to the hidden influence that the color on major credit cards has on you.

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credit-card color

Why Blue, Silver, and Red?

Why would major credit card companies choose those same three colors? What does the color blue represent? Blue represents trust and loyalty. It calms people down and clears their heads. The color blue sends messages of dependability, reliability and strength. On the opposite end of the spectrum, red is exciting.

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It stimulates the senses, which is why it’s such a popular restaurant color. Red invigorates and inspires. Silver, another popular credit card color, represents luxury and indulgence. Its neighboring neutral shade of grey puts the subconscious mind at ease and, like blue, inspires calm and relaxation.

Colors At Work

Knowing the meaning behind these colors, it’s easy to see why major credit card companies choose the shades they do. Brands try to incorporate all of these colors into their basic credit card. By doing so, they’re telling you to trust them, that their card offers exciting opportunities, and that you should indulge.

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Other major brands incorporate darker tones like blue, black and grey. Black represents authority. Using black as a primary color suggests strength and power. Gold, another popular detailing color on major credit cards, symbolizes exclusivity and luxury, both powerful symbols when it comes to credit card marketing.

Less Common Colors

Just because the card is green doesn’t mean it’s any less influential. Less common credit card colors, like green and yellow, still make an impact. Green represents nature and peace. Green relaxes and gives you a sense of calm, which makes it a great choice for painting the nursery or guest room.

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It’s a youthful color, so credit card companies hoping to capitalize on a younger market may use green to attract new customers. Yellow symbolizes rejuvenation and optimism. A card featuring yellow, though rare, might be attempting to suggest that credit cards offer exciting potential to those who choose them.

The After-Effect

Color plays such an important role in marketing that you may not realize how much it affects you every day. Behind the scenes, everything you see speaks to your subconscious, attracting you to make choices and buy things that you may not otherwise need. Knowing how color affects your choices can help you regain some control.

Credit card companies, like all other businesses, hope that you won’t notice. Behind the subconscious attraction the color affords might be a card that just isn’t worth getting. Before committing to a credit card, know what sort of manipulation tactics are being presented. Choose the card that offers the best features and lowest interest rates.

While you might use color psychology for things like fashion and decor to bring out the best emotions, credit card companies can use this psychology to their advantage. Being color blind when it comes to making financial decisions could save you a lot of headaches later.

James Carl is a freelance writer and financial research – he’s currently working on a piece about affinity credit card choices, including some of the top reward program cards.