A bank in the Middle East released a scented credit card in January, targeting women with this financial product that doubles as a medium for self-expression. Al Hilal, the bank, says it’s the first scented credit card in the United Arab Emirates.
It may be new to the UAE, but scented credit cards were introduced a while ago. Japan Credit Bureau introduced a scented credit card (also aimed at women) in 2005, though it’s unclear if it was the first scented payment card. The JCB card reportedly emitted a citrus aroma, but the Laha card from Al Hilal is supposedly a perfume-like scent.
There’s a remarkable variety of credit cards out there, so if having a payment instrument that reflects your personality is important to you, there’s probably a product to match it. Many cards allow you to design your card using your own photos, which some issuers are now calling “selfie cards.” There’s even a card aimed at the environmentally conscious that is made of a more easily degradable plastic and comes with electronic-only statements.
For the brand-loyal consumer, there are hundreds of options. There’s a Hello Kitty card, a Precious Moments card, NFL fan cards, a Saturday Night Live card — many of these cards come with very specific brand-oriented rewards, but hey, if that’s what you want, it exists.
Qualifying for a card with such personality might be the tricky part, because you need to meet the issuer’s underwriting standards. With good credit, you have many card options available to you — the better your credit, the more you have access to, which is one of many reasons to review your credit reports and scores (you can see two free credit scores at Credit.com, and they are updated every 30 days) regularly.
From a technology standpoint — we’re talking about more than scented plastic here — there are a lot of cool things you can explore in the payments industry, like ApplePay, smart credit cards, chip-and-PIN and tap-to-pay cards. No matter what kind of payment you use, know that everyone is vulnerable to fraud, so make sure you check your statements regularly and stay on top of your credit, too.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com and was written by Christine DiGangi.