American Express Co. hopes to add star power to its high-end Platinum credit card by bringing musician and style icon Pharrell Williams in as the brand’s first-ever creative director, as competition in the luxury credit card segment intensifies.
The job involves setting the creative direction for premium benefits available to Platinum card customers including exclusive experiences in travel, music, dining, fashion, art and wellness, Amex said in a Dec. 15 press release.
“I’m excited to be partnering with such a globally respected brand as American Express to inspire new and innovative premium experiences and work together to enhance the future of the Platinum Card,” said Williams in the release.
Williams, 43, is a longtime Platinum card customer and “creative visionary,” added Janey Whiteside, Amex’s senior vice president of global charge products, benefits and services. “Like many of our card members, he’s traveled the globe, he has an amazing imagination, and he loves to discover and share new experiences.”
The pressure to come up with unique new experiences to keep Platinum card customers engaged with the brand is rising as rivals including JPMorgan Chase & Co. have recently raised the bar. Chase in August introduced the Sapphire Reserve Card, which offers lucrative rewards and access to exclusive events and experiences, for a $450 annual fee—the same as Amex’s platinum card.
Now Chase is paying the piper for the lavish rewards it’s bestowing on customers. Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told investors last week that rewards associated with the Sapphire Reserve card will cost the company up to $300 million in profits for the fourth quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported.
No word yet from Amex what Williams is earning for his creative pursuits on the Platinum brand.