Taipei Fubon Bank to unveil co-branded credit card with Costco

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, the flagship retail banking arm of Fubon Financial Holding Co., will introduce a co-branded credit card with warehouse club Costco on Feb. 1.

Taipei Fubon Bank issued an invitation to the press earlier this week for the event, a move which confirmed that the bank has taken over rival Cathay United Bank's deal to partner with Costco on a co-branded credit card.

Cathay United Bank announced in November that it would end a decade-long credit card partnership with Costco on Aug. 7, 2023 amid speculation that Taipei Fubon Bank had spent NT$1.2 billion (US$395 million) to snatch the co-branding rights from Cathay United Bank.

Taipei Fubon Bank had not commented on the speculation until recently, when it said it would provide attractive privileges to card holders to make the new co-branded credit cards a "must have" for consumers.

Costco only accepts co-branded credit cards to make non-cash payments in its stores.

There are currently 2.7 million holders of Cathay United Bank's Costco co-branded credit card, but after the bank's partnership with Costco ends on Aug. 7, those card holders will no longer be able to use their cards to buy goods at Costco's 14 stores in Taiwan.

At the same time, people who get Taipei Fubon Bank's co-branded credit card with Costco will not be able to use them at Costco outlets before Aug. 7 but will be able to use them like any other credit card to make purchases elsewhere.

Cathay United Bank is the second largest credit card issuer in Taiwan, having issued 7.89 million credit cards as of September, behind CTBC Bank, a unit of CTBC Financial Holding Co., with 8.33 million, analysts said.

Cathay United Bank, however, has 5.57 million active credit cards, defined as cards used to make purchases within the last six months, 387,192 more than CTBC Bank, analysts said.

In 2013, Cathay United Bank took over the co-branded credit card agreement with Costco from CTBC Bank.

Once Taipei Fubon Bank takes over the co-branded credit card deal with Costco, it should see its active credit cards grow to 5.64 million, topping Cathay United Bank.

It will also move up two notches to become the third largest credit card issuer in Taiwan, with the number of credit cards issued increasing from about 4.8 million at present, according to analysts.

According to Cathay United Bank, holders of its co-branded credit card with Costco will be given the chance to transfer those cards to the soon-to-be-launched CUBE credit card program.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel