NEW YORK—Sotheby’s auction house has teamed up with GE Money, a unit of the General Electric Company, to launch a line of co-branded MasterCard credit cards in June. Sotheby’s says the cards, which involve partnerships with museums and high-end rewards, will offer consumers “extraordinary access to the art world.”
Cardholders will receive free admission for up to four visitors at major museums, including the Brooklyn Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, Manhattan. Sotheby’s said that more museums are expected to sign on to the program in the coming months.
Among rewards offered to clients: invitations to Sotheby’s special events, the option of having Sotheby’s auctioneers or specialists attend or assist at clients’ private events and visits to prominent contemporary artists in their studios. Sotheby’s CEO Bill Ruprecht said clients “will have access to a range of unique cultural and luxury choices that will also afford the satisfaction of supporting America’s great cultural institutions.”
Sotheby’s plans to offer two cards: One is a World MasterCard, with an annual fee of $85. For holders of this card the house is targeting those with an annual household income of $150,000 or more. The other is a World Elite Mastercard, with an annual fee of $395; it provides premium travel benefits and is offered by invitation only, Sotheby’s said.
Cardholders have the option of obtaining a standard-issue card or one replicating a work of art. The latter features an image by Old Master painter Canaletto, Frida Kahlo, René Magritte or Claude Monet.