Credit cards, like prepaid telephone cards and sports cards before them, are becoming increasingly popular for a reason other than the obvious.

They are gaining value as collectibles -- a development that has caught many card issuers by surprise but that may have a business benefit. Like telephone companies, credit card companies might profit from selling visually interesting cards directly to collectors.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.