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Plastic Goes Platinum New Credit Card Comes With $100,000 Limit, Big Payments

Book the next flight to Paris, dahling, and alert all the fashionable boutiques. And leave that cash - so messy - at home. A leading credit card issuer is now advertising a $100,000 limit.

Living it up has become so much more convenient now that MBNA America Bank of Wilmington, Del., has extended its credit limit to $100,000 on MasterCards and Visas.

But the “Platinum Plus” plastic isn’t for everybody - only those who meet the strictest income and credit qualifications need apply.

That includes being able to make minimum payments on a $100,000 balance: about $2,000 a month.

But card-holders might want to pay a bit more than that. At an interest rate of 16 percent, just paying the minimum would take a person 43 years to pay off the $100,000 balance. The interest would drive their total bill to more than $1.03 million.

“This card is designed to be different,” said MBNA spokesman Peter Osborne.

While MBNA and some other banks have offered six-figure limits to elite customers before, this is the first time such a deal is being promoted, industry analysts said.

Credit limits on most gold cards usually range from $5,000 to $25,000.

American Express has promoted an elite platinum card program for about 10 years. Less than 1 percent of its 36 million cardholders carry that card, which has no credit limit but requires a $300 annual fee.

Some financial advisers expressed concern about such sky-high temptation.

“In the wrong hands,” said Jonathan Pond, a financial planner in Boston, “this is like giving your kids matches in a fuel storage facility.”

xxxx OUTER LIMITS The $100,000 “Platinum Plus” card is targeted at those who meet the strictest income and credit qualifications. At an interest rate of 16 percent - requiring monthly payments of about $2,000 - the total bill would surpass $1 million.