Instead of earning airline miles or cash back for cardholders, a new credit card introduced by William Blair & Co. and MBNA filters customer rebates into clients’ securities and mutual fund accounts.

The card – part of the first-of-its-kind "Invest As You Spend" program but similar to the 529-linked UPromise program – will possess competitive interest rates, high credit limits and be steered toward high-net-worth investors.

William Blair’s head of private investing, Carlette McMullan, said the main benefit of the new credit card will be that clients will be investing without putting much effort into it.

MBNA’s status as the largest credit card company in the world offers protection and security to William Blair, which has never delved into the credit card business.

Said William Blair President and COO John Ettelson: "We are very much committed to our clients’ financial success and helping them identify avenues to meet their goals of asset growth and wealth preservation."

The unique partnership between an investment firm and credit card company raises one major question – will fund wholesalers one day ask investors, "Is that cash, or credit?

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