Leveraging Co-branded Credit Cards to Drive Marketing Priorities

A co-branded credit card makes your brand "top of wallet" for your customers. Cardless makes it easy to build your own credit card in months instead of years.
June 7, 2023

It’s Easy to Build a Co-brand Card Today

Conventional wisdom has long held that to build a co-branded credit card a brand must have tens of millions of engaged customers. CMOs must discard that notion and embrace the new opportunities presented by digital-first fintech opportunities.

Fortunately, brands are no longer constrained to work exclusively with legacy issuers. Modern technology-first card issuing platforms, like Cardless, offer increased speed, flexibility, and the ability to service all sizes of brands. By combining Silicon Valley’s DNA for innovation with the security acceptance of an issuing financial institution and a leading network such as Mastercard or American Express, Cardless is uniquely positioned to help today’s CMOs stand out in the crowd.

Following the global financial crisis of 2008, the number of financial institutions in the United States that issued credit cards contracted as banks reduced their risk appetite. In the ensuing years, it became increasingly challenging for brands to issue co-branded cards. The lack of competition also led to a need for more innovation in card products and rewards technologies.

Co-branded cards continue to offer tremendous opportunities for CMOs to build and expand their brand. Our previous blog covered the top six reasons Why Brands Should Consider a Co-branded Credit Card Strategy.

Leveraging Modern Technology to Drive Awareness and Spend

Cardless’s modern platform enables brands to choose from various enhanced reward structures such as travel rewards, statement credits, or points in the brand’s loyalty program. While traditional offerings are usually blunt with rewards (e.g., 3 points per dollar at gas stations), Cardless can accommodate more complex rewards structures, such as our Simon Malls American Express card, with its unique experiences for Simon customers.

Sixty-four percent of US adults ages 18–65 want to receive personalized offers based on past purchases from loyalty programs

MERKLE, 2021 Loyalty Barometer Report

Brands can also incorporate card-linked offers in the card to personalize savings and rewards on an individual user basis. Consumers are looking for personalized offers: sixty-four percent of US adults ages 18–65 want to receive personalized offers based on past purchases from loyalty programs, according to a study by Merkle published in March 2021. With a co-brand card, brands can extend individual offers to users that cannot be shared and allow for full omnichannel redemption.

Cardless is a digital-first company, and its platform includes instant issuance (upon approval) of digital cards for cardholders. The digital card can be added to a mobile payment app like Google Pay or Apple Pay. Thanks to the experience, retail brands can create a compelling point-of-sale opportunity for customers to learn about a card, apply on their phone, and receive a virtual card to use, all in the same shopping trip.

“We started Cardless to ensure that brands of all sizes can build co-brand products that not only compete with but out-innovate the offerings from traditional issues,” said Michael Spelfogel, President and Co-Founder at Cardless.

Building a co-branded credit card is an important way for brands to drive increased consumer spending, extend loyalty, enhance brand exposure, and create a competitive advantage. Cardless makes it easy for brands to build this experience and capability in months instead of years and trust in a modern partner to drive a unique experience.

If you’re a CMO looking to combine brand awareness and increased spending, please contact the Cardless team today to start working on your card.

Cards issued by First Electronic Bank, Member FDIC, and powered by Cardless. 

Simon Credit Card: Rewards redeemable as statement credits only & require spend with a Simon Credit Card. There is a $10,000 annual aggregate spend maximum for 5% & 3% categories. 5% back at participating Simon retailers at Simon properties & online. 3% back only valid in-person at participating Simon properties. 1.5% back valid for in-person Apple Pay & Google Pay Eligible Purchases only and 1% back valid on all other Eligible Purchases with your Simon Card. Offers subject to change with or without notice. See cardless.com/simon for full details. 

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