- Cardless, a San Francisco-based fintech that develops co-branded credit cards in physical and virtual forms, is partnering with American Express to launch credit cards on the New York-based card company’s network, the two companies said Monday.
- The tie-up means brands can create digital credit cards via Cardless’s platform that come with benefits and security features American Express offers, per a news release. The card features both companies’ logos.
- A virtual card will be added to consumers’ mobile wallet and a physical card will be sent to them after they apply on their mobile phone through the Cardless app, per the release. Cards are issued by First Electronic Bank, and cardholders manage their accounts through the Cardless app.
Cardless, founded in 2019, has raised about $50 million in venture funding, a spokesperson said. Amex’s investment group, Amex Ventures, has made a “significant investment” in Cardless. Amex wouldn’t share that investment amount.
The fintech “offers customers a seamless digital-first experience, from the time they apply for their card to when and how they choose to redeem their rewards,” said Michael Spelfogel, the startup’s president and co-founder, via email.
Cardless offers co-branded credit cards with professional sports teams such as the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, as well as the British soccer team Manchester United. The fintech startup also has launched co-branded cards for LatAm Airlines.
By linking with Amex, Cardless’s customers “will have access to an even wider range of co-branded card partners, redemptions and benefits,” along with Amex purchase protections and benefits related to shopping, travel, dining and entertainment, Spelfogel said.
Brands want to increase engagement with customers and personalize their experiences, and Amex sought to work with Cardless “because they help brands deepen relationships with their customers,” William Stredwick, Amex’s general manager for its global network services in North America, said in an email.
"Our agreement with Cardless is yet another way we’re working with fintechs to continue increasing the scale and relevance of the American Express network,” Stredwick said via email.
In another partnership, Amex announced U.S. expansion of its collaboration with payment and banking technology firm i2c in April. The two partnered to create a platform that allows fintechs and financial institutions to more quickly launch cards on Amex’s global payments network and tap the benefits Amex offers. Turning to that new tool, digital asset company Abra launched the first crypto rewards credit card on Amex’s network in June.