American Express launch first US crypto rewards credit card
American Express has partnered with crypto wealth management platform and wallet provider, Abra, to launch an all-new credit card that lets shoppers earn crypto rewards for their spending.
Abra described the new card as “the first crypto rewards credit card on the American Express network that will transact in U.S. dollars and offer crypto back on any purchase category and amount.”
TechCrunch spoke to the founder and CEO of Abra, Bill Barhydt, who said the card will allow users transacting in U.S dollars to earn cryptocurrency rewards on their purchases through the Amex network.
Abra didn’t disclose which cryptocurrencies will be available to users on the card, but Barhydt said the offering will eventually allow users to choose to receive their rewards through multiple different cryptocurrencies as well as traditional rewards such as entertainment and dining-related perks already offered on the Amex platform.
Barhydt explained that users can choose to receive rewards in the form of Abra’s ERC-20 Crypto Perx (CPRX) token or another cryptocurrency. CPRX is a utility token with more than a million holders already through Abra’s own perks program.
Once users get approved for a line of credit, they can start earning crypto rewards and use Abra’s swap exchange to convert these rewards across different cryptocurrencies.
Abra is also in discussions to eventually allow customers to use their cryptocurrency as collateral to access more credit.
“Eventually, we’re also working on a solution that will allow you to use your existing crypto balance to affect your credit line, which is something we’ll probably launch in the future. I think that’s a big benefit because a lot of crypto holders are kind of penalised when it comes to banking and credit,” Barhydt said.
American Express is fully supportive of the new partnership with Abra, with its president of Global Network Services, Mohammed Badi, saying “One of the ways we back the evolution and innovation of commerce is by making it easier for fintech to develop and scale innovative payment solutions leveraging the American Express global payments network and the Amex/i2c platform.”
Abra expects this card to be first available to customers later this year.