American Express has hinted that cardmembers may be able to use Membership Rewards points for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. Despite the dangling carrot of crypto rewards, however, Amex has no plans to introduce a crypto-linked credit card in the immediate future.
Amex Doesn’t See Short-Term Future for Crypto Rewards
Speaking with Yahoo! Finance earlier this week, Stephen Squeri, Amex’s CEO stated that while Amex had no intent of launching a crypto credit card anytime soon, the company was already involved in using cards for stablecoins and monitored by the U.S. government for central bank digital currency developments.
“You don’t have the service with [crypto], you don’t have the dispute rights with it, you’re not getting rewards, and you’re not extending credit,” said Squeri. “All of those values that occur within a credit card do not lend themselves to cryptocurrency.”
Instead, Squeri stated that Amex views cryptocurrencies in the same asset class as gold or silver – particularly given the extreme volatility in the crypto market. This volatility makes a credit card that earns points or cash back as cryptocurrency is currently unfeasible to Amex. “We’re exploring other ways, potentially, to redeem your membership rewards points, but I don’t think you’re going to see an American Express card linked to cryptocurrency anytime soon,” he added.
Amex Falling Behind Visa and Mastercard with Crypto
Both Visa and Mastercard appear miles ahead of American Express regarding crypto and credit cards. Mastercard and Visa both feature crypto rewards credit cards, including Mastercard’s Gemini Card and Visa’s BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature and the Upgrade Visa® Card with Bitcoin Rewards.
Mastercard’s crypto-integration includes fast-tracking projects with digital currencies – especially stablecoins. According to Jessica Turner, Mastercard’s global head of new digital infrastructure and fintech, the preference for stablecoin is no accident. To Turner, stablecoin represents the best option in the world of volatile cryptocurrencies.
Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program seeks to accelerate the integration process of fintech companies into the traditional credit card space. The program has seen numerous product launches, including the BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card.
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