Stephen Squeri, the CEO of American Express (Amex), has said credit card holders were “probably not gonna see an Amex crypto-linked card anytime soon” but the company was already involved in using cards for stablecoins, and monitored for central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments from the US government.
It has been reported that he considered major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as “more of an asset class” like gold, but did not think they would facilitate payments in the same way as credit cards, given their price volatility.
“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. All of those values that occur within a credit card do not lend themselves to cryptocurrency. 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.”
However, Visa and Mastercard seem to be ahead of Amex when it comes to partnering with firms for crypto benefits from card holders’ purchases. In January 2021, crypto exchange Gemini released its own credit card allowing users to earn up to 3% back in BTC.
In 2020, BlockFi announced it had partnered with Visa to let cardholders receive 1.5% of their purchases back in BTC. The benefits aren’t limited to cardholders based in the United States — as is sometimes the case for travel and hotel rewards.
Thus, in December, Mastercard announced it would be launching a crypto-linked payment card across the Asia-Pacific region, enabling users to convert digital assets into fiat.