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Amex launches its first crypto rewards credit card

Abra Crypto Card // Illustration by Kate Walker

Amex launches its first crypto rewards credit card


The Future. After much hesitation, Amex has announced that it’s teaming up with Abra, a crypto wallet provider and wealth management platform, to offer the Abra Crypto Card. The card will reward users in crypto for making transactions in U.S. dollars and is meant to give users the opportunity to get into DeFi investing — minus the risk of converting personal assets into cryptocurrency.

Dangling the crypto carrot

Amex and Abra announced the joint launch of their card at Coindesk’s Consensus conference last Friday.

  • The basics. Once users apply for a line of credit and are approved, they can use Abra’s exchange service to earn crypto rewards and swap those rewards for other cryptocurrencies.
  • The catch. Abra hasn’t disclosed exactly which cryptocurrencies users will be able to receive, though there will be multiple options. The card will give users an incentive to choose Abra’s own token, CPRX (Crypto Perx), over other options.
  • The horizon. Eventually, Abra plans to allow users to extend their credit lines based on their crypto balances. The goal of this service would be to encourage users to trust banks with their crypto — signaling Amex and Abra’s confidence in crypto.

The card, which launches later this year, will also feature more traditional Amex rewards options, like perks related to entertainment and dining expenses.

The move is likely the first step in a larger partnership that will allow Amex to present its users with crypto opportunities.

All abord the bandwagon
Amex has been slow to accept DeFi. With this reveal, the company is finally joining its competitors (like Visa and Mastercard) in launching a crypto rewards credit card. Major digital asset companies like Brex, Venmo, and SoFi already offer this option as well.

Widespread adoption of cryptocurrency by traditional lenders signals a shift in DeFi’s lasting power. Still, given May’s crypto crash and the rapidly changing regulatory environment, it’s hard to say whether any of this will actually diminish crypto’s volatility or whether stablecoins will replace popular unregulated alternatives in banks’ good graces.

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