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I have one. You have one. Many people you know have one. I’m referring to a credit card. Credit cards are a way of life for millions of people globally. For example, American consumers collectively hold hundreds of billions in credit card debt to the delight of banks and financial institutions.
Credit cards have evolved over the decades. In 1950, Diner’s Club introduced the first general-purpose credit card, which could be used at a variety of stores. A few years later, American Express released a travel and entertainment card. Those credit cards were basic in that their only purpose was to enable cardholders to pay merchants with credit. Many of today’s credit cards, however, come with robust security features and reward benefits. For instance, a user can complete a transaction by entering her pin or by waving her card over an RFID sensor. Additionally, popular reward program categories include travel, cashback, and small business cards.
Cardholders generate three main revenue streams for banks, including interest, one-time and recurring fees, and processing fees. One-time fees include things like annual, cash advance, balance transfer, and late payments. Since cardholders are likely to stay with their banks for decades, their potential customer lifetime value (CLV) justifies aggressive marketing and incentives. Case in point, American Express will give $100 worth of bonuses upfront because it will likely recoup that amount and more from the customer. Secondly, credit cards have a stickiness factor that keeps cardholders loyal to their institutions. That enables the provider to market its other financial products and services to customers for additional revenue.
How to Make Money
Given the size and appeal of the credit card industry, many creators and marketers want to profit from it. Many publishers use YouTube and blogs to monetize their content and traffic. Although there are many ways to profit on YouTube, ad revenue and affiliate marketing are two conventional methods. Ad revenue comes from Google running ads on videos. Earnings are split between Google and channel owners and paid through AdSense. Companies pay affiliates when their marketing efforts result in sales or leads.
The Top Affiliate Programs
Publishers want to promote the top affiliate programs because they can yield more commissions. Although other articles highlight “the best programs,” most of them include random and unproven merchants that may not increase your earnings. I only list reputable merchants that offer fair commission rates, conversion periods, are other advantageous program terms/policies. I also consider things like earnings per click (EPC), payout threshold, deep linking capabilities, and affiliate support. Learn more about how to select the best affiliate products and programs.
The Best Credit Card Affiliate Programs
Credit card affiliate programs are a unique category unto themselves and operate differently than most affiliate programs. For example, on FlexOffers, you must apply to view and participate in offers. As FlexOffers states, “Credit card programs are part of a special category of affiliate offers. Advertisers are much more discriminating, and their requirements on your promotional methods are stringent and regulated.”
If you want to promote credit cards, it’s a good idea to have an established channel/blog and some relatable content. For instance, a travel blogger might discuss the top travel credit cards, whereas a personal finance YouTuber might review small business cards.
If your credit card applications get declined, don’t worry. It happens to the best of us. Instead, explore the many other financial affiliate programs and categories that are available. For instance, I’ve been generating commissions with money transfer and mobile bank app advertisers, including TransferWise, Revolut, and N26.
Let’s review the best credit card affiliate networks and programs (on FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate). Merchants tend to pay generous fixed commissions for sales and leads. A company might not mention an affiliate program on its website but may have one. Merchants typically link to their affiliate programs in their website menus and footers, and some offer programs on multiple networks.
Credit Card Affiliate Networks
The Bankrate Credit Cards network helps website owners generate revenue from their credit card-related site traffic. It represents U.S. financial institutions, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and more.
CommissionSoup cultivates marketing relationships by providing qualified leads with transparent and scalable solutions. Affiliates can monetize their credit card marketing efforts with CommissionSoup’s brand-name programs and exclusive offers.
FlexOffers provides comprehensive solutions to both advertisers and publishers via marketing, data delivery, and payment solutions. Its credit card network features Sam’s Club, Indigo, Scotiabank, Luxury Card, and more.
Credit Card Affiliate Programs
- American Express Canada – $100
Amex is a global leader in charge and credit cards, travel, financial planning, insurance, and banking. Learn about the Amex affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Avianca – Up to $180
Avianca LifeMiles credit cards are the official U.S. partner credit cards of Avianca Airlines and LifeMiles. Learn about the Avianca affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Capital Bank (OpenSky) – $25
The OpenSky Secured Visa card doesn’t require a credit check for approval. Learn about the OpenSky affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Indigo Card – $35
The Indigo Platinum MasterCard provides offers credit to individuals with less than perfect credit records. Learn about the Indigo affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Luxury Card – $405
Luxury Card is an issuer of premium credit cards with perks. Learn about the Luxury Card affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- First Progress Platinum – $45
The First Progress Platinum MasterCard is a credit card with a revolving credit line based on a refundable security deposit. Learn about the First Progress affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Milestone Gold – $35
Milestone Gold MasterCard has all the benefits of a gold card for those with less than perfect credit histories. Learn about the Milestone Gold affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Petal – $36
Petal’s credit card has high limits, no fees, low-interest rates, and gives customers cashback. Learn about the Petal affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Sam’s Club – $67.50
Sam’s Club credit card allows customers to earn up to 5 percent cash back on purchases. Learn about the Sam’s Club affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- USAA – $25
USAA membership offers exclusive benefits, products, and discounts to U.S. military members and their members. Learn about the USAA affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- First Access – $16
The First Access Visa credit card is available to customers with varying credit scores. Learn about the First Access affiliate program on FlexOffers.