Abra Touts First Bitcoin Card on the American Express Network
Abra announced today the launch of its crypto credit card, which will use the American Express network and give cardholders the chance to earn Bitcoin as a reward for making purchases.
“We’ve known Abra for a long time—since 2015—and we’ve been excited about [Abra founder and CEO] Bill [Barhydt]’s vision,” Mohammed Badi, American Express President of Global Network Services, told Decrypt. “And we wanted to play our role in supporting Bill and his vision, and having an Abra card on the American Express network felt like a natural next step.”
Before the announcement at Consensus 2022 in Austin, Barhydt told Decrypt that the Abra Crypto Card is a “traditional credit card” and that cardmembers will receive a statement in U.S. dollars and crypto-based rewards in exchange for those payments.
He added that the crypto reward options will start with Bitcoin and Ethereum, with more perks and rewards coming later. According to Barhydt, the program announced today is scheduled to launch later this year.
“What we bring to the table is the rest of the American Express set of assets and capabilities,” added Badi. “So you’ve got a lot of what you would expect to have if you have an American Express card.”
Abra Crypto Card customers will be able to take advantage of American Express’s global reach while trading earned rewards for cryptocurrencies in the Abra app.
“The combination of what Abra is bringing and what American Express is bringing makes us unique,” Badi continued. “Abra’s value proposition is unique in and of itself. You bring Amex into the picture, it’s a great proposition.”
Barhydt went on to say that Abra is still evaluating which additional cryptocurrencies will be included in the program.
“There are still a few details we’re working through,” Barhydt says. “We want to have as many options as possible. And it needs to be done in a responsible way.”
Abra will make a final list of the cryptocurrencies that can be earned as rewards closer to launch, Barhydt says, noting that Abra’s goal is to ensure that people get actual value out of the crypto rewards card.
“I’m excited at the directions the teams are going to figure this out,” he added.
American Express is a part of a growing list of payment processors coming into Web3. Earlier today, Mastercard announced its partnership with several non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces so collectors can use their debit and credit cards to purchase NFTs directly.
In March, American Express filed for trademarks linked to virtual services and its iconic Centurion logo, as well as requests to secure trademarks on software for credit cards, travel, concierge services, and a virtual environment for recreation and entertainment, and an NFT marketplace.
“The American Express brand is known for experience, reward and access,” Badi says. “What Bill and his team are driving, the innovation, that they are executing on the AMEX network is consistent with what we’re looking to deliver. And what we do deliver every day.”
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