Yes, the credit card niche is competitive.
But that also means one thing – there’s money to be made by promoting the right credit card affiliate programs.
Remember, this is an industry that’s worth US$3.32 trillion per year.
This is why the big credit card affiliate marketers make 6-figures per month.
Does that seem like an impossible level of income to achieve?
It’s not, and here’s proof of what we routinely make from our affiliate marketing business:
And once you see just how much some of the offers featured in our roundup of credit card affiliate programs actually pay, you’ll understand that earning life-changing income is entirely possible by promoting credit cards.
Let’s get to it.
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Credit Card Affiliate Programs
- American Express
- Bankrate Credit Cards
- USAA Credit Cards
- Luxury Card
- Commission Soup
- Scotiabank Credit Cards
- Capital Bank (OpenSky Credit Cards)
- Upgrade Credit Card
- Avianca LifeMiles Credit Card
- Indigo Platinum MasterCard
- Credit Karma
- Credit Assistance Network
- Petal Visa Card
1 American Express
American Express (or Amex for short) is one of the big three credit card companies, along with Visa and Mastercard.
And although this brand has become synonymous with credit card usage, it’s also available outside the United States.
Like in Canada, for example – where the company has been in business since 1853.
But obviously not providing credit cards back in the days of the wild west.
Your Canadian visitors can take advantage of all the usual perks of being an American Express user, like getting a cash-back or flexible rewards card.
Plus you can earn yourself quite a large chunk of change for referring new customers through the American Express credit card affiliate program.
How much do they pay their affiliates?
Anywhere up to CA$200 per lead.
Which makes this one of the most lucrative credit card affiliate programs listed here.
But you only get paid for an approved application, not just applications submitted.
Which is obviously there to stop people spamming the shit out of this offer – this happens all the time with financial services affiliate programs.
This massive financial incentive for affiliates also explains their EPC of $644.89.
2 Bankrate Credit Cards
Bankrate actually started out as a print publisher offering financial advice to its readers way back in 1976.
They took their information business online in 1996, and Bank Rate Credit Cards was part of their drive to provide their audience with detailed information on what the best credit card was for their individual needs.
The neat thing about Bankrate is that they operate as an affiliate for card programs, but also as a credit card affiliate network in their own right.
This provides affiliate marketers like you with the opportunity to promote credit card offers without actually having to be a direct affiliate of the card company itself.
And that includes all the major players in the market like Chase, Discover, and Amex, among many others.
Obviously being a sub-affiliate for their individual credit card affiliate programs typically means you won’t earn as much as if you worked directly with the card issuer.
ut with credit card offers routinely paying anywhere from $50 to $200 per signup, you can still earn quite a lot of money through the Bankrate credit card network.
3 USAA Credit Cards
USAA has been providing financial services to active and retired members of the United States military community since 1922.
Starting out as an auto insurance provider, they went on to supply their customers with banking, mortgage, investment, real estate, and retirement products and services.
But they’re also one of the leading credit card providers, supplying credit cards by Visa and Amex.
And your potential audience for these cards is any of the 24+ million personnel in the armed forces of the United States.
So if your audience contains active or retired military personnel looking for a mainstream credit card, with a number of perks, then this is an affiliate program for you to add to your portfolio.
Now for the not-so-great news – you’ll only make $20 per approved credit card. Some of the other credit card affiliate programs we’ve seen pay quite a bit more.
So this is way down the ladder for payouts offers of this type.
But you will be appealing to a very niche market, so there won’t be as much competition as with the more mainstream credit cards.
Plus, top-performing affiliates can always ask for a better commission rate.
And if you’re going to enter the credit card niche then you’re here for one thing – money.
Credit.com sells itself as a free credit scoring service.
But they also act as a price comparison site for everything from loans and auto insurance to credit cards.
This makes them quite similar to Bankrate in that they’re an affiliate publisher but they also run a credit card network for affiliate marketers.
And again this gives you access to affiliate credit card offers from the biggest names in the industry, such as Citi, Chase, Amex, First Progress, Mastercard, Group One, and many others.
The same types of credit card affiliate programs that usually only work with super affiliates.
Credit.com has a credit card to suit pretty much any niche audience you can think of, including people with awful FICO scores.
So your visitors will be able to find the best credit card for their individual needs.
That all sounds pretty amazing, right?
And it is, except there’s one teeny, tiny problem – the Credit.com affiliate program is closed right now.
That could mean they’re sick of dealing with affiliates using cookie stuffing, or any of the other crap that some of them use.
Or it could mean that they operate a far more exclusive credit card affiliate program than most others.
I’m guessing at the latter, so it might be an idea to drop a quick email to their affiliate support team.
5 Luxury Card
Luxury Card, as the name suggests, isn’t your typical credit card.
It’s very much targeting the premium credit card market, which you can tell when you first pick it up because it’s made from a mixture of stainless steel and carbon.
Plus you can order a 24-karat gold version of it.
So yeah, this card is for a very specific market and income bracket i.e. wealthy people.
What your visitors get is a premium card that offers cashback at 2% and air miles redeemed at a rate of 2%, but with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
There’s the added perk of getting access to airport lounges in a number of locations.
You also get a 24/7 concierge service made available to you by phone, email or live chat – you can use that for everything from making a hotel reservation to finding the perfect gift for a loved one.
So, you’re wondering how much you can earn through the Luxury Card credit card affiliate program?
A whopping $405.
This is the highest payout of all the credit card affiliate programs listed here.
Commission rates at this level don’t come along very often, so make hay while the sun shines, right?
Just bear in mind that there’s a separate application process on Flexoffers for these offers– it’s like a sub credit card network within the main network.
6 Commission Soup
You’re probably familiar with all the major affiliate networks like CJ, ShareASale, Linkshare, and so on.
But have you ever heard of Commission Soup?
They’ve been in the performance marketing game – focusing on financial services offers – for 20 years now.
Basically, they’re a tenured CPA network that specializes in credit card offers, so they’re not exactly mainstream.
Unless of course, you’re looking for those types of products to promote, in which case Commission Soup is up there with Bankrate.com and Credit.com in terms of what they have on offer.
Long story short, most major credit card companies “retired” from running their own affiliate programs after the 2008 financial crash.
All those pre-approved credit cards with ridiculous credit lines caused quite a bit of bad press for them and their affiliates.
So now any affiliate looking to access such programs has to go through an intermediary like Commission Soup instead.
Their ‘Green Dot Primor Mastercard’ is a typical example of the types of credit card affiliate programs you’ll find within Commission Soup.
This is a secured credit card, which provides people with a terrible FICO score the chance to improve it.
Plus, promoting secured credit cards is more “niche”, so that means less competition for your site.
You also have a huge audience to promote to i.e. anyone with bad credit.
And from 2020 to 2030 that could include hundreds of millions of people.
Hint: There are almost 1,000 keywords with a KD score of 20 or under for you to work with.
7 Scotiabank Credit Cards
Scotiabank has been around since 1831 when a group of businessmen decided to set up their own public bank to compete with the private bank serving the people of Halifax.
190 years later and they have branches in 55 countries, and over 19 million customers, thanks to expansion and acquiring banks in other countries.
In addition to their banking services they also offer the following types of credit cards to their customers in Canada and North America: travel rewards, cashback, low APR, and student cards.
So there’s plenty to work with in terms of affiliate programs across multiple niches.
Members of Scotiabank’s affiliate program will receive a flat commission payment of CA$99 for each approved referral who clicks their affiliate link.
This converts to about US$70, which is still pretty respectable for any type of affiliate program.
The funny thing about offers with a high payout is that most newbie affiliates avoid them because they think there’ll be too much competition.
That’s rarely the case.
8 Capital Bank (OpenSky)
Just in case you’re confused – the OpenSky credit card is actually offered by Capital Bank.
They just chose to promote it through its own domain rather than directly on their own website.
This is probably also because Capital Bank is a regional bank serving New York state, so this is a branding move on their part.
Anyways, what is the OpenSky credit card?
The name might elicit thoughts of international travel, but it’s actually a secured credit card.
So that makes this program ideal for anyone blogging about personal finance, managing debt, or improving their credit score.
Because a secured credit card is the quickest and safest way to improve your FICO score.
That means there’s tons of potential here, especially if your content helps people who’ve had to declare bankruptcy.
Affiliates will receive $25 for every successful referral to the OpenSky affiliate program.
This is obviously at the low end of the scale, especially when you compare it to some of the other programs in this roundup.
But here’s the thing – there’s no credit scoring for this card, so literally anyone can get one.
And they also allow you to market this offer via email, which is unusual in this niche.
All of which elevate Open Sky – despite the low payout – to being one of the best credit card affiliate programs out there.
9 Upgrade Credit Card
The Upgrade credit card brings something new to the market.
Your visitors can get a recognized Visa credit card with a credit line of up to US$20,000.
But without the punishing interest rates that come tied to most other cards.
Instead, you wind up paying an interest rate closer to a personal loan, so you can repay your outstanding card balance that bit quicker.
In the example they use, that means being able to pay off $14,000 in two years instead of 28 years.
Obviously, encourage your audience to do their due diligence when signing up for any financial product or service.
The Upgrade credit card affiliate program pays a flat rate of $60 for every one of your visitors who is approved for an Upgrade card.
But bear in mind that a person’s credit score dictates the size of the line of credit they get with this card.
10 Avianca LifeMiles Credit Card
The Avianca LifeMiles credit card is one for the international traveler or digital nomad audience.
If you plan to travel to South America a lot and want all those air miles, then Avianca has one of the leading offers on the market.
For starters you get 0% APR for your first 12 months, then a variable rate after that.
There are no foreign transaction fees, you get protection against unauthorized charges, cover for damage in auto collisions and travel accident insurance.
Plus, as we already said, all those lovely air miles.
And now we get back up to the higher-end of credit card affiliate program payouts because promoting this card can put up to $200 per referral in your pocket.
You’d obviously be promoting it to something of a niche audience, but 15 “sales” per month would put an extra $36,000 in your pocket each year.
This is the second-highest paying of the affiliate programs in this roundup.
11 Indigo Platinum Mastercard
Obviously we’d all love a perfect credit score, but for many people, that’s just not a reality. In fact, one study claims that more than half of Americans have been turned down for a credit card, loan, or car due to a poor credit history.
For some of those people, the ideal solution is a credit card tailored specifically to customers with lower credit scores.
And that’s precisely where the Indigo Platinum Mastercard comes in. Even people who’ve been declared bankrupt can apply — and because all Indigo card payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, it can help them build up a positive payment history.
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is an unsecured credit card, so users don’t need to put down a refundable security deposit, and pre-qualification is quick, easy, and doesn’t have any impact on a person’s credit score.
12 Credit Karma
Credit Karma doesn’t run a conventional credit card affiliate program — there’s no such thing as a Credit Karma credit card.
Instead, it offers free credit scores and credit reports, as well as recommending a vast range of personal finance products, from credit cards and personal loans to car and home insurance.
More than 100 million people use the Credit Karma app, which had a 4.7-star rating from 7,800 reviews on the App Store at time of writing. In other words, it’s built a big audience and is clearly good at what it does, which naturally makes for an easier sell for affiliates.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Earning a commission through the Credit Karma affiliate program can be tricky, because it only offers a commission on online mortgage submissions.
It’s an understatement to describe mortgages as a pretty substantial financial decision, so expect a longer conversion funnel here.
13 Credit Assistance Network
Here’s another one that isn’t a credit card affiliate program in the strictest sense.
Rather than offering its own credit cards, the Credit Assistance Network is a leading light in the credit repair industry, and has been since 2004.
So if your audience wants a credit card but doesn’t have a strong enough credit score, this could be the solution they’ve been looking for.
Of course, it’s not just for people planning to apply for a credit card. It assists with a wide range of credit repair issues, from inflated and expired debts to short sales and foreclosures. That gives you plenty of opportunity to monetize your traffic.
Talking of monetization, the Credit Assistance Network’s affiliate program pays commissions of $1.25 per lead and $95 per sale, with a generous 365-day cookie window — the longest of all the credit card affiliate programs we’ve looked at.
Experian is one of the “big three” credit score providers, alongside Equifax and TransUnion.
Consumers in dozens of countries rely on Experian to tell them about their credit score and offer them practical advice to improve it.
That means there’s pretty substantial demand for the organization’s services, to say the very least.
After all, credit plays a part in so many aspects of daily life, from renting or buying a property to taking out a phone contract and — obviously — applying for a credit card.
In other words, there’s a vast audience for Experian’s financial products, which means plenty of scope for promoting its affiliate program.
As with some of the other credit card affiliate programs on this list, Experian’s offering is a little more complex than we’d prefer.
Specifically, you earn a commission when someone you refer signs up for Experian Connect, a service that allows consumers to share their credit information with third parties (like landlords or finance providers).
BankAffiliates.com is an affiliate network dedicated to affiliate programs across multiple finance-related niches, including insurance, bank accounts, credit cards, credit repair, and personal loans. In other words, it’s a bit like Commission Soup.
According to BankAffiliates.com itself, it works with advertisers and agencies to offer affiliate marketers “some of the highest payouts in the industry”.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t go into what those rates actually are. Naturally, they vary from one affiliate program to another, so you’ll just have to sign up to see what you can earn.
Beyond basic commission rates, BankAffiliates.com also runs regular contests and monthly bonus programs, so there’s plenty of scope to earn extra money here.
What’s more, the BankAffiliates.com team is made up of current and former affiliate marketers who are happy to advise on ways to drive more traffic or target profitable new channels.
16 Petal Visa Card
Much like the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, the Petal Visa Card is aimed squarely at people looking to build up their credit score. It has high limits, low interest rates, and no fees, making it an attractive option for consumers with bad credit.
Petal has devised a smart system to help it qualify potential customers. Rather than looking solely at someone’s credit score, it takes into account how much money they earn and the bills they pay.
This approach allows it to approve people even if they’ve never had a credit score. As an added bonus, it enables Petal to offer customized limits that fit the needs of individual users.
Honestly, it feels like such a simple solution, I can’t figure out why every credit card company doesn’t do it.
Okay, so how about the Petal Visa credit card affiliate program? Well, it pays $15 per signup with a 30-day cookie duration.
So it’s not the best credit card affiliate program in terms of one-off commissions, but there’s definitely still money to be made here.
Over to You
This isn’t exactly an exciting niche to be in.
And it’s a fiercely competitive niche, too – it’s fucking cutthroat, to be honest.
But as you can see from the above credit card affiliate programs, you can earn a ton of cash by promoting credit cards.
You’ll also have noticed there’s no “best” credit card to promote i.e. secured cards will suit one audience, while air miles cards will suit another.
That all comes down to understanding your niche and working in one that’s broad enough to leave you with plenty of opportunities to promote different offers.
But if you’re not even sure what a niche is, then why not check out our free training on affiliate marketing?
You’ll potentially learn more in two hours of us sharing what we know than you’ll get from the majority of paid “training” courses.