(New Cards) A Lovely Dilemma: Which Sneaky-Good Cardless Welcome Offer Is Right For You?

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Cardless Welcome Offer

Cardless Welcome Offer

Cardless isn’t an issuer I’ve focused on much, but it has a few reward card products available which many will enjoy.  For instance, DDG shared the perks of the New Orleans Pelicans card last month.  By the way, don’t let the Cardless name fool you – account holders do receive a physical card.  Mark mentioned he picked up the Pelicans card on a recent episode of our Spending Time podcast, that, and his $900+ windfall, was the nudge I needed to look at Cardless more.  I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.  What Cardless welcome offer is right for you?  I’ll help you answer that today by stepping through the specifics of each card.

Update 7/5/22: The offers on the sports cards have dropped from $300 to $50 which is sad to see but they have added two new LATAM cards that I have added to the list. One comes with a 40,000 mile offer.

Mark’s Referral Link – Scroll To Bottom For More Options

But Wait!

At a glance, each Cardless welcome offer is identical.  Every Cardless welcome offer is has been dropped to a paltry 5K worth $50 except for the LATAM cards.  There isn’t an annual fee or foreign transaction fee on any Cardless product.  It would be easy to assume other card aspects are the same, also.  Being the rewards dork I am, I decided to click and scroll through each card.  I immediately discovered significant differences.  With Cardless, I found it’s even more key to look beyond the welcome offer for the best product long term.  Here we go.

Current Cardless Offerings

Right now, Cardless offers five different cards with a remarkably random selection of sports teams.  You can enjoy cards from:

  • Manchester United
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Miami Marlins
  • Boston Celtics
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • LATAM Airlines World Elite Mastercard
  • LATAM Airlines Mastercard

Here are the primary benefits of each card followed by my thoughts.

LATAM Airlines World Elite Mastercard

Earn 40,000 miles after spending $2,500 within the first 3 months. The card has a $99 annual fee which is not waived. The spending structure is as follows:

  • 4x LATAM Airlines purchases
  • 3x Restaurants
  • 3x Rideshare, taxis, and public transit
  • 1x Everything else
  • 2 free LATAM lounge passes each year

My Thoughts: The card has a decent earning structure for an airlines co-branded card, probably better than most. But it earns LATAM miles which are more niche than most. If you have a great use for them then this is an okay offer from a lender that is off the radar a bit.

LATAM Airlines Mastercard

Earn 15,000 miles after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. The card has no annual fee. The earning structure is as follows:

  • 3x LATAM Airlines purchases
  • 2x Restaurants
  • 2x Rideshare, taxis, and public transit
  • 1x Everything else

My Thoughts: If you are going to grab one of the LATAM cards the $99 annual fee card offers a lot more value. This is a pass, especially since you can hold only one Cardless card.

Cardless Welcome Offer
Source: Cardless.com.

Manchester United

  • 5x points at bars, restaurants, and select food delivery services on match days
  • 5x points on select rideshare and streaming services
  • 1x points on everything else
  • 10%  off at The Official Manchester United Megastore, Red Cafe, and United Direct
  • Get a monthly statement credit towards Peacock Premium with every $500 in monthly spend.
Redemption Options:  Autographed merchandise, Fanatics gift cards for Manchester United gear (1 point is 1.25 cents), or statement credit of 1 cent per point.
My Thoughts:  Earning 5% back on dining with a no annual fee card is the standout here.  Sure, that’s just on match days, but those are primarily over weekends when many spend most on dining.  Cardholders also enjoy strong 5% back earning on rideshare and streaming services.  The Peacock perk is particularly attractive for those who don’t hold Peacock benefits an Amex Platinum.

Cardless Welcome Offer
Source: Cardless.com

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 5x points on Cavs season tickets and select streaming services
  • 3x points on other Cavs tickets, bars & restaurants, groceries, and select food delivery services
  • 1x points on everything else
  • 10% off purchases at the Cavaliers Team Shop (in-venue and online)

Redemption Options:  Cavs merchandise (some autographed), Fanatics gift cards for Cavs gear (1 point is 1.25 cents), or statement credit/donations of 1 cent per point.

My Thoughts:  Earning 3% back on grocery and dining with a no annual fee card is solid, but many of us do just as well or better with other cards we already hold.  The streaming services bonus category is nice but not significant enough to warrant obtaining the card.  Cavs fans probably do best here.  Otherwise, unless you highly value the grocery category and have no better alternatives, you should probably avoid this one.

Cardless Welcome Offer
Source: Cardless.com.

Miami Marlins

  • 5x points on Marlins tickets purchased through MLB.com
  • 3x points at bars & restaurants, gas, drugstores, and select food delivery services
  • 1x points on everything else
  • 5% off at retail and concessions at loanDepot park
Redemption Options:  Autographed merchandise, Fanatics gift cards for Marlins gear (1 point is 1.25 cents), or statement credit of 1 cent per point.  Transfers to Home Run Rewards (10 Cardless points is 1 Home Run Rewards point).
My Thoughts:  Meh.  This card has 3% back on drug store purchases, but we’re better off using a Chase Freedom Flex there.  Every other significant bonus category is superior on a different Cardless product.  Only Marlins fans (if they exist) should consider this card.

Source: Cardless.com.

Boston Celtics

  • 7x points on Celtics tickets, select rideshare and streaming services
  • 4x points bars & restaurants
  • 2x points on groceries and drug stores
  • 1x points on everything else
  • 20% off purchases at the online Celtics shop
Redemption Options:  Autographed merchandise, Fanatics gift cards for Celtics gear (1 point is 1.25 cents), or statement credit of 1 cent per point.
My Thoughts:  There’s good stuff here.  Continuously earning 4% back on dining with a no annual fee card is extremely rare (if it exists).  Earning 7% back on rideshare and streaming services is remarkable for some but maybe too niche for others.  Cardless complementing the Celtics card with 2% back on groceries and drug stores is a nice touch but probably not useful for many points enthusiasts.

Source: Cardless.com.

New Orleans Pelicans

  • 4x points on Pelicans tickets, gas, bars & restaurants, and select food delivery services
  • 1x points on everything else
  • 10% off concessions at the Smoothie King Center
  • 10% off at the Pelicans Team Store (in-venue and online)

Mark’s Referral Link – Scroll To Bottom For More Options

Redemption Options:  Autographed merchandise, Fanatics gift cards for Pels gear (1 point is 1.25 cents), or statement credit of 1 cent per point.
My Thoughts:  Some may consider this the best all-around one of the Cardless bunch.  The card has generous 4% back earning in the staple categories of gas and dining.  However, depending on one’s existing card portfolio and their bonus category needs, they may do better with a different Cardless product, particularly the Manchester United or Celtics cards.

Cardless Welcome Offer
Cardless referral bonuses are easy money.

Referral Bonuses

Existing cardholders can receive 10k points when they refer someone who is subsequently approved for the card.  Similar to Amex, the cardholder who refers obtains the bonus even if the individual applies for a different Cardless product.  For instance, Mark, a Pelicans cardholder, received the 10k referral bonus when I recently applied for the Manchester United card.

Of course, this works out great for those in the rewards hobby in two-player mode with a spouse or domestic partner.  Taking into account two welcome offers and a referral bonus, that’s 70k points ($700 in statement credits) on $4k spend.  And that’s before incorporating the rewards on the spend to get there.

Mark’s Referral Link – Scroll To Bottom For More Options

Conclusion

Taking everything into account, I consider three of the five cards sneaky-good: Manchester United, Boston Celtics, and New Orleans Pelicans (when the welcome offers are $300).  None of the cards immediately jump out and grab you.  But hobbyists can do extremely well with these three no annual fee cards, which open up excellent bonus categories for high spend while providing solid welcome offers and referral bonuses.  I consider the Cavs and Marlins products as “fans only” cards – everyone else should probably stay away.  As a new Manchester United cardholder, I look forward to tinkering, and I’ll be referring my wife.  Will she choose the Celtics or Pelicans card?  We’re currently assessing, but I’ll let you know!  Which Cardless welcome offer did you pursue?  Why?

If you sign up be sure to share your referrals in the comments section below!

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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