A Hidden Gem: How Cardless Has Been A $900+ Gold Mine For Me

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Is Cardless Legit?

About a year ago a Manchester United & Cleveland Cavilers card came out from an unknown lender called Cardless. It had a pretty decent $500 launch offer (although some got $1000) and a lot of people jumped on it. At this point I was wondering, is Cardless legit? This company kind of came out of nowhere and is backed by a bank I had never heard of, First Electronic Bank, so I decided to give it a pass. Then they started launching more NBA cards, one by one. That is when I decided to start digging into it a bit more. I recently grabbed one of these puppies in my quest to earn $15K this year (look for a quarterly update at the end of the month).  I have to admit, I am a bit smitten with Cardless. Their program isn’t anything revolutionary but I like a lot of aspects about it. When I called into their customer service they picked up right away, the lady was very bubbly and gave me the right information. That is a trifecta you don’t see much these days with lender’s call centers. Let’s take a look at why I like Cardless and how I was able to make over $900 with them.

My Current Cardless Card

I grabbed the New Orleans Pelicans card a few weeks back after Danny wrote up the card’s launch.  The card comes with a $300 welcome offer after spending $2,000 within 3 months. That is a pretty decent offer for a no fee card. But, it was the earning structure that I liked most.

Source: Cardless.com.

Card Details

  • 4x points for gas, bars, and restaurants
  • 4x points for New Orleans Pelicans game tickets purchased directly from the New Orleans Pelicans or seatgeek.com
  • 10% statement credit for purchases of concessions at the Smoothie King Center, purchases at the in-venue Pelicans Team Store, and the online Pelicans Team Store.
  • 1x points on everything else
  • No annual fee
  • Points are worth 1 cent a piece towards a statement credit
  • The physical cards are numberless, which is an interesting touch. I assume for security purposes.

My Cardless Referral

The uncapped 4% back on gas and restaurants is about as good as it gets for a no fee card. The recent double Speedway promo that died quickly may have played a role in my decision here as well, as MtM Diamond members well know.

I did a bulk of my spending at the gas station and earned $368.47 in rewards plus the welcome offer once the $2,000 in spend was done.  That was a nice little win for me that took very little effort on my part. I didn’t run into any Citi verification loops either!

What I Like A Lot About Cardless

During this time I played around with the Cardless program and there was quite a bit I liked. Even though it is called Cardless, and you can access a virtual card in their app at any time, you do get a physical card as well. So if you like to use Apple Wallet or you are old school like me, you can have it either way. Here are my highlights of the Cardless program:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No late fees, if you miss a payment you are just charged interest
  • The rewards post to your account as soon as the charge settles
  • The rewards are redeemable right away too
  • When redeeming rewards your balance adjusts immediately
  • Referral bonus points post instantly too

I love that the rewards, and redemptions, are instant. That is a rarity. The app is easy to navigate and a pretty seamless process overall. A fin tech company that doesn’t have a buggy app, no way!?

Doubling Down On My Win

I already had $368 in the bank and was loving the system, so I decided to get my wife involved. Especially after the app was showing a $100 referral bonus for other members. I clicked through and saw the same offer I had so we went ahead an did it. The $100 post to my account as soon as she was approved.

Once we complete the $2000 in spend on her card that will be another $300 welcome offer plus up to $80 in earnings. That puts me at $848 in potential earnings, but it gets better.

Source: Cardless.com.

Double Referral Action

I started talking to Benjy about the program and he dug into it a bit.  He liked what he was hearing but preferred the Manchester Card because it earns 5% at restaurants (only on game days), a big area of spend for him. I wasn’t aware that each card offered slightly different earning until he said that. Expect a comparison post of all of the Cardless varieties later this week from him.

I knew my referral sent people to the Pelicans card and wasn’t sure if people could use it for the other options. That is when I called the number on the back of the card and had a super pleasant phone rep answer. Was this really a bank? She informed me that they can select any card after clicking through the refer a friend link. They just need to scroll scrolling down to the bottom of the page and pick the card they want. I was skeptical but we figured we would give it a try, for the content you know! Benjy used my link, scrolled down to select the Manchester U card and applied. He was instantly approved (they seem pretty great here, 3 for 3 in the area) and I saw the referral points in my account as soon as he sent the text.  That brings me up to almost $950 in cash back!

My Cardless Referral

Is Cardless Legit: Final Thoughts

So is Cardless legit? As far as I can tell they are. I have enjoyed the product, earning levels, customer service and everything has posted without a problem. If you play a two player, or more, game this can be a nice win for you. I plan on using the cards long term as well.

The only bad thing is that you are unable to grab multiple Cardless cards. There is also no option to product change to other flavors either. So be diligent on picking which one works for you. I know Benjy is doing two different ones for him and his wife in order to get the best cash back earning coverage.

Let me know what you think about the Cardless program below. If you already have a card, or sign up later share your referral in the comments below.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Cavs Cardless did the trick for me….1k sub on I think $2k-3k spend (can’t remember)… Free Cavs Jersey .. holiday Hundo ($100) promo on $500-1k spend (can’t remember that as well) and 3x on Grocery along with it’s other specific sports benefits and no FT.

  2. Cardless is legit. A couple years ago, I read an article in a banking journal about how it started — light reading when you can’t get to sleep. At inception, it was an independent awards program that partnered with a bank — perhaps like Bilt or X1. At inception, the bank that underwrote the credit was an industrial bank out of Utah. It grew from there.

  3. Supposedly, it’s one Cardless card forever, closed or not. Hopefully that changes in the future, but I’m leaving P2 open for something perhaps better from Cardless in the future.

    • Interesting. Lifetime is a long time so I can see why you would want to hold out a bit just in case. I have to imagine that will change but who knows. I am a bit surprised you can’t product change between the cards. I don’t see the logic in that unless it is just an IT issue.

    • I don’t think that would make a difference honestly. Do you have a ton of recent applications that led to all the denials?

  4. Looked at an applied for the Celtics card. Not approved though. How long should I wait before applying again? Been turned down recently for several applications. I did get approved for X1 card, which seems to be a good one. Very high limit on that one. No on Chase Marriott and now no on Cardless…


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