Co-Branded Cards

Use The Power Of Partnership

Today's consumers have many more choices than ever before. They look for products and services that simplify their lives and express their individuality. A co-brand partnership is designed to strengthen the bond with your customers. It can increase loyalty, attract promising new customers, lower your acquisition costs and help keep your company top-of-mind. All can add profits to your bottom line.
In a sense, co-branding actually creates a precise kind of cooperation between all parties-MasterCard, your business, the Issuer, and the consumer. With a well-conceived and executed co-branded program, everyone can benefit from the relationship while getting specific goals met more frequently.


Co-branded cards are designed with your company brand as the dominant brand represented on the card but also contain the MasterCard logo and hologram (and may also name the issuing bank). But co-branding is more than just that. It's a partnership between MasterCard, your business, and a card Issuer that can result in increased card usage, higher spending levels, efficient marketing opportunities, and higher satisfaction and value for customers.

Please note that MasterCard is not an Issuer.


With a constant reminder of your business in their wallets, co-branding can help to elevate your brand in your customers' minds and increase the frequency of their visits by offering attractive incentives. A co-branded MasterCard card even gives your customers the opportunity to participate in rewards programs inside or outside of your relationship-remember that MasterCard is accepted in over 35.9 million locations worldwide. Monthly statements let you reach out to your customer base regularly.

Then you can strengthen retention and loyalty through promotions, cross-selling opportunities, frequent-buyer programs, rebates, and other kinds of incentives. Statements also let you understand all of your Cardholders' purchasing behaviors on their co-branded account, giving you key insights into attracting similar customer prospects. But that's certainly not all. Co-branding has several proven, powerful benefits*, including:
  • Co-branded Cardholders outspend their counterparts by approximately $4,900 per year.
  • Co-branded credit cards comprise approximately 50% of all credit card spending.
  • Co-branded cards drive usage and preference as consumers seek to "get something back" for their business and loyalty.
  • Co-branded card spend is growing at a faster rate than that of non-rewards cards.

*Sources: Nilson Reports, First Annapolis Consulting, Boston Consulting Group.The data set forth above in this study derived from information provided to MasterCard and is subject to certain limited verification by MasterCard. Certain information indicated on the study may not have been independently verified by MasterCard. All data is subject to revision and amendment by MasterCard subsequent to the date of the release of this study.

For many businesses, co-branding is an excellent way to take their businesses to the next level. But before you embark on a co-brand card program, you'll want to answer the following questions:
  • Do you have a significant database of customers?
  • Does your business engender loyalty and repeat customer transactions?
  • Is there something that makes your company distinctive and differentiates it from your competition?
  • Do you offer a range of products and/or services?
  • Do you anticipate strong growth trends for your business or your industry as a whole?
  • Do you already have an existing rewards program that can be leveraged for a co-brand?
  • Would a customer points/reward program be appropriate for your business?

If the answer to most of these questions is "yes," than you should consider a consumer or small business co-branded card program.

Before initiating a co-brand program, there are several issues to consider to give your partnership the best chance for success. The following are some of the most important:

Know who your best customers are.
The 80/20 rule usually applies-80% of your revenue is accounted for by 20% of your customers. Those customers aren't necessarily your highest-spending customers; they can be long-term customers who provide a steady stream of revenue.

Know why your best customers are loyal.
Consider any customer feedback you've received. Think clearly about your strengths and weaknesses.

Decide whether a loyalty marketing program is right for your business.
You need to be willing to offer tangible rewards with broad appeal that are perceived as substantial yet attainable. Give some thought to how you would structure your program.

Think about how you would run your co-brand program.
Designating an internal task force to run your program on an on-going basis. Do you have the staff in place to do this effectively?

MasterCard can help you determine if a co-brand program is right for your business. We'll also remain a key part of your co-brand alliance, working with you and your selected partner. From business plan development to identifying benefits relevant to your customers, to communicating your ideas to your Issuer, we can help ensure that your program goals are realized.

For almost two decades, MasterCard has been a leader in the co-brand category and currently supports more than 10,000 initiatives worldwide. Our programs have evolved in order to meet the changing needs of our partners and their customers. We've amassed a wealth of information and data analytic capabilities that we can use to create a co-brand program that perfectly suits your company's needs.

You'll also benefit from a partnership with an industry leader and with one of the world's premier brands. Our compelling brand positioning, "The Best Way to Pay for Everything That Matters" resonates strongly with consumers and is the basis for our Priceless advertising campaign, which has been one of the most successful campaigns for over a decade. We also maintain productive associations with world-class organizations like the PGA, Major League Baseball, and world-renowned music and entertainment properties.

If want to explore co-branded cards further, please contact: Mark Louw at 416-365-6669.