Credit Card Affiliate Programs - Guide to Maximising Your Earnings

Marija Krasnopjorova
29.07.20
9 minute read

Credit cards are used by the masses, with 2.8 billion credit cards currently being used globally. They’re especially popular amongst frequent travelers too; if you’ve ever holidayed in the US, for example, you'll find that renting a car out there is near impossible without a credit card meaning that people usually have one in their purse. In the US alone, credit card spending is at a whopping $3.3 trillion on credit cards a year, making the opportunity for affiliates huge.

With the right content strategy, there’s the potential to earn big money as credit card companies do pay their affiliates generously. But are there any nuances to delving into the world of finance/credit card affiliates? Or, is it simple and straightforward? Read on to find out!

What is an Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs are partnership schemes set up by businesses to incentivise people like bloggers, marketers, and influencers for recommending their product.

With affiliate marketing, a business will pay you a percentage of a sale if you’re the one who referred them to their site. This is done through custom links and tracking cookies.

Affiliate marketing is not only exclusive to the finance industry too. Pretty much any industry you can think of and any business will have some form of an affiliate marketing program and it’s easy to see why; Authority Hacker reports that affiliate marketing can account for between 15 and 30% of sales generated for a business.

What You Need to Know About Credit Card Affiliate Programs

As with any affiliate program, there are some pros and cons to being part of a credit card program. Here’s what you need to know so you can see if it’s a viable income source for you:

Pros

  • There’s the potential to earn a lot of money if you target the right audience
  • You don’t need to necessarily be in the finance niche to promote them. Most people need a credit card from all walks of life making it easy to promote credit products to your readership.

For example, in the travel niche, it’s fairly easy to promote rewards type credit cards that give your audience extra flyer miles, or, that don’t charge expensive foreign exchange fees.

Cons

  • There’s a lot of competition. Because the commissions are so lucrative, many affiliate marketers are jumping on board. Some of these sites get hundreds of thousands of hits per month, so it can be hard to outrank them.
  • You need to be extra vigilant when promoting financial products. Some credit cards are easy to market as they’re well known, like the Amex Gold and Platinum cards, but smaller providers may not have as much credibility and could lure affiliate marketers like yourself in with high commissions for what’s essentially a bit of a dodgy product. So, be careful and don’t do damage to your own brand.
  • Though credit cards can be promoted within most niches, not everyone can promote them due to stringent rules. Disclosures are essential and you can only promote them in certain ways due to the nature of the product.

With that in mind, promoting a debit card product, like the TransferWise multi-currency account with a Mastercard debit card may be easier than promoting a credit card product as you’re not encouraging people to open up lines of credit which can impact their financial status.

Join the TransferWise Affiliate Program and earn commission while promoting our multi-currency account and debit card to your audience.

Join now

How to Make Sure You Maximize Your Earnings as an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing can be quite complex, but with a little bit of strategy and some regular tracking, you can become a very successful affiliate marketer in the finance niche. Here’s what we recommend to help maximize your earnings and success.

Research the Market

Research is a key component of the process. If you’re in the finance niche, maybe find some frugal bloggers, see what they’re doing and see where you can improve on their existing articles. If you’re in a different niche, throw around some search terms and see who’s ranking at the top and why that may be. For example, if you’re in travel, you may search “Best credit cards for backpackers”. From there, you’ll be able to see what kind of content people are producing and why it’s successful.

By doing the above alongside using sites such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Moz to assist your competitor analysis and keyword research, you'll be setting yourself up to be a successful affiliate marketer.

Look Beyond Credit Card Affiliate Programs

You don’t just have to specifically promote credit cards, you could take a broader approach to financial services and guidance that will help them overall.

For example, you could promote services that help your audience improve their credit score. Companies such as Credit Karma and Experian have great affiliate programs that can help you do this. This offers them some additional value to your promotions as you’re helping them in the long run financially, rather than just trying to get them to take out lines of credit.

It also taps into an audience that doesn’t have the best credit. Later down the line, when they may be looking for a credit card accessible to those with good credit, they may remember you and your site and come back to you for further advice. By creating this long-term fan base that covers a broader spectrum, you could potentially tap into more commissions.

Alternatively, for those who just don’t want to promote credit cards, another option could be to promote debit cards. For example, we all travel right? One of the biggest bugbears of foreign travel is spending money unnecessarily on foreign transaction fees. However, with the TransferWise multi-currency account, people can shop and withdraw money from ATMs for much less than what the mainstream banks charge. You can check out our affiliate program here, we also have business banking options too.

Make Use of Special Offers Brands Have for Affiliate Marketers

Brands regularly offer promotional codes and offers to help their affiliate marketers convert sales. If you have a particularly strong following who usually converts well, you can even reach out to some brands to see if they would be willing to collaborate with you and give you a unique discount code.

Many affiliates will also send out pre-made banners, seasonal offers, and newsletters to your email address, so make sure you keep on top of this so you don’t miss out on any extra commissions. New product launches are usually a prime opportunity to take advantage of some great bonus incentives.

Best Practices for Credit Card Affiliate Content

So, what can you do to ensure you’re consistently creating great content that brings you some solid affiliate commissions? Let’s take a look.

Target a Specific Niche and Create Useful Content

When content writing, you need to ensure that you target specific keywords so that the search engines pick up your work and send in the traffic. But there’s literally millions of keywords out there, how do you narrow down what you should write about?

By picking a niche and sticking to it as best as you can.

For example, you could be a financial blogger, specialising on making money go further and being frugal. In this case you could write about the best credit cards that give you cashback. You may be a travel blogger who specialises in budget trips; in this case you could write about credit cards with low fees on currency exchange and overseas withdrawals. Perhaps lifestyle is your niche? In that case, you could write about the best credit cards that give you rewards like frequent flyer miles or hotel points.

Just remember when writing about credit card products you’ll need to ensure you’re being location specific to your main audience; if 80% of your readership is from the UK, don’t promote credit products only available to those in the US.

Once you’ve found a way to create niche-relevant content you can then start targeting keywords and making sure you’re writing about topics people want to know about. If you need inspiration check out websites like Answer the Public, Quora, and social channels.

Join the TransferWise Affiliate Program and get instant access to your tracking link today. Find out more here!

Use Data to Improve Your Content

Data analysis can sometimes be lengthy, but it’s also really useful and can help you pinpoint exactly what does and doesn’t work for your site. By going through all your existing content and checking out the bounce rate, time spent on pages and seeing where your articles rank in the search engines, you can optimise your site more efficiently and hopefully increase your position in the SERPS. Alexa has this great article to help get you started with the re-optimization of your website.

Four Credit/Debit Card Affiliate Programs to Join This Year

So, now you know what credit card affiliate programs are and how you go about getting your readers to click on them, which are the best credit card affiliate programs you should sign up for this year? Here’s the rundown of some of our favorites:

#1 Bankrate Affiliate Program

Formally a print finance publisher, Bankrate still offers individuals great advice on hundreds of financial products but also offer their own affiliate program despite being a credit card network in their own right. As a sub-affiliate, your earnings could be less than if you went with each credit card company individually but it’s great for those who want all their affiliates in one place. Their credit card affiliate program currently offers up to 300 products all with carrying payout structures and is one of the most popular finance affiliates on the market.

Commission Structure: Variable. Up to 40% revenue share per sale

Best for: Affiliates who don’t want to sign up to multiple credit card programs

#2 Credit.com Affiliate Program

Credit.com acts as a complimentary credit scoring service that then partners users with the most appropriate credit cards for them. Similar to Bankrate, they’re a sub-affiliate making it easy for you to list multiple credit card products through one affiliate company. They currently offer over 60 credit card products

Commission Structure: Variable. Said to be one of the better payers but they don’t publicly post their rates.

Best for: Those who want their readership to see what credit cards they’re eligible for based on their credit score

#3 Credit Karma Affiliate Program

Credit Karma is another finance specific affiliate network offering all kinds of products – not just credit cards. The service is free and also helps people to monitor their credit rating.

At this time, their affiliate program only seems to be accessible through other third party networks such as CJ Affiliate and Flex Offers.

Commission Structure: Please check with the appropriate network

Referral Window/Tracking: 30-day window (Flex Offers)

Best for: Those wanting to offer their readership free monitoring of their credit file.

#4 TransferWise

TransferWise is one of the leading currency exchange platforms on the market right now, and although it doesn’t offer a credit product, the multi-currency debit account can be used in 80+ countries. Customers from the USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand also have access to a MasterCard debit card allowing withdrawals from ATMs and the ability to pay with the card in the local currency allowing them to take advantage of far better rates than traditional high street banks.

Join our program today, just complete our 2-minute sign up form and you get instant access to your tracking links and affiliate resources.

Commission Structure: CPA based on partner performance. More for business account signups.

Referral Window/Tracking: Lifetime cookie window.

Best for: Everyone including business owners (business account available & earn higher commission for referring businesses)

Where You Can Find Credit Card Affiliate Programs That Suit Your Needs

Credit card affiliate programs are pretty commonplace and easy to find with a quick google search. Almost every credit card company has some form of affiliate program which is usually pretty easy to sign up to.

If you want to keep all your affiliates in one place, you may also want to consider joining an affiliate network rather than signing up for multiple different card provider’s programs. You just sign up to the one network and can then join multiple affiliates with just one click; perfect for roundups featuring multiple products and keeping affiliate accounts to a minimum.

You can join finance specific affiliates like those we mentioned above, or you can join larger affiliate networks such as Partnerize who have a range of affiliate products on offer, this is ideal for those of you who work in niches not specific to finance.

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