• American Express CEO said that crypto is an asset class similar to gold, but the company has no plans to offer a crypto-linked card
  • AmEx may explore crypto with membership rewards points

Despite digital assets’ status as a gold-like asset class, American Express is not planning on offering clients a cryptocurrency-linked credit card anytime soon, AmEx CEO Stephen Squeri said Monday.  

“I look at crypto really as more of an asset class, I sort of view it as gold,” Squeri said during Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit. “I don’t see it as really something that’s going to make inroads from a credit card perspective, or even a debit card perspective, in terms of payment,” 

The infrastructure around digital assets needs to become more substantial and the asset class is currently too volatile to pursue this opportunity, Squeri said. 

The news comes shortly after Squeri said that cryptocurrencies will not disrupt AmEx’s current business model during the company’s third-quarter earnings call Friday. 

“I don’t see any point where crypto is going to be a threat to card payments,” he said during the call. 

Just as AmEx customers do not use their credit cards to purchase securities, Squeri said, he does not expect them to focus on buying cryptocurrencies with their cards either. 

There might be other cryptocurrency-related opportunities for customers down the line, Squeri said. These could include redeeming rewards points for digital assets and the company is involved with using AmEx cards for stablecoins, he said. 

The announcement comes as Mastercard announced its plans to offer clients cryptocurrency-linked credit and debit cards Monday.

​​“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing,” Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, said in an interview. “Our partners, be they banks, fintechs or merchants can offer their customers the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency through an integration with the Baktt platform.”

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    Casey Wagner is a New York-based business journalist covering digital assets and macro economics. Prior to joining Blockworks, she reported on markets at Bloomberg News. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Media Studies.