Venmo Launches New Credit Card

Venmo has debuted its first physical credit card for users, helping to bridge the gap between physical and digital payment practices.

Venmo, which is owned by PayPal Holdings, is finally making good on its promises after it announced in October of 2019 that it would launch its first credit card.

The company is rolling out the ability this week for its app users to apply via the Venmo app. The new card is issued by Synchrony Financial. Anyone who is 18 or older, lives in the US, and has a Venmo account in good standing open for at least 30 days may apply.

According to the company, the Venmo credit card can be used everywhere Visa cards are accepted.

Venmo does not charge an annual fee for the credit card, but other fees are standard for credit cards, including cash advances and late and returned payments and interest.

The card also offers unique design options for its users. Cardholders can choose from five available color schemes, including “Nightlife black” and “Cotton Candy pink.” Once users receive their card, they must scan the card’s unique QR code printed in the front with the Venmo app to activate it.

Venmo is seeking to bridge the gap between the digital and physical money practices of its users. Venmo wants its users to use the e-code on the card to bring the digital experience of splitting checks and purchases via Venmo, which is a significant part of Venmo’s appeal, into the physical world.

“When you’re out for dinner and everyone throws their card into the folio, the waiter has to split the check between four or five cards. Whereas here, I can throw my card into the center, and everybody else can quickly scan my code, link to my Venmo and push the funds to settle,” said Darrell Esch, senior vice president, and general manager of Venmo.

The credit card can also be easily managed directly in the Venmo app. Users will have the ability to view their spending activity, track their rewards, and make payments using their Venmo balance to pay off the card. The virtual card can also be used to shop online, even before the physical card arrives.

The card also minimizes physical contact with its touchless payment capabilities, an incredibly attractive option during the pandemic.

“The Venmo Credit Card offers the Venmo community a dynamic rewards experience that only Venmo can offer, maximizing opportunities to earn cash back. Each month, customers automatically earn cash back on the categories where they spend the most, earning up to 3 percent cash back on their top spend category, up to 2 percent back on the second highest, and up to 1 percent back on all other purchases,” said Venmo in a statement.

The reward option from the company is somewhat unique in the industry, according to Sara Rathner, a credit card expert at NerdWallet. While other credit card companies also have rewards programs, Venmo allows rewards to be earned across eight categories. Giving users’ the flexibility to have their top categories switch from month to month offers the company an advantage.

Unlike Apple Pay’s Apple Card, Venmo doesn’t incentivize touchless purchases. Currently, Apple Card offers incentives by paying out a higher cashback percentage for Apple Pay transactions. However, Venmo’s credit card does come equipped with an RFID chip for tap-to-pay transactions at point-of-sale.

Compared to traditional Visa cards, Venmo’s credit card offers the Visa Traditional Credit Card benefits, as well as travel and lifestyle perks for Visa Signature cardholders.

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