A staple of today’s consumer-driven economy, credit and charge cards are offered by many brokerages as a complementary product to their core investing business. While most consumers can easily obtain a card from a traditional, bank-affiliated issuer, having a credit card through their brokerage firm allows investors to consolidate their financial life into a single trusted location. Additionally, having a brokerage-related card open up the possibility to users to earn rewards and benefits specifically designed to enhance their brokerage experience. In this month’s Broker Monitor Report, we take a look at the credit cards offered by the firms in our coverage group, examining the cards’ different rates, fees, benefits and rewards.
Ten out of 18 firms in our coverage group offer credit card products, providing a combined total of 25 different credit cards. All of the cards in our coverage group are offered in partnership with the three main networks—Visa, American Express and MasterCard—and the industry as a whole shows surprisingly little variance in APR and reward point earnings rates. Firms differ most in the types of promotions or introductory incentives offered to entice prospective clients, and in similar promotions to keep existing clients engaged. Many firms also allow points to be redeemed as cash back into brokerage accounts to encourage further investing.