Robinhood Stock Rises on Launch of Credit Card With 3% Cash Back

by 24USATVMarch 28, 2024, 2 a.m. 22
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Shares in Robinhood Markets (HOOD) rose Wednesday morning after the online trading app said it was launching a credit card, as it moves to become a one-stop shop for financial services.

Robinhood said the card is available exclusively to its premier Robinhood Gold customers and comes after it bought X1, a credit-card startup, last year. The Robinhood Gold Card will have no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and offer 3% cash back, in the form of reward points, on spending. Bookings made via Robinhood's new travel portal will fetch 5% cash back, the company said.

The new credit card will "bring us one step closer to the goal of giving everyone better access to the financial system,” Robinhood co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vlad Tenev said in a press release. Robinhood Gold members will get broader access by the end of the year to the card, which is currently only available for those on a waitlist.

Robinhood's credit card launch comes two years after the company launched a debit card.

Tenev said the 3% cash back is well above industry norms and would appeal to the online trading app’s typical customers in their 30s, college students, or recent graduates in their first jobs—as well as draw new people to its platform.

“We surveyed the entire landscape, the highest that's commonly available with no limits is around 2% ... so 3% is beyond what anyone else offers,” Tenev said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday morning, adding that the card was a "no-brainer value proposition" likely to draw in customers who aren't interest in trading.

He said Robinhood is aiming to earn fees two ways from the card: interchange revenue—the fees it charges merchants for swiping cards—and fees from people who hold balances.

“There's generally two types of customers that use credit cards. There's folks that pay off their balance in full every month, and those are called more transactors ... but it's also an amazing card for people that are building credit,” he said.

Asked whether the company, which was brought before Congress after it had issues with a capital call in Jan. 2021, could handle its rollout into broader financial services, he said the company has experienced staff who understand credit from buying X1. “Back in 2021, we were still a startup, we were a small company, we obviously learned a lot from everything that happened around COVID, from the huge spike of retail investing to all the events around the meme stocks,” he told CNBC.

The online brokerage firm synonymous with the pandemic-era meme stock frenzy reported $80.9 billion in equity trading volume during February this month, representing a 36% increase from January. It also said that it had 23.6 million funded customers at the end of February.



Robinhood shares were up 2.5% to $19.77 as of 10:20 a.m ET Wednesday. They have gained about 60% year to date.

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