The Cleveland Cavs Credit Card: This Fan Is Intrigued

The Cleveland Cavs Credit Card: This Fan Is Intrigued

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This article is presented by Cardless, but opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider.
If you’re in a rush:
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers credit card (and the similar Manchester United card) has a bonus of 25k points — worth at least $250 in statement credits
  • For a Cavs fan who goes to even a game or two a year, this is a no-brainer rewards card
  • Even if you're not a committed fan, look at these cards for best-in-class rewards on Streaming Services — with no annual fee

“Wham with the right hand.” 

That was the trademarked call from Joe Tait, radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers, when the home team would score a slam dunk. Cable wasn’t available where I grew up back then, and not many games were on broadcast TV, so radio it was.

I’ve been a Cavs fan for as long as I can remember

I grew up with the the Cavs of the late ’80s and ’90s, who were a pretty lovable bunch. I’ll probably sound like an old fart, but I think that was the golden era of the NBA. The players were still semi-average guys that just happened to be a bit taller than the rest of us. They weren’t all freakish athletes, didn’t work out continuously, and it wasn’t that long ago that some of them even had side hustles in the offseason. 

Well, some of them weren’t even taller than the rest of us.

Mark Price was, and still is, my favorite Cavs player of all time (sorry LeBron) as he made kids across Ohio believe that if they just worked hard enough, they could get to the NBA even if they had no more than average height or speed. But I fell in love with the rest of the team too — Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, and John “Hot Rod” Williams all seemed like the kind of guys you would have over to your house to watch NASCAR and drink beer. In fact, those guys may have longed more for car racing than basketball, they just grew too tall for the driver’s seat. 

As you can imagine, that played well in Ohio back then too. 

Finally there was Craig Ehlo, who showed us what happens when a guy who looks like a pretty average dude tries to guard Michael Jordan. In a series-deciding playoff game. With six seconds on the clock.

Speaking of The Shot, I can still remember where I was for other Cavs moments too.

I was in Boston in 2003 when the ping pong balls bounced perfectly, giving the Cavs the right to select LeBron James with the #1 pick. I watched Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals — when LeBron scored 25 straight points in a double overtime win over the Detroit Pistons — at my uncle’s house in Ohio. And I watched Game 2 of the NBA Finals that year in Denver with my future wife. (The Cavs were swept, but we didn’t care!)

Then the unthinkable happened. 

I was on a plane to Edmonton to backpack in Jasper National Park when LeBron made The Decision to take his talents to South Beach. That was before inflight wifi, let alone streaming video, so I guess I was spared the agony of watching it live. 

I was working in my home office when, almost exactly four years later, he unexpectedly announced that he was coming home. And I woke my kids up to celebrate the Game 7 win over the Warriors in 2016 so that they could at least say they saw one Cleveland team win a title in their lifetime! 

So all that said, I was intrigued when I learned about the Cleveland Cavaliers credit card from Cardless. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has a reputation for being innovative, and obviously has a background in consumer finance stemming from his Quicken Loans heritage, so it should be no surprise that the Cavs were the NBA launch partner for this fan-based credit card. 

While the Cavs card is obviously targeted at Cavs fans, I think it’s worth knowing about this card even if you cheer for a different team because the odds are good that Cardless will be rolling out a card for your team soon enough.

The Cleveland Cavaliers credit card offers strong rewards

The Cleveland Cavaliers credit card offers:

  • 5x points on Cavs season tickets and streaming services
  • 3x points on other Cavs tickets (single game), dining, and grocery delivery
  • 1x points on everything else
  • 10% discount at the Cavs team store

Then you can redeem your points at a rate of:

  • 1.25 points per dollar for Cavs gift cards,
  • 1 point per dollar for a statement credit
  • 1 point per dollar as a donation to the Cleveland Cavaliers Charity

For those that have significant spend in what I’ll call the Cavs Category, the Cavs credit card is probably a slam dunk — I mean, a wide open 3-point shot in today’s game.

Assuming that you redeem your rewards for statement credits, that would mean getting a 5% rebate on season tickets and a 3% rebate on single game tickets. You’d do even better if you redeem for Cavs gift cards. Even if you attend only a few games a year with family or friends, and I know plenty that do, it’s not hard to see how this will add up to some decent savings.

That’s not to mention the in-season experiences available with these points, such as arena tours, upgrades, or invitations to watch closed-door practices.

But say you’re not a Cavs fan (though Cardless offers some alternative options with that same 5x rate, which I’ll get into below), the 5x rewards in the streaming service category is still one of the highest available, particularly among no annual fee cards. This would apply to audio and video services like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+.

Then add in grocery and delivery where 3x rewards is also competitive, particularly given there are no monthly or annual limits to how much you can earn. We started using Shipt & Instacart during the pandemic and have no plans to return to the grocery store even as things start getting back to normal.

The Cavs Credit Card signup bonus

The Cavs card also has a pretty good signup bonus, as no annual fee cards go. The welcome bonus is 25,000 points after spending $2500 in the first three months. Assuming that you redeem for a statement credit at 1 cent per point, that translates to at least a $250 bonus.

What if you’re not a Cavs fan?

If you’re not a Cavs fan — which I suppose is a possibility — Cardless has other sports-affiliated credit cards, and right now you can get the same welcome bonus. Minus the ability to redeem for a Cavs jersey, of course.

Manchester United credit card

Look, I don’t know much about soccer, other than that the rest of the world calls it football, though I have been to England a few times, and I’m a Premier 1K on United. But I respect a team that can build a strong fan base, and there are some things here that seem like they’ll appeal to Manchester fans.

The ManU card offers:

  • 10% off at The Official Manchester United Megastore, Red Cafe, and United Direct
  • 5x points at bars/restaurants on match days
  • 5x points on rideshare and streaming services
  • 1x points on everything else

Like the Cavs card, you can earn an additional 25,000 points as a signup bonus after $2500 of spend in the first 3 months. And those points can be used for statement credits, discounts, or game suites, stadium tours, and other ManU fan experiences.

A bit about Cardless

Cardless is the fintech (financial technology) company behind the Cavs card. You can think of them as a tech startup that is backed by a bank that is rolling out highly specialized and targeted credit cards to fans for the most popular teams around the world. The Cavs are their launch partner in the NBA, but they’ve previously rolled out a credit card for Manchester United fans in the United States.

The point here is that even if — for reasons that are beyond me — you aren’t a Cavs fan, there may be a Cardless card coming out for your favorite team in the future. 

The Cardless name sounds like this is all digital, but that’s not the case. You do in fact receive a card in the mail, but it doesn’t actually have your account number on it, just a chip. That means it’s easier to replace if you lose your card since they can issue a new one without changing your account number. There is also an app that has access to virtual cards. 

The downside, and real head scratcher here, is that Cardless currently only has the app available for iPhone, although supposedly the Android version is just “weeks” away. 

Bottom line

The Cleveland Cavaliers Credit Card by Cardless is probably a slam dunk for any Cavs fan that attends more than a game or two per year since it easily offers the best rewards for spending in the Cavs Category

For everyone else, it’s probably a floater in the lane — effective, if not flashy. That’s because it earns some of the best rewards in the industry in the streaming, grocery, and delivery categories, particularly among no annual fee cards.

And in the unlikely event that the Cavs aren’t your team, take a look at the Manchester United card, and stay tuned as Cardless is likely to be rolling out more fan-based cards in the future. 

Or you could reserve your spot now on the Cavs bandwagon now for when LeBron comes back for his third go-around. 

Hey, a guy can dream, right?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Jay

    LOL..., Imagine applying for a card Bc it offers 5x on streaming services (at most $2-5 back a month)

    This is a really terrible card. There is no reason anyone should get it

    1. Eskimo

      For a no fee card that gives $500 + a jersey, that's enough reason for many people to get it.
      And those who got the (back stabbing) windfall, it's $1000 + a jersey.

      Others get it because they are loyal fans, like Travis.

    2. jay

      respectfully disagree that its good for loyal fans.

      travis says its a great value for ppl who go to 1-2 cavs games a year bc its 3x back... thats 1x more then a double cash. so even if your outlay for those 1-2 cavs games was somehow $1000, the extra "value" on this card is $10. in reality, your outlay will be much much less

      and the current bonus is $250.

  2. Jerry

    200,000 points for a jersey signed by a dude I've never heard of. Doesn't OMAAT exist to encourage people not to do this sort of thing?

    1. Eskimo

      I don't know exactly who you're referring to, but if you are referring to the 1 of the 4 screenshots of multiple choices it's because you're like a typical ignorant American.
      They are football (soccer) players.

      You can probably ask the same question for 3 of 4 screenshots in UK and you'll get an exact same answer as you said from a typical ignorant Brit.

      But yes, $2000 for a signed jersey that isn't...

      I don't know exactly who you're referring to, but if you are referring to the 1 of the 4 screenshots of multiple choices it's because you're like a typical ignorant American.
      They are football (soccer) players.

      You can probably ask the same question for 3 of 4 screenshots in UK and you'll get an exact same answer as you said from a typical ignorant Brit.

      But yes, $2000 for a signed jersey that isn't worn, is the same kit as their tenure, and not dead, is quite expensive even with a COA.

  3. Joe1293

    Yes, Travis is back!
    Will there be a Cleveland Browns Credit Card?

  4. Francisco C

    Is your worse moment the Jose Mesa 10th inning World Series game 7 loss? If so, then we pretty much have the same childhood highs and lows! Great post

  5. Andrew

    Yea... Can't see the use of this card for the cost of a pull. You would have to be a season ticket holder for this to be even considered. The streaming rate is nice, but not enough to get this card.

  6. Eskimo

    Yes, way to go Cardless.
    What you did recently is BACKSTABBING YOUR EARLY CUSTOMERS.

    You double the value of points because it sucks and nobody but EARLY CUSTOMERS who BELIEVED in Cardless applied. Then those early customers redeemed their points at the 0.5 cent rate just to find out the card sucks so bad they have to double the points.
    Not just the CAVS card, same goes with the MAN UTD card. You...

    Yes, way to go Cardless.
    What you did recently is BACKSTABBING YOUR EARLY CUSTOMERS.

    You double the value of points because it sucks and nobody but EARLY CUSTOMERS who BELIEVED in Cardless applied. Then those early customers redeemed their points at the 0.5 cent rate just to find out the card sucks so bad they have to double the points.
    Not just the CAVS card, same goes with the MAN UTD card. You want people to apply for the card at a "higher redemption rate" just to backtrack and give everyone that rate.

    If they are willing to screw early backers, they will screw anyone.

    YOU ARE DESTROYING THE GOODWILL OF YOUR EARLY BACKERS.
    MAKE THINGS RIGHT, TREAT YOUR EARLY CUSTOMERS BETTER.

  7. RMS

    As a die hard Cleveland sports fan and also a big 90's Cavs fan, this is now the best post in OMAAT history. Mark Price was and still is my favorite Car ever. Watch his 3point contest wins on Youtube.

  8. Greg

    Cardless = MBNA 2006

    You've got to be a real die hard fan to waste a pull on this intro deal. These points are only worth 1 cent each, so even with the 3x category it's behind a basic Citi Double Cash 2x points plus 2-5 cent per point value with travel transfer partners.

    We're here for travel rewards

  9. Mark

    Nice to hear from you Travis!

    I appreciate OMAAT being able to look at this from a fan's perspective, regardless of the post being sponsored or not. I don't spend much on streaming, so as-is these cards don't make much sense for me, but if they could get me rebates on Seahawks or Sounders tickets I'd definitely be interested.

  10. GBOAC

    Please label this post and others that undoubtably will be posted as Cardless sponsored marketing posts on the blog page itself so we can avoid spending any time on the post.
    Thank you

    1. Todd

      GBOAC, aren't you the same leech who has been encouraging everyone to install ad blockers?

      Most of us recognize that Lucky & Team need ways to pay for the free content they provide. You obviously weren't interested in this post to begin with, and no one forced you to click on it.

      @Ben/Tiffany - Thanks for always disclosing the paid stuff. Many sites these days are limiting access for people running ad blockers. You should look into it.

    2. Eskimo

      @GBOAC

      They did label it you dummy. OMMAT is doing a very good job at disclosing this.
      If you really did spend time to read, you would see it right at the very top.

      You seem to be the person who ignores trespassing or hazard warnings and get yourself killed.
      How many times did you try to stick your finger into an electrical socket?

    3. GBOAC

      When I first looked at the blog page it was positioned as a regular post: it was not labeled or positioned as it is now. So this "dummy" may have been responsible from sparing you and others from that. I accept your thanks in advance:-)

      Your second paragraph seems to come out of nowhere. I wonder how you came up with that conclusion.

    4. pstm91

      To be fair to this comment, the orange summary/headline does draw your eyes past the disclosure. Ben/OMAAT does do a great job of disclosing ads and always being transparent, a huge part of the reason myself and most of the other regulars readers are just that. With that said, the disclosure was more obvious on the previous format. I think the shaded box could be darker, or the font italicized like it used to be or something similar.

    5. Tiffany

      @ GBOAC -- FWIW, your comment had no impact on the placement or labeling of the post.

      One of the options we offer to advertisers for the (extremely limited, less than 1% of content) sponsorship packages we sell is to feature or "pin" a post to the blog page. This can be either a new post or one Ben has already written, but either way we think it's appropriate to given an additional disclosure...

      @ GBOAC -- FWIW, your comment had no impact on the placement or labeling of the post.

      One of the options we offer to advertisers for the (extremely limited, less than 1% of content) sponsorship packages we sell is to feature or "pin" a post to the blog page. This can be either a new post or one Ben has already written, but either way we think it's appropriate to given an additional disclosure when the very placement of a post is in any way influenced by business considerations. If a post is to be pinned, then once it moves out of the "most recent" slot, and into the "sponsored" slot, it is labeled as such.

      We've been doing it this way for 5+ years, the only thing that has changed with the redesign is the location of that sponsored slot.

      As a rule, we don't allow advertisers to moderate or add opacity to our disclosures.

      So the difference between when you first looked at it, versus now, is that in the few hours since, Ben has published two more posts.

    6. GBOAC

      Hi Tiffany
      Thanks for your thoughtful (and gentle) explanation about sponsored posts and in particular how and when the post gets pinned as sponsored. I'm hoping that information will be helpful to others who made rash comments without understanding the process.
      I'm guessing sponsored posts in the past were not as prominently placed because I don't recall reacting to them (I may have glanced over them) the way I have in the new...

      Hi Tiffany
      Thanks for your thoughtful (and gentle) explanation about sponsored posts and in particular how and when the post gets pinned as sponsored. I'm hoping that information will be helpful to others who made rash comments without understanding the process.
      I'm guessing sponsored posts in the past were not as prominently placed because I don't recall reacting to them (I may have glanced over them) the way I have in the new UI.

      Keep up the good work. I'm appreciating the enhanced commenting features.

  11. Steve

    Baltia airlines is more useful than this card.

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Tiffany

@ GBOAC -- FWIW, your comment had no impact on the placement or labeling of the post. One of the options we offer to advertisers for the (extremely limited, less than 1% of content) sponsorship packages we sell is to feature or "pin" a post to the blog page. This can be either a new post or one Ben has already written, but either way we think it's appropriate to given an additional disclosure when the very <em>placement</em> of a post is in any way influenced by business considerations. If a post is to be pinned, then once it moves out of the "most recent" slot, and into the "sponsored" slot, it is labeled as such. We've been doing it this way for 5+ years, the only thing that has changed with the redesign is the location of that sponsored slot. As a rule, we don't allow advertisers to moderate or add opacity to our disclosures. So the difference between when you first looked at it, versus now, is that in the few hours since, Ben has published two more posts.

Eskimo

@GBOAC They did label it you dummy. OMMAT is doing a very good job at disclosing this. If you really did spend time to read, you would see it right at the very top. You seem to be the person who ignores trespassing or hazard warnings and get yourself killed. How many times did you try to stick your finger into an electrical socket?

RMS

As a die hard Cleveland sports fan and also a big 90's Cavs fan, this is now the best post in OMAAT history. Mark Price was and still is my favorite Car ever. Watch his 3point contest wins on Youtube.

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