The news: Capital One signed a multiyear deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) that's reportedly valued at $125 million and includes sponsorship opportunities and cardholder perks, per a press release.
More on this: Capital One rewards cardholders can redeem their rewards for MLB tickets through the newly launched Capital One Entertainment ticketing platform. They can also get exclusive tickets to MLB events like the World Series (which Capital One will sponsor) and will soon get discounts at MLB Shop and MLB.TV.
Capital One took over the MLB’s bank promotion rights from Bank of America, which partnered with the sports league in 2004, per IEG. Under the old deal, Bank of America offered the MLB Cash Rewards Mastercard. The issuer reportedly informed MLB Cash Rewards customers in January that their cards will transition to the Bank of America Unlimited and Customized Cash Rewards credit card in mid-March.
The opportunity: Capital One’s tie-up with MLB can drive revenues in three ways:
The bigger picture: Capital One’s MLB cardholder perks are another example of how issuers are revamping cards to support travel and entertainment (T&E) rewards again.
In 2020, issuers updated many of their T&E benefits to cater to pandemic-induced spending habits, offering rewards for things like streaming and food delivery services. But with travel picking up and pandemic restrictions mostly gone in the US, issuers have transitioned back to T&E-based rewards to help encourage consumer spending. Capital One, for instance, launched its first-ever ultra-premium travel card in November.