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Cobranding is providing card issuers the most traction, says Megan Bramlette, managing  associate at Auriemma Consulting Group, which is based in Westbury, N.Y. Issuers are creating relationships with retailers and sports teams to acquire cardholders. If a consumer already has an interest in the partner, they are more likely to use that card, she says. "They don't have to spend any more money because the customer uses the card on their own," Bramlette says. Consumers will begin seeing multiple cobranded cards from the same retailer as well, Bramlette says. Merchants will offer a standard cobranded card, an upper-level cobranded card and maybe even a cobranded debit card, she says. 

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