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TheStreet Open House

Points Meet Point Of Sale: Membership Rewards® From American Express Debuts Mobile Gift Cards

Stock quotes in this article: AXP

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Membership Rewards program launches Mobile Gift Cards, allowing Cardmembers to use Membership Rewards points for smartphone-enabled gift cards and use them instantly to pay with their smartphones. Mobile Gift Cards are currently available for eight different retailers including: Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, PBteen®, Pottery Barn®, Pottery Barn Kids®, West Elm® and Williams-Sonoma®.

“We know our Cardmembers want the flexibility to use the points they’ve earned for rewards they want, when and how they want them,” said Christopher Besendorfer, Vice President Loyalty and Membership Benefits, American Express. “As the worlds of online and offline converge, we're finding new ways for Cardmembers to use points, whether at home, on the run, and now instantly in-store with a Mobile Gift Card.”

In addition to in-store purchases, Cardmembers can also use Mobile Gift Cards to pay for items online or over the phone.

More Holiday Shoppers Turning to Smartphones and Reward Points this Season

According to a recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, a survey of U.S. general consumers, almost a third of Americans (32%) plan to use their smartphones for holiday shopping this year, an increase of 8% from 2011. More will also turn to reward points to offset the cost of holiday shopping (16% vs. 13% in 2011), with the trend most prevalent among affluent consumers (21% vs. 17% in 2011).

“Cardmembers love to use points for gifts and travel this time of year, in fact, the use of Membership Rewards Points can increase 30-40% during the Holiday season,” said Besendorfer. “Now, Mobile Gift Cards make it even easier to use points instantly on their smartphone.”

Using Membership Rewards Points for Mobile Gift Cards

To use Membership Rewards points for Mobile Gift Cards, simply:

    1.     Log into your Membership Rewards account by using the American Express app or visiting AmericanExpress.com from a smartphone
2. Browse the Mobile Gift Card catalog and use points for the desired gift card
3. When ready to use, select the gift card in your account’s Gift Card Wallet
4. Select “tap to pay” from a smartphone and show the barcode and Gift Card number at checkout

To ensure Mobile Gift Cards are secure, Cardmembers may need to enter the 4-digit security code from the front of their American Express Card, and the 3-digit security code on the back of the Card.

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