NEW YORK (MainStreet) —  Here’s another reason to charge holiday purchases to your credit card this year: American Express (Stock Quote: AXP) is teaming up with some big retailers to start a “Gift Chain” this holiday shopping season.

Starting today, consumers who use their registered Amex cards to make online purchases of $25 or more at select stores will receive a surprise gift via email, while supplies last.

The gifts vary, but some are pretty sweet, like the $500 American Express gift card or the 50,000 membership rewards points (worth $450) or the straight $100 statement credit. Others are a bit less exciting, and might entice some recipients to spend more – we’re not sure how much chocolate you can get at Godiva with a $5 gift card – but since most participating retailers are ones many consumers will be shopping at anyway, it might be worth using the Amex at the online checkout.

As an added incentive, some of the gifts will be “shareable,” meaning you can chose three Facebook friends to receive the same prize you receive.

Participating online retailers include American Eagle, Bed Bath & Beyond, Blue Nile, Dell, GameStop, J.Crew, Lenovo, Neiman Marcus, Nike, REI, Rue La La, Toys R Us, Vente-Privee USA, Walmart.com, yoyo.com and Zappos.

Each cardholder is eligible to receive up to 10 gifts, while supplies last. The promotion ends on Dec. 21, and cardholders can register for the program for free at the Gift Chain’s website.

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