Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

American Express, court retailers with new digital offerings

New programs from American Express and are the latest examples of how retailers are stepping up their mobile and digital initiatives to please consumers who are increasingly demanding paperless coupons and offers.’s new Card Linked Offers initiative lets consumers sync up their credit cards to the company’s mobile applications and site to receive offers from big brands including Gap, Denny’s and The Body Shop. At the same time, American Express has rolled out a new microsite that serves as a hub for all of a consumer’s digital offers.

“Card linked offers work well with specialty retail and restaurants,” said Bruce Sattley, senior vice president of product management at, Mountain View, CA.

“We’ve had a really good reception from merchants and expect the number of discounts we offer to grow, so consumers should check the gallery for new additions regularly,” he said.

Instant savings
? has updated its Web site and applications with features that let consumers add coupons straight to Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards.

Once a card is registered, consumers can filter through the offers and add the ones that they like to their account.

Then when a consumer uses the registered card at the retailer’s brick-and-mortar store or online, the amount of the offer is automatically applied to the card’s bill.

When consumers use the coupon, they are sent a SMS message or email verifying that the deal has been used.

Initial deals for the program include $20 off of $200 or more Travelocity purchases. Gap and Old Navy are offering six percent cash back when consumers spend $50 or more in-store.

For merchants, the program is positioned as a way for a wide group of retailers to lure in new customers with deals without tampering with point-of-sale technology.

One-stop mobile deals?
American Express is also ramping up its AmEx Offers program with a new site that lets users view and receive offers from brands including Lowes and Amazon’s Zappos.

American Express is rolling out the microsite as the next extension of its deals program. The initiative is also available within the financial giant’s iPhone app.

The idea behind the launch of the microsite is that consumers have access to all of their rewards and offers from a central location.

AmexOffers essentially rewards consumers for shopping with their American Express card at retailers.

These types of deals are not new for either brands or financial institutions, but what makes American Express’ program unique is that the offers are customized based on a consumer’s spending habits and location.

For example, Gap can push out an offer for a specific location towards a consumer who regularly shops at the retailer.

One current offer is for $10 off of a $50 purchase at Crate & Barrel or Lowes.

Card members can then select as many offers as they want, and the deals are redeemed by paying with a credit card either in-store or online.

The deals will appear as statement credits on American Express bills, and the new microsite lets consumers view which offers they have used and how much they have saved.

American Express has made a big push to hit a new, younger demographic this year, with mobile playing a key role with an app and marketing (see story).

“These card members are digitally savvy, and they skew younger, but are just as affluent as our base,” said Andrea Zaretsky, vice president of digital partnerships and development at American Express, New York.

“So we’re always looking at new ways to add more touch points for card membership, and mobile is a platform on which we’re doing that,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York