Targeting the increasing consumer demand for Gift Cards throughout the year, American Express today announced the launch of three new special occasion Gift Cards: The American Express Gift Cards Especially for Dining, Especially for the Bride and Groom, and Especially for Movie Lovers.
The three new Gift Cards – for sale now at americanexpress.com/gift and available later this year in supermarkets and drug store chains nationwide – come with access to special offers related to the gift-giving occasion. For example, recipients of the Especially for the Bride and Groom Gift Card can take advantage of special offers at Pier 1 Imports®, Shutterfly, or Kosta Boda. Especially for Dining Gift Cards offer specials at participating restaurants nationwide, including California Pizza Kitchen and The Palm Restaurants. The Especially for Movie Lovers Gift Card features offers at cinemas operated by Cinemark Theaters and Clearview Cinemas. Special offers increase the overall face value and are available on all American Express Gift Cards.
“Gift cards have made the jump from being a popular gift for the December holidays to being a great gift for other special occasions year round,” said Valerie Sorrano Keating, President, American Express Travelers Cheques and Prepaid Services. “We’re pleased to offer an expanded line of special occasion Gift Cards that provide our customers with new gift choices for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and this season’s grads, brides and grooms.”
The next generation of American Express Gift Cards arrives on the heels of a record-breaking year for American Express, the nation’s largest seller of “open” gift cards that can be redeemed at multiple locations. Sales of American Express Gift Cards in 2006 exceeded the sales of all previous years combined.
Gift Card Sales Expand Throughout the Year
Gift Cards purchases are no longer a year-end holiday phenomenon, as sales throughout the year rise in tandem with growing customer demand to give gift cards for other special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, and Mothers and Fathers Days. In 2006, only 30 percent of the estimated $76 billion in sales of all gift cards occurred in the November-December period, a dramatic shift from 2004 when nearly 43 percent of gift card sales came in the last two months of the year, according to Mercator Advisory Group, an independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments industry. The flattening of annual spending on gift cards has been even more pronounced for "open" gift cards. “Clearly consumers are warming up to the use of open gift cards for all gift-giving occasions,” said Tim Sloane, prepaid analyst at Mercator.
In 2004, only one of every three American Express-issued gift cards were sold outside of the peak holiday shopping season in December. In 2006, more than half of American Express Gift Cards purchased were sold between January and November.
In celebration of the sixth annual Tribeca Film Festival, the Especially for Movie Lovers Gift Card, and all other American Express Gift Cards each come with a $1 discount off the purchase fee when bought online between April 25 and May 31, 2007. Consumers can simply enter the promotional code TRIBECA1 at americanexpress.com/gift to order a Gift Card for your favorite movie lover.
The American Express Gift Card Especially for Movie Lovers is available in $25 denominations. The Especially for Dining is available in $75 denominations and the Especially for the Bride and Groom is available in $100 or $200 denominations. They join the growing line-up of themed American Express line of Gift Cards which also includes the Especially for Birthdays, Especially for Teens, and Especially for Kids Gift Cards. The original gold American Express Gift Card can be personalized with the recipient’s name if purchased online.
American Express Gift Cards are available online at http://www.americanexpress.com/gift, and nationwide at tens of thousand of locations, including supermarkets, drug stores, shopping centers, banks and American Express Travel Service offices. If the Gift Card is lost or stolen, the unused balance can be refunded or replaced. American Express Gift Cards can be redeemed at U.S. retailers and restaurants that accept the American Express Card. They let the gift recipient choose from millions of gifts and experiences offered at retail, making it a popular gift choice for all occasions.*
Gift Card special offers and a list of participating partners can be viewed by visiting www.americanexpress.com/specialoffers. Partners include top retailers, restaurants and destinations, including 1-800-FLOWERS.COM®, AMF Bowling, Build-A-Bear Workshop®, California Pizza Kitchen, Cinemark Theatres, Clearview Cinemas, Foot Locker, f.y.e., Gateway, Inc., KB Toys, Kid's Foot Locker, Kosta Boda, Omaha Steaks, Papa John's Pizza, Pier 1 Imports, Regis Salons, Shutterfly, The Palm Restaurants, and Ticketmaster.*
To redeem special offers, Gift Card recipients enter the Gift Card serial number to access a list of coupons for special offers and discounts at participating merchants. The recipient prints the coupon and presents it to the participating merchant when making a purchase with the Gift Card. These special offers are also available with American Express Gift Cheques.
About American Express
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.
American Express is a leader in consumer prepaid products. In addition to the 115-year old American Express Travelers Cheque - the preeminent brand welcomed worldwide - the Company issues other prepaid products including the Travelers Cheque Card, Cheques for Two, Gift Cards, Gift Cheques, and a range of corporate incentive prepaid products through American Express Incentive Services.
* Terms and conditions apply to gift cards. Subject to applicable law, a monthly service fee of $2.00 is waived for the initial 12 months after purchase. A $5.95 replacement fee may apply if a Gift Card is lost or stolen. American Express Gift Cards are not for use at car rental, cruise lines, casinos or ATMs. Offers are subject to change without notice.