American Express® Gift Cards Take A Permanent Holiday From Monthly Fees
An Industry First, Ensures Cards Keep Their Value Until Used For Purchases
With this Move, Largest U.S. Mall Owner, Simon Property Group, Selects American Express as Primary Gift Card Provider
NEW YORK -- In a ground-breaking move, American Express today announced it is eliminating monthly fees on all of its gift cards, including those now in stores, those headed to market for the coming holidays, and those already purchased that are in consumers’ wallets and purses. The change, effective immediately, transforms the gift card market this holiday season and means that going forward consumers no longer need to worry about their gift card losing value if they don’t use it quickly. With this announcement, American Express is the only major issuer of universal, or “general purpose,” gift cards to eliminate all fees after purchase.
“Customers told us that monthly fees undermine the value of gift cards, plain and simple,” said Alpesh Chokshi, president of Global Prepaid, American Express. “We believe this sets a new gold standard among gift cards and provides a win for consumers and our business. With today’s announcement, recipients now have a gift card that’s 100% gift, 0% fees.”
Unlike other gift cards, American Express Gift Cards have no fees after purchase -- no fees for activation, no fees for checking a balance, no fees for monthly servicing, no fees for card replacement, and the funds on the cards never expire.
Expansion of American Express Simon Giftcard Relationship
In addition, American Express and Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) announced today a new, expanded relationship that makes American Express the primary provider of Simon gift cards. Simon Property Group is the preeminent owner in the U.S. of high quality, highly productive regional malls, Premium Outlet Centers® and The Mills® and is one of the pioneers of universal gift cards, selling over 41 million cards over the life of the Simon Giftcard program.
“Simon has been an innovator in this space since the launch of our Simon Giftcard program in 2003,” said Mikael Thygesen, chief marketing officer, Simon Property Group. “Through our expanded relationship with American Express, we will continue to reinforce our leadership position. The elimination of monthly fees on the American Express/Simon Giftcard will be a major differentiator in the marketplace and will drive our growth this season and beyond.” Thygesen added that American Express/Simon gift cards will be available for the holiday season at 230 Simon properties nationwide.
“We are delighted to join with Simon Property Group to create unbeatable value for our mutual customers,” added Stefan Happ, vice president and general manager of U.S. Gift Cards, American Express.
Available at More Than 70,000 Retailers
American Express will offer its new gift cards through its robust retail distribution network, one of the largest among gift card issuers. American Express Gift Cards are available at more than 70,000 outlets such as supermarkets, drugstores, shopping centers and malls, banks and American Express Travel Service offices. American Express Gift Cards are also available online at http://www.americanexpress.com/gift.
New Designs in Time for Holiday
In conjunction with eliminating monthly fees, American Express plans to roll out several exciting, new designs for its gift cards this holiday season, including three new limited edition designs by iconic pop-artist Peter Max, best known for his recent Presidential portraits and “Cosmic” art of the 1960s. New customizable gift card designs will give buyers the opportunity to write personal messages to their recipients directly on the card. And, a new gift card to celebrate the Lunar New Year will sport a red and gold design and will be available in a lucky $88 denomination.
American Express will promote the new gift cards later this year through a comprehensive marketing campaign, part of American Express’ ongoing efforts to educate consumers about gift cards and explain why the American Express Gift Card is the best gift to give and receive.
About American Express Gift Cards
With sales in excess of $1 billion, the American Express Gift Card business is robust and growing. The American Express Gift Card can be redeemed at U.S. retailers and restaurants that accept American Express Cards. Unlike store gift cards, it lets the recipient choose from millions of products and experiences, making it the ideal solution for the coming holiday season. The American Express Gift Card is available in denominations ranging from $25 to $500, with an upfront purchase charge ranging from $2.95 to $6.95, and is replaceable for free if lost or stolen. Terms and conditions apply to gift cards. They are not for use on car rentals, aboard cruise lines, at casinos or at ATMs. American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.
About Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest public U.S. real estate company. Simon is a fully integrated real estate company which operates from five retail real estate platforms: regional malls, Premium Outlet Centers®, The Mills®, community/lifestyle centers and international properties. It currently owns or has an interest in 387 properties comprising 263 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. Simon Property Group, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the Company’s website at www.simon.com.
About Peter Max
Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary culture. With more than a hundred one man museum exhibitions worldwide including the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Staatliche Kunsthalle Museum in Berlin and most recently the El Paso Museum of Fine Art, Tennessee State Museum, and De Young Museum in San Francisco, Peter Max is America’s most well known and most collected artist. For more information, visit the artist’s website at www.petermax.com.
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