Membership Rewards keeps practicality in mind

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on February 25, 2009

Membership Rewards keeps practicality in mind

American Express has announced that it is introducing several new options within its 'Membership Rewards' loyalty programme, offering more practical rewards for tough economic times, allowing cardmembers to save money while redeeming points for fuel cards, appliances, and gift cards at an expanded list of casual dining restaurants and a broader range of retailers.

The addition of more practical types of rewards reflects a shifting demand in the way consumers want to use loyalty points and, while many cardmembers have traditionally used points as a way to treat themselves to a bit of luxury, harder economic times have caused many to seek more flexibility and choice in rewards. According to Tracey Beberman, vice president of Membership Rewards marketing for American Express, "These rewards give members more ways to redeem points for the kinds of things they really want and need."

The new Express Rewards Gas Card allows cardmembers to use their points toward fuel purchases. Cardmembers can fill up at almost any fuel station that accepts American Express Cards, and the cards are available in US$50 and US$100 denominations (for 6,500 and 13,000 points respectively).

The addition of large home appliances as redemption options includes a range of goods from dishwashers and refrigerators to washers and dryers. Examples of items initially available include:

  • Whirlpool 1100W microwave oven: 25,800 points;
  • Hunter Permalife large-room air purifier: 52,500 points;
  • De'Longhi 40-pint dehumidifier with pump: 63,500 points;
  • KitchenAid Professional 600 series stand mixer: 66,000 points;
  • KitchenAid Architect II built-in dishwasher: 134,000 points;
  • Whirlpool Duet HT front-loading washer or dryer: 170,000 points;
  • KitchenAid Architect II bottom-freezer refrigerator: 250,000 points.

Membership Rewards has also expanded its range of casual dining and shopping partners, with new partners including Legal Seafood, Longhorn, Old Navy, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, California Pizza Kitchen, Home Depot, and Nike. Most gift cards can be redeemed starting at 1,000 points.

Membership Rewards now has more than 140 redemption partners, and awards members 1 point for almost every US$1 charged to eligible, enrolled American Express cards. Members can customise their own redemption experiences through the programme's Create Your Reward and Experiences options. Points have no expiry date, and there is no limit on the number of points each cardmember can earn.

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