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American Express Has a New Twist on the Old Deal




Everyone loves a discount, but remembering to print or cut, then carry and redeem a coupon is a hassle. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone out to eat, only to realize that I left the coupon at home. And I’m here to tell you, most places won’t give you the deal without that golden ticket in hand.

Enter American Express. They’re working to eliminate the hassle of coupon redemption by eliminating the coupon, printable or otherwise. They’ve teamed up with Foursquare on a new program that gives consumers cash back on their American Express card when they fulfill a deal requirement. No coupon needed.

SmartBlog talked with American Express Vice President of Global Marketing Capabilities Dave Wolf about the idea and here’s what he had to say:

Unlike our competitors, American Express is a merchant acquirer and we’re a card issuer and we’re the payment network. That gives us an unrivaled amount of end-to-end transaction information, and it’s that transaction information which then allows us to create these kinds of exclusive experiences within those applications.

The program works in real time, notifying the customer instantly when they’ve met the requirement and alerting them to the credit which will show up in several days. This notification is an important step, because few people are likely to check their bill every month to see if they got the credit they expected. I deal with this every week at the grocery store. My loyalty card coupons are supposed to come off my bill when I buy a product, no coupon or additional action needed. Yet every week, I have to scan my register tape and decipher the coded information to find out if I got my dollar off or not.

Of course, for anyone buying lunch on an American Express card, I imagine a 10% kickback is more of perk than a reason to eat here instead of there. Still, if an offer is promised, it should be fulfilled and I like where American Express is going with this.

When the digital wallet becomes an everyday thing, it’s easy to foresee the end of all paper coupons and maybe paper money, too.