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American Express Enables Points for Gift Cards in App

Posted by Jeff Scott on November 13th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The idea is pretty simple. You are in a store and want to use your Amex points for a gift card. But the usual process would be you'd redeem the points and await a mail delivery of the card.

Amex has taken a couple steps out of that and now allow you to use your mobile phone to redeem the points for a gift card and immediately present the bar code on your phone screen at the checkout for redemption. Quick and easy.

American Express Launches Departures: Ultimate Travel Guides App for High-Level Cardmembers

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 8th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

American Express has launched an app for members and subscribers to their magazine, Departures, to help them find the best shopping, eating, drinking, and hotels in a variety of cities around the world with Departures Ultimate City Guides.

While there are plenty of apps for finding just those things in cities around the globe, this app clearly caters to more of a “high roller” crowd than those other apps. The magazine Departures is only available for Platinum and Centurion card members of American Express. Loosely translated, that means that this magazine and this app is for those that make a lot of money only. Getting a Platinum card apparently requires a six-figure income minimum. The Centurion card is available by invitation only, requires $150,000 of annual spending with American Express, and has a $2500/year membership fee, but it does come with a personal concierge service. Oh, and the card is made of titanium. The magazine also has content focused on issues of the 99% such as: plastic surgery addiction, custom clothing for men, and all kinds of articles on world travel.

This is an app for those who are looking for a higher class of digital travel guide, one that will not point out all the hotels around them, but the five-star hotels. This is for finding restaurants where the gratuity would likely feed a middle-class family of five for a week. This is for finding lounges where the cost of a bottle of wine would let a college student party for a full four years.

Note that while the app is free to download, to enter it, it requires an authentication code from an issue of the Departures magazine, which again, is only for those high-earning Platinum and Centurion cardholders with American Express. The app is universal, as having to download two separate versions of an app is just so upper-middle-class.