American Express OPEN ‘Doubles Down’ on Membership Rewards® Points Enabling Small Businesses to Convert Points into Marketing Dollars

New Business Gold Card Rewards Card Hones In On Important Business Function for Entrepreneurs: Online Marketing

NEW YORK--()--American Express OPEN, the small business division of the financial services company, today announced a new Business Gold Rewards Card which includes double points for all spending on online marketing. With small businesses rapidly moving marketing dollars online, American Express is offering richer and more innovative ways to help them get more out of their investments. Examples include Membership Rewards redemption on Facebook ads, and YourBuzz, a new online reputation management tool.

American Express’ Rewards programs, including the industry-leading Membership Rewards, are a featured benefit used by millions of American Express Cardmembers. With the Business Gold Card, business owners will now receive:

  • 3X* points on airfare
  • 2X* points on advertising, gas and shipping
  • 1X* points on everything else

”What small businesses need more than anything else is demand for their products and services,” said Doug Tabish, vice president of Charge Cards at American Express OPEN. “They are pushing us to help them think more holistically about how to generate demand. We’re responding by offering maximized benefits with Business Gold Rewards, allowing entrepreneurs to reinvest the points they earn to better their existing businesses.”

Importance of Online Marketing, a Business Owner Perspective

For one New York City-based small business FertilityAuthority.com, an online source for male and female fertility information, online marketing has become a core function and vehicle for increasing its growing customer base.

“As an online company, we have spent a significant amount of time and effort in advertising across social channels, including Facebook and Google. This allows us to attract new users and connect with existing ones,” says Paul Bucalo, director of customer acquisitions for FertilityAuthority. “We spend thousands of dollars a month to actively market our company. The new rewards platform will enable us to convert this spend into valuable rewards points that we can use to reinvest in other business functions at no cost.”

According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Search Marketing Survey, a survey of small business owners utilizing some type of online marketing for their business, three-quarters of entrepreneurs planned to add some form of online marketing in 2011. Roughly three-in-ten will add a company website (36%) or social media strategy (29%). About one-in-five plan to add search engine optimization strategies (23%), mass email campaigns (22%) or search advertising campaigns (16%).

Kick Starting Small Business Marketing Online

While small businesses like FertilityAuthority are increasingly tapping digital marketing tools and services to reach customers and prospects, kick starting campaigns can be complicated and many businesses owners don’t fully comprehend the potential.

American Express OPEN’s Marketing Suite offers a one-stop-shop of online products for everything small business owners need to know to develop and manage their online marketing efforts.

Currently, the Marketing Suite includes:

  • YourBuzz, a free tool to help small businesses manage their online presence, learn what is being said about them and their competitors, and connect with customers in the places where they are most vocal—social media. YourBuzz aggregates conversations across highly influential review sites such as Yelp and CitySearch, and social networks such as Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter, to ensure listings are accurate, build customer relationships, and mitigate the damage that can be done from poor reviews.
  • AdManager, a tool for helping small businesses create, target and measure the results of their online advertising campaigns. AdManager combines creative templates and testing capabilities with media-buying software to deliver a complete, easy-to-use, customizable platform.
  • SearchManager, an online solution for managing paid search campaigns across all major search ad networks, including Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Microsoft AdCenter and Facebook Ads, via a centralized dashboard.

These tools are part of the OPEN Business Apps, a group of software products that help small businesses market their products and services, increase margins and improve cash flow.

*$100,000 cap on each bonus spend category (airfare, advertising, gas and shipping represent individual categories); caps based on calendar year

About American Express OPEN®

American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners, and software-as-a-service applications designed to help with cash flow, marketing and business expenses. Learn more at www.OPEN.com and connect with us at openforum.com, twitter.com/openforum and facebook.com/open.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/americanexpress, www.twitter.com/americanexpress and www.youtube.com/americanexpress.

Contacts

National:
American Express OPEN
Rosa Alfonso
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
and Communications
212-640-1712
rosa.m.alfonso@aexp.com
or
for American Express OPEN
Sal Della Monica, 212-539-3272
sald@mbooth.com

Release Summary

American Express OPEN announced the launch of a new Business Gold card that will help small businesses earn double rewards points on marketing spend to reinvest in their businesses.

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Contacts

National:
American Express OPEN
Rosa Alfonso
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
and Communications
212-640-1712
rosa.m.alfonso@aexp.com
or
for American Express OPEN
Sal Della Monica, 212-539-3272
sald@mbooth.com