American Express is teaming up with Facebook to offer social media discounts and special offers -- as well as gain more new customers.
"We want to be relevant to the Facebook experience," Ed Gilligan, AmEx vice chairman, told USA Today. "For those who aren't card members, this may be a reason why they should become a member."
The deals and special offers are based on a Facebook application that offers personalized coupons based on a cardholder's likes, interests and other profile information. One such deal is offering $5 back on every $20 spent at high-end grocery store Whole Foods. The cardholders simply click to add the deals they like to their Amex accounts, according to the Associated Press. Accounts would be credited within two billing cycles.
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About 100 businesses, including 20th Century Fox, Whole Foods Market, Outback Steakhouse and Celebrity Cruises, have signed up to be a part of the new AmEx program. While AmEx doesn't get a cut of merchant sales yet, it still makes money on interchange fees.
AmEx's new partnership with Facebook can only be beneficial. The charge card issuer has 90 million customers, but now it has access to Facebook's 700 million users, including elusive Generation Y consumers, that could easily swell its ranks.