American Express Canada

American Express Canada

September 30, 2010 08:00 ET

American Express Launches New Concept in Travel Rewards Cards

The American Express Gold Rewards Card Allows Consumers to Hear "Yes" More Often When Redeeming Points

- Book any travel on the Card, then call American Express to pay for it with points

- Transfer points to frequent flyer programs or one-to-one to Aeroplan®

- Earn double points for eligible travel, gas, grocery and drugstore purchases

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) -

A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

Today American Express Canada makes a major play in the Canadian travel rewards landscape with the launch of the American Express Gold Rewards Card. The Card represents a new concept in the travel rewards marketplace and is designed to give Cardmembers more choice and freedom from the limitations associated with other programs.

"We designed the Card to be the solution to the frustrations people have when it comes to redeeming points," says Trevor Van Nest, Vice President, Consumer Marketing for American Express Canada. "We've taken the best elements of the various choices of reward programs in Canada, paired them with a very rich points earning rate and then put it all into one Card. This way, consumers get the benefits of rewards travel and none of the hassle when using or transferring their points."

The new American Express Gold Rewards Card does not force Cardmembers to choose between paying-with-points or transferring points to their preferred frequent flyer program. Since Cardmembers have the ability to book any travel, they can use the Card for flights on their favourite airline or booking their hotel stay or car rental. Basically, if they can find it - then they can use their points. Cardmembers simply book their travel, pay for it on their Card and then call American Express to pay-with-points. Cardmembers also have the option to transfer their points into frequent flyer programs or one-to-one to Aeroplan. 

"This means Cardmembers can transfer points to a frequent flyer program but they also have the choice to use points to pay for any travel – a last-minute booking, a seat sale, vacation package, an online travel offer, anything paid for with the Card. For virtually any travel purchase, the message to consumers is 'yes you can do that'," says Van Nest.

The card also has a rich points earning formula with double points on both eligible travel purchases and everyday purchases at eligible gas, grocery and drugstore merchants. 

A new survey conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of American Express underscores that the time is right for this new take on travel rewards:

  • Nearly 80 % of Canadians participate in a credit card rewards program
  • The most important factor consumers look for when choosing a rewards program is restriction-free redemption
  • While 79% of Canadians collect rewards points, nearly one in four have let their points expire, and another quarter are sitting on "a large bank" of points, with no immediate plans to redeem them
  • Almost 70% of Canadians always or sometimes use debit cards for their everyday purchases, missing out on opportunities to earn points on their spend

TV host and travel journalist Julia Dimon is one of the first to embrace the new Card. "Travellers like me deal with enough frustration – including limitations on using our points. When it comes to rewards programs, we want products that make travel simple, allow us to earn points faster and free us from the tight restrictions on the redemption end. The American Express Gold Rewards Card offers freedom and choice. If I see a great seat sale online, I can book it on my Card and pay then with points. I can even use my points to pay for part of the trip, use them up to a year later to pay for past trips or use them to top up one of my frequent flyer accounts."

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is also a smart financial management tool for consumers. As a Charge Card, it offers the convenience of paying with plastic but without carrying a balance and paying interest. This gives Cardmembers the flexibility and spending power they need, as well as a rich rewards program and a robust set of benefits.

The American Express Gold Rewards card is available starting October 1, 2010. To apply, please visit Amex.ca or call 1-888-261-2639 (AMEX)

About American Express

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Corporate Travel, Travel Services Network and Travellers Cheques divisions in Canada. American Express opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast.

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Survey Methodolgy

From September 10th to September 13th, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among a sample of 1,006 adult Canadians with a household income of $50,000 or higher that have at least one charge card or credit card, and who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. Individuals were sampled according to Census data to be representative of the Canadian national adult population with household incomes of $50,000 or higher. The full dataset has been statistically weighted to ensure a representative sample. The margin of error is ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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