SOURCE: American Express Incentive Services (AEIS)

July 17, 2007 15:55 ET

Three New Online Merchants Added to American Express Incentive Services DirectSpend(SM) Lineup

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - July 17, 2007) - American Express Incentive Services (AEIS), an incentive industry leader, announces the addition of three leading online merchants -- Fandango, Zappos.com and Art.com -- to its DirectSpend(SM) program, joining a growing roster of participating businesses. "Having such innovative online merchants participating in our DirectSpend programs is a real benefit to our Cardholders," said Tracy McFadden, AEIS vice president of DirectSpend marketing and merchant partnerships. DirectSpend is a patented prepaid card acceptance process that allows clients to strategically direct cardholder spend to a specific merchant or group of merchants (U.S. Patents 5,689,100 and 5,956,695). AEIS leverages this process for businesses to use in employee programs and consumer promotions to create memorable reward experiences at a selection of top retail, travel and entertainment establishments.

The latest AEIS partnerships occur as online shopping continues to experience a consistent rate of growth and popularity. A study conducted by independent technology and market researcher Forrester Research, Inc. shows that six percent of all sales in 2006 were online transactions, totaling about $146.4 billion, and projects an 18 percent increase to $259.1 billion by 2007. The accessibility, convenience and emphasis on customer service of many online shopping sites often make purchasing online an attractive option for consumers. The accessibility, convenience and emphasis on customer service of many online shopping sites often make purchasing online the most attractive option for consumers.

Fandango, the leading moviegoer destination, sells tickets to more than 15,000 screens. Fandango entertains and informs moviegoers with reviews, commentary and trailers, and offers the ability to quickly select a film, plan where and when to see it, and conveniently buy tickets in advance. "With the summer movie season in full-swing, Fandango is the perfect option for Cardholders to purchase tickets from the convenience of their home without having to wait in long theater lines," said McFadden.

Zappos.com is a leading online retailer of shoes, handbags and small accessories and carries over 1,000 name brands in more than 150,000 styles, with close to 3 million products in stock and ready for immediate shipment. Zappos.com offers free overnight shipping, free 365-day return policy, a 110% price guarantee, and 24-hour customer support. "A merchant like Zappos is precisely what we pride ourselves on offering to our Cardmembers," enthused McFadden. "Its selection of footwear and accessories coupled with outstanding customer service is unparalleled."

Art.com, Inc. helps customers decorate their space from the world's large collection of wall décor. Its selection of over 400,000 images includes everything from posters and framed art, to hand-painted originals, limited editions, canvas, tapestries, and more. Art.com's services include custom framing, mounting, and canvas transfers. "Art.com makes it incredibly easy to purchase art by providing immediate access to a huge selection of classic to contemporary art and wall décor, as well as complete framing services all at great prices," said McFadden.

About AEIS

AEIS, a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and Maritz Inc., provides business-to-business reward solutions including stored-value cards, American Express® Gift Cheques and a Web-based reward management tool. Its products address a broad array of applications such as employee reward and recognition, sales incentives and consumer promotions while helping clients drive consumer and employee behaviors, build loyalty and increase brand awareness. AEIS is headquartered in Fenton, Mo. and is a licensee of U.S. Patents 5,689,100 and 5,956,695. For more information, please contact Sara Boyd, communications specialist, at sara.boyd@aeis.com.

About Zappos.com

Established in 1999, Zappos.com has quickly become one of the leaders in online shoe and handbag sales by focusing on providing shoppers with the best possible service and selection. Zappos.com currently stocks more than 3 million shoes, handbags, apparel items and accessories from over 1,000 brands in warehouse space totaling 905,000 square feet. Ranked #79 in 2006 on Inc. Magazine's list of 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., Zappos.com's 2006 sales topped $597 million, strongly surpassing its 2005 revenues of $370 million. The company was recently named "Best of the Web" for 2006 by Internet Retailer. Zappos.com was also included in Time Magazine's "25 Sites You Can't Live Without." Zappos.com's Customer Loyalty Team is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

About Fandango

One of the Web's top movie and entertainment destinations, Fandango sells tickets to more than 15,000 screens. Fandango entertains and informs consumers with reviews, commentary and trailers, and offers the ability to quickly select a film, plan where and when to see it, and conveniently buy tickets in advance. Fandango is available at www.fandango.com, 1-800-FANDANGO and via your wireless mobile device at mobile.fandango.com. Fandango theater partners include the nation's leading exhibitors: AMC Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, Edwards Theatres, Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres, as well as American Cinematheque, Brenden Theatres, CineArts Theatres, Cinebarre, Cineplex Odeon Cinemas, Cobb Theatres, Hollywood Theatres, IMAX, Kerasotes Theatres, Majestic Crest Theatre, Premiere Theatres, R/C Theatres, Wehrenberg Theatres and Winchester Theatres.

About Art.com, Inc.

Art.com, Inc. opened its virtual doors in 1995, and over that time, has helped over 4 million customers with decorating their walls. Over the years, Art.com, Inc. has expanded to include three core brands: Art.com, AllPosters.com, and Poster.de, with operations in the United States and in Europe, and with over 500 employees worldwide. These three brands collectively service a broad spectrum of consumers, helping decorate homes, offices, apartments and bedrooms all over the world.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Sara Boyd
    Communications Specialist
    Phone: 636-226-2071
    Email: sara.boyd@aeis.com