AmEx to launch its first cross-brand loyalty program in U.S.

Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:07am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - American Express Co (AXP.N: Quote) said it will team up with seven U.S. companies, including Macy's Inc (M.N: Quote), AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote), to launch a cross-brand loyalty program for the first time in the United States.

The program, called Plenti, will launch this spring and operate like drugstore-rewards programs, letting customers earn points by making purchases at the participating companies, which also include Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N: Quote) and Hulu.

For example, users will be able to pay for their purchases at Rite Aid using the points they earn on paying their AT&T bills.

AmEx will operate the so-called coalition loyalty program and collect fees from partner companies. It runs similar programs in Poland, Germany and Italy.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news. (on.wsj.com/1betYdz)

AmEx issues cards co-branded with individual U.S. companies such as Delta Airlines Inc (DAL.N: Quote), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc HOT.N and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK: Quote).

The company's announcement on Wednesday comes about a month after Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O: Quote) said it would end its 16-year partnership with AmEx in March next year.

AmEx said the loss of the contract would hurt earnings for the next two years while a JPMorgan analyst said the loss would reduce spending on AmEx cards by about $80 billion a year, including their use at businesses other than Costco's stores.

AmEx raised interest rates for over 1 million of its cardholders for the first time in more than five years last month.

(Reporting by Shivam Srivastava in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi and Savio D'Souza)

 
American Express and American Express corporate cards are pictured in Encinitas, California October 17, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake