Working in the B2B and corporate side of the gift card industry, this story caught my eye as it’s a clear indication of the power of gift cards as a consumer promotion and spending incentive. As a wanna-be power-user of my loyalty rewards and savvy consumer, I’m drooling over this story. Here’s what Cardratings.com has to say about recent gift cards offers as loyalty rewards & credit card promotions.“Bonus offers on credit cards have never been juicier, said Cardratings.com founder Curtis Arnold, who has followed the industry for about 10 years. Arnold said he was "blown away" recently by an offer he received -- and quickly snapped up -- for the American Express Business Gold rewards card. He'll get $500 in gift cards if he charges $2,000 in the first three months, plus the card's $125 annual fee is waived for the first year.” Beyond how cool it is to get a free $500 gift card bucks, I know when I am given gift cards as an incentive or request them through my loyalty & rewards programs, I truly feel like it’s a “gift for ME”. When I receive and spend credit card style gift cards (open loop) cards, I tend to spend them on practical items, like food shopping or gas or not remember where I spent them or on what. For this reason, I much prefer closed loop or brand/retailer specific gift cards. This is likely why Amex offers gift cards from specific retailers, rather than just their own…they are much preferred by employees as incentives, loyalty rewards program users, and consumers for incentive and promotions. For more on
how credit card companies are using bonuses like gift cards to woo new customers, click here.