American Express has announced a new offering for its Membership Rewards program that will allow consumers to redeem their points for virtual currency and goods in Zynga's social games.
The long-running Membership Rewards program has previously allowed users to earn points when they use their American Express cards for purchases, then exchange those points for bonuses like free flights, electronics, gift cards, and more.
In an agreement that the two companies call "an industry first", American Express and Zynga have partnered to provide exclusive virtual goods (e.g. Cafe World
Amex Outdoor Fountain), physical game cards, and virtual game cards for Zynga titles to Membership Rewards participants.
Those game cards will be available in a variety of amounts and can be used to buy virtual goods in Zynga's popular Facebook releases like FarmVille, FrontierVille, PetVille
, and Cafe World
. Starting December 6th, American Express will offer game-specific prepaid cards, too.
American Express cardmembers can currently purchase only four exclusive virtual goods, but the company says it will continue to expand its Zynga redemption offers in the coming weeks and add another 20 digital items (e.g. FrontierVille
Fancy Gold Hot Tub) next week.
"Our relationship with Zynga, one of the key players in the digital space, marks a new redemption category for American Express and reflects our ongoing commitment to expanding and deepening the value we offer customers online," says American Express' Dan Schulman,grou president of Enterprise Growth.
Schulman adds, "With millions of cardmembers looking to use Membership Rewards points, Zynga can now offer our loyal customer base an exciting new way to engage with their popular social games."