American Express is at it again, introducing yet another new product to consumers. After having just recently partnered with the luxury automobile maker Mercedes Benz to offer two co-branded cards, AmEx is unveiling a virtual gift card well in advance of the holiday season. Called the eGift card, it is designed to be purchased and used online.
The only fees attached to the eGift card is a one-time, upfront $2.95 charge, after which the user will not have to pay an activation fee, a fee to check the card balance or any monthly service charges. Also, once loaded onto an eGift card, the funds will never expire.
“As consumers spend more time shopping online, we saw a need for a virtual gifting product,” said the company’s SVP and GM of the Americas with American Express’ Global Payment Options Stefan Happ in a statement, according to the website My Bank Tracker. “We took the best of our successful Gift Card program and made it available as a virtual product, the American Express eGift Card, thus satisfying a growing need among consumers. It’s also ideal for those last-minute shoppers and for loved ones, friends and family who don’t live nearby as there’s no shipping and it arrives in the recipient’s inbox in minutes.”
Available via telephone or on the American Express website, the eGift Card can be loaded with a minimum of $25 up to a maximum of $200. The card is delivered to the recipient’s email inbox upon purchase, and can typically be used mere moments after activation. Givers have to option of personalizing the eGift card by writing a unique message to accompany it.
American Express also recently joined forces with wireless carrier Sprint to avail customers of their rebates on prepaid cards issued by AmEx. These cards, known as American Express Prepaid Reward Cards, differ from eGift cards in that they are only free for the first six months after issuance. From then on, until they are used, cardholders pay a $3 monthly fee.