American Express members who link their foursquare profiles to their cards can "load" and redeem merchant specials without the need for coupons, special codes, or showing their mobile devices to cashiers. The functionality is powered by the American Express Smart Offer APIs.
The national launch kicks off with Specials from H&M, Sports Authority, and Union Square Hospitality Group, and is expected to expand rapidly to include additional national and local merchant offers in the coming weeks and months.
Initial offers include: H&M (spend $75, get $10 back) and Sports Authority (spend $50, get $20 back). At Union Square Hospitality Group's restaurants (Blue Smoke, The Modern, Union Square Café and Untitled at the Whitney) users get back between 15-25% of their tab.
Through the American Express closed-loop network, which allows the company to directly connect merchants and cardmember spend, the American Express Smart Offer APIs enable merchants to measure the success of their location-based marketing efforts. They also allow merchants to offer tailored specials without investing time and money in training staff to decipher a coupon code or process a coupon-based offer.--Tanya Irwin