Loyalty programme has new rewards in store


American Express Middle East has announced the expansion of its card member loyalty programme, Membership Rewards, with a host of new rewards to lure more partners and members.

Currently with more than 120 merchants in the Middle East, Membership Rewards is an industry leading rewards programme that allows enrolled card members to earn points on purchases made using the Platinum Card, the American Express Gold Charge and Credit Card, the American Express Card (Green Charge) and the American Express Corporate Card.

Membership Rewards points are redeemable for a wide selection of reward categories, including travel, dining and entertainment, shopping, unique experiences, charity rewards and financial services, including payment of annual card fees.

"The American Express card membership is synonymous with exclusive privileges. Our Membership Rewards programme gives card members the choice and flexibility to earn rewards that enhance their premium lifestyles," said Premal Patel, senior director – marketing, American Express Middle East and North Africa.

"Our strategic focus in expanding the loyalty programme reflects our commitment in providing unmatched benefits and life-enriching experiences to our card members. This programme is also central to driving revenue growth for our merchants. We have seen that card members enrolled in Membership Rewards generate around four times more spend – a compelling proposition for merchants who wish to attract an affluent audience."

Patel said continuous innovation and customisation of rewards have spurred the success of Membership Rewards. "After many years of being the leader in the premium space, we have a solid understanding of the needs of high-spending customers. We believe special benefits are integral to our card membership and have built this in our rewards programme. We have ensured that there is no limit to earning points and no expiry of points; this is unique in the industry and underlines that we are clearly at the cutting-edge of the loyalty business."

Membership Rewards was globally launched in 1991 under the name Membership Miles. Since then, the programme has expanded with more than 15 million enrolled card members worldwide, who enjoy special offers at more than 1,500 merchant partners across 60 countries. Membership Rewards has also won several industry awards, including Best Credit Card Rewards Programme by Business Traveller magazine for 11 consecutive years and the Freddie Awards thrice.

Hamad Hassani, Membership Rewards manager, American Express Middle East and North Africa, said with more than 80 per cent of its card membership enrolled into the rewards programme, it is fast becoming popular. "More than 60 per cent of point redemption takes place in the travel and hospitality sector. Recently, we linked our loyalty programme with those of leading regional players Jumeirah Group and Etihad Airways.

"Redemption of points for charity is a fast-growing trend and we are happy to support global and local non-profit organisations. We are confident that Membership Rewards will continue to serve as an important business driver across industries," Hassani said.

As part of the expansion plans, American Express has strengthened its regional loyalty team. The company has also enhanced its card member communications with significant enhancements to the Membership Rewards website.