Credit card company American Express
is launching a new pre-paid credit card reward scheme that will let Serve card holders use points earned through purchases in social games like Farmville
The deal with social games giant Zynga
would see the companies collaborate on a co-branded credit card. Each time card holders spend $25 or more in the real world, they will receive points enabling them to buy virtual goods in Zynga-owned properties.
The deal with also see Zynga use its games as deals platforms. Brands will be able to place offers into the game, which social gamers can then redeem in-game, and automatically load onto their Serve card. Taking a deal for a real-world offer will also create more points in the games.Contagious Insight
Smart collaborative thinking from Amex and Zynga, both of which stand to gain from this tie-up. For Amex, this is a great way to entice the 65 million users of Zynga games into credit cards and tap a new market it might not otherwise have tempted. It's also a great way to reward existing customers who are increasingly happy to spend real money on virtual goods. Broadening its rewards program to encompass more things for people to redeem their points for makes them feel they're getting more.
For Zynga, this is a smart way to monetise their users further, letting them find other ways to pay for goods. There's some smart behavioural economics here too: economist Dan Ariely
's book Predictably Irrational
reports that people generally spend far more money if that money is represented by tokens than cash. In this case people are more likely to spend Amex points that they might be to spend dollars: more spending means more time spent in the game, which fosters loyalty. www.membershiprewards.com/