Jason Del Rey

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TripAdvisor Becomes Latest Digital Platform to Host Special Deals for American Express Customers

Following in the footsteps of its deals with Foursquare and Twitter, American Express is lettings its cardholders in the U.S., U.K. and Australia link their accounts with TripAdvisor profiles to access exclusive travel content and get deals from a handful of merchants.

Cardholders get three benefits in total from linking their card with TripAdvisor, American Express execs said in an interview.

First, any reviews they write will be labeled as being from a Cardmember if they have used their AmEx card to pay for something at the hotel or restaurant they are reviewing. Perhaps this will be attractive to a small segment of reviewers, but there’s probably more value in this for readers of reviews who can trust that these labeled opinions come from real people who have actually visited an establishment.

Cardholders will also be able to view custom lists of popular destinations based on aggregate spend from American Express cardholders.

The main attraction for AmEx card members, though, will likely be deals from businesses on TripAdvisor that can be loaded into a cardholder’s account by clicking on an offer on TripAdvisor.com — no voucher print-outs needed.

At launch, the handful of businesses offering deals through TripAdvisor to American Express cardholders will include The Palm steakhouse and Maggiano’s Little Italy.

To jump-start the program, American Express will offer a $5 statement credit to customers who link their card with TripAdvisor and write a review for a business at which they recently paid using their credit card.

The TripAdvisor deal is just the latest in a series of partnerships between American Express and large digital platforms.

More than two years ago, American Express started allowing its customers to link their accounts to Foursquare to get statement credits when they checked in and paid with their credit card at participating businesses. The credit card company also worked with Twitter to let cardholders make purchases by linking their card with the social network and then tweeting a specific hashtag.

Leslie Berland, SVP for digital partnerships and development at American Express, hinted that American Express may ink similar deals with other large content sites.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus