Grounded in Music

March 10, 2011 (Austin, TX) – American Express and foursquare unveiled details of new functionality that delivers a whole new way of redeeming merchant offers within the foursquare app without the need for coupons, special codes or showing phones to cashiers. Debuting with a pilot program at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), American Express’ new Smart Offer APIs enable SXSWi attendees and Austin residents to link their American Express® Card accounts to their foursquare profiles from March 11th – 15th to test drive the new foursquare experience for the first time. Following the pilot at SXSWi the companies will be planning the official roll-out of the functionality in the months ahead.

The companies’ combined technology powers an industry first: once Cardmembers link their Card accounts to their foursquare profiles, they will be able to redeem foursquare Specials automatically by “loading” the offers to their American Express Card within the app and using that Card at the merchant location. The American Express APIs also enable notifications, so when enrolled Cardmembers use their American Express Card* to pay, they will receive a message indicating that a statement credit will be issued. This eliminates the need for merchants to train their front-line staff to redeem the offers and it also enables them to easily and effectively measure the success of their location-based marketing efforts. American Express has used their APIs for certain merchant programs in the past, but this marks the first time American Express is leveraging the Smart Offer APIs with a third-party partner.

Throughout SXSWi (March 11th – 15th), American Express Cardmembers in Austin will be able to register on-site or visit to link their American Express Card and foursquare accounts to take advantage of the following programs:

Spend $5, Get $5 Automatically

Cardmembers who link their American Express Card and foursquare accounts will discover “Spend $5, Get $5” Specials at more than 50 local merchants in Austin. Upon checking in and viewing the Special, Cardmembers can tap “Load to Card” within the foursquare app. Then, when Cardmembers use their American Express Cards and spend at least $5 at check-out, they will receive a message notifying them that a statement credit will appear in as little as 3-5 days.

Unlock a Badge and Support Grounded in Music™

The first time a registered Cardmember uses their Card at any American Express-accepting merchant in Austin during SXSWi, the purchase will trigger an exclusive foursquare badge in the app and an American Express donation of $1 to Grounded in Music, up to $20,000 total. Grounded in Music is an Austin-based nonprofit that leverages the power of music to transform young lives by creating self-confidence, opportunity and hope. For more information about Grounded in Music, visit

“As the social web becomes increasingly mobile, it’s a must to deliver value to customers where they are, with the technology they use every day,” said Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman, American Express. “Foursquare is the ideal partner to break new ground as we expand the use of our digital assets, bringing great value to merchants and Cardmembers…and there’s much more to come.”

“At foursquare, we’ve always been focused on creating tools that help local merchants retain and reward loyal customers. No one knows loyalty marketing better than American Express, and their focus on customer and merchant experience is totally aligned with our values, so they’re an ideal partner for us,” said Dennis Crowley, Co-founder & CEO of foursquare. “Through this partnership, we’re introducing a completely seamless redemption experience that we look forward to rolling out with American Express nationally following South by Southwest.”

Cardmembers can follow American Express on foursquare to get tips, information and special details for more than 50 merchant locations. Many participating merchants will also have special decals on their windows with a QR code to drive Cardmembers to the registration site.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and

About foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the foursquare platform by utilizing a wide set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences.

*Purchases made with a Prepaid Card or a Corporate Card, or at a department store using an American Express Card that is co-branded with the department store’s name, may be excluded.


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