American Express & McDonald’s
* American Express & McDonald’s.
Read the below story in the Chicago Times (Chicagotimes.com) late last night.
You do the math, Jeff Eats got something like 751,397 reward points-been saving for years to buy-me a certain Patek Philippe watch…so now-I’m going from Patek Philippe to Whoppers-I mean Big Macs.
Not sure where I’m going with this American Express-McDonald’s “thing”-but talk about cheapening a concept! Imagine, people will now be “saving” for Happy Meals…
All I know- is that Jeff Eats is gonna hold off on -spending sprees for right now…just might get lucky with American Express announcing a similar deal with Popeyes Chicken-then we’re talking!
American Express says U.S. cardholders, who spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually at McDonald’s, should soon be able to use rewards points to pay for their Happy Meals, Big Macs and other food and beverages.
The credit card company and the Oak Brook-based fast-food chain have struck a partnership that will be unveiled Tuesday and is expected to be rolled out to all U.S. McDonald’s locations by December.
Here’s how it works: When diners swipe their American Express card on the PIN pad at the restaurant counter, they will see the option to use rewards points to pay for their meal, along with the number of points needed for the order. If customers press the green “yes” button to use points for the order, they’ll get an on-screen confirmation that points were used. No special codes, registration or apps are needed.
“Choose ‘yes,’ and you’ll be on your way with a cup of coffee,” said Dave Wolf, vice president of global product and business development for American Express. “If you say ‘no,’ your card will be charged as it has always been.”
Over the summer, American Express inked a similar deal with ride-sharing service Uber.
American Express and McDonald’s this week will debut the payment option in New York, and shortly thereafter, in Chicago, San Francisco and Phoenix. It is expected to be in all 14,000 U.S. McDonald’s by December, the card company said.
“Millions of card members pay with their American Express cards at McDonald’s, and this technology adds flexibility to that payment experience,” said Leslie Berland, executive vice president for digital partnerships for American Express.
At a McDonald’s drive-thru, after paying with an American Express card, consumers may retroactively use points for their meal orders through the American Express mobile app or on the card company’s website.
American Express said the McDonald’s point program will be promoted online, in restaurants and through emails, social media and mobile channels.
In the relationship between McDonald’s and American Express, one point will equal one penny, so a person who wants, say, a $1 cup of McDonald’s coffee would need 100 points, said Tracy Stockard, senior director for McDonald’s U.S. customer engagement and alliances.
McDonald’s, which has been struggling worldwide with declining sales, is looking for different ways to let customers pay for their meals at its 70,000 U.S. terminals.
Last month, McDonald’s became one of the biggest companies to sign on with Apple Pay, a new mobile payment system. Apple Pay users will place a finger on the new iPhones’ built-in Touch ID and hold the device near a scanner to pay.
American Express declined to say exactly how much its cardholders spend annually at U.S. McDonald’s.