Why Do Banks Carry American Express Gift Cards?

Tamsen Butler
Prepaid credit cards can make great gifts.
Prepaid credit cards can make great gifts.

If you're wondering why banks carry American Express gift cards, the answer is simple; these cards are just another financial product added to the roster of products offered to bank customers. Financial institutions want to offer as many products to customers as possible, and gift cards are quickly becoming common fare in banks and credit unions alike.

Three Reasons Banks May Carry AmEx Gift Cards

Profit

There is a fee to obtain an American Express gift card. So, depending on the agreement between American Express and the bank, there may be a profit earned by the bank every time a gift card is purchased by a customer.

Service

Looking at the bigger picture, banks can present a better image to customers when offering gift cards from American Express and other companies. Customers who feel as though their bank will offer all the services they want may be more likely to maintain accounts with that bank as well as obtain more financial products through the bank. This can potentially lead to more profit in the long run for the financial institution.

Incentives

Credit card companies like American Express want their products widely offered and easily available to potential customers. For this reason, banks are often courted by companies in an attempt to add products like prepaid gift cards to their list of available services.

Banks and credit unions may receive incentives from companies for offering certain financial products to customers. Most companies also offer marketing materials and other products to banks free of charge, making it easy for banks to add these products to their roster of products available to customers.

Banks Carrying AmEx Gift Cards

Not all banks offer American Express gift cards. Some banks offer other American Express products, such as travelers cheques, but do not offer gift cards. Whether a financial institution offers this product is up to the financial institution to decide.

To find out where to find gift cards from American Express, view the American Express Product Locator. Using this online tool, you can find a local bank offering gift cards based on the name of your city or your zip code.

Personalization

American Express gift cards are available as personalized cards when purchased online; however, when buying these cards at a financial institution you may not be able to receive personalization. In these instances, the bank may be willing to order the cards for you, but usually the personalization is not done on site at the bank.

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Why Do Banks Carry American Express Gift Cards?