You’ve heard the old phrase “this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” from the classic film Casablanca. Could the same now be true for American Express and Mercedes-Benz? It possibly could be.
Two new co-branded credit cards were revealed to the world this past Monday, with the intent to reward the valued customers of Mercedes-Benz. And rewarded they shall be. The automaker also took the time Monday to join up for American Express’ reward programs.
The two new cards are titled, respectively, “Mercedes-Benz Credit Card From American Express” and the “Platinum Card From American Express Exclusively For Mercedes-Benz.” You can’t get much ritzier than that.
The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express will carry the following perks to its name. Are you ready? Here’s the shortlist: an annual fee of $95, 5X Membership Rewards points at dealerships, 3X points for any gas purchase, 2X points at restaurants, one single point for everything else, a $500 certificate towards the purchase (or lease) of a new Mercedes after spending $5000 and 1,000 extra miles that would be waived at the end of the lease.
As for the Platinum Card from AmEx Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, the list has with it: 5X Membership Rewards points at dealerships, one single point for everything else, access to Airport Clubs, the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program and Platinum Card Concierge, $200 Airline Credit with no foreign exchange fees, a $1,000 certificate toward the purchase of a new Mercedes-Benz again after spending $5,000, 2,000 miles waived at the end of the lease, an annual reward certificate of $100 for Genuine Mercedes-Benz Accessories and an annual fee of $475.
A beautiful friendship, indeed. In an official statement, Gunther Bright (the senior vice president and general manager of co-brand partnerships at AmEx) said that “partnerships are an important part of our consumer card strategy, and we are excited to welcome Mercedes-Benz to our growing family of co-branded cards and to our Membership Rewards program. This truly is a world-class collaboration. We’re offering Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts what they value most- premium rewards that benefit their lifestyle and their vehicle.”
American Express has co-branded before with the likes of most notably Delta Airlines, Macy’s and the Hilton Hotel chain, among a vast myriad of others. Truly, it seems to be a win-win formula.
Geoff Robinson, the vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, noted that the partnership came about as a result of “driver feedback.”
The rewards program is very good to the Mercedes-Benz-affiliated card owner. Eligible members can put their rewards to service packages from the automaker. Also, they can redeem them eventually for $1,000 towards a new Mercedes. Officials from the company say that these new cards will be distinct because “the Membership Rewards program from American Express sets these new Mercedes-Benz co-brand cards apart from the competition,” specifically other auto-associated cards.
And things only get better for these new Mercedes-Benz card owners. They are automatically enrolled within the Membership Rewards program. Points, as most people know, go towards concerts, travel and other leisurely pursuits. Airfare travel affords them a few options, too.
There are two set-ups with airfare: they can either take their points and put them directly in various frequent flyer programs or choose the Pay for Points program. That allows them to book a seat on any airline they’d like. There are no blackout dates or restrictions with that.
As for the cards overall themselves, there are absolutely no expiration dates on points nor is there any set limits on the points earned. American Express has certainly set the bar for the best credit cards available and others will have to keep suit now. It will be interesting to see how the credit card industry, as well as the auto industry, reacts to this. More interesting, though, might be how the consumer does; other beautiful friendships now await.