Posts tagged with "American Express"

20% of guests go into debt to attend a wedding

May 21, 2019

It’s hard to say anything except “I will” when a friend or family member invites you to his or her “I dos.” But it often can be an inconvenient and costly obligation. In fact, according to American Express, the average wedding guest spends $592 per wedding, according to a recent report by Real Simple.

Considering the necessary wardrobe trappings, the travel, the accommodations, and the (often, multiple) gifts, attending nuptials—either as a member of the wedding party or a guest— can be expensive. And however much you want to say that money is no object when you are celebrating the happiness of people you love—you may (justifiably) worry that a one-day event isn’t worth going into debt.

And that happens more frequently than you would imagine. Indeed, a recent survey by Credit Karma of 1,039 Americans ages 18 and up found that about one in five Americans (20%) has gone into debt to attend someone else’s wedding —and 21% have gone into debt to fund their own marriage ceremony.

Millennials (born between the early 1980s and  2000) are the most prone to rack up debt as wedding guests—with 35% of millennial respondents having gone into debt to attend a bachelor or bachelorette party and 30% having gone into debt to attend a wedding.

By contrast, Gen Z (post-Millennials) spends the most on the ceremony—with 38% of respondents having gone into debt to finance their nuptials, Credit Karma says.

Why all the wedding-related debt? It could have to do with the social pressures and expectations set around weddings, the researchers found. Respondents cited feeling the need to impress friends and family (32%) as one reason they overspent on their own weddings, while others (20%) said they went into debt to make their wedding look good for social media.

Specifically, just how much debt are they racking up? Perhaps unsurprisingly, wedding-related debt is especially high for the couple throwing the wedding. A quarter of respondents (25%) who went into debt to pay for their wedding did so to the tune of $10,000 or more.

As for the attendees, more than a third of wedding guests and more than a third of bachelor/bachelorette party celebrants reported racking up more than $500 in charges.

How can both the guests and the bridal couple avoid going overboard? According to Credit Karma, the main reason people were able to avoid going into debt to attend a wedding was because the wedding was local (55%), meaning there would be fewer costs around things like hotels and plane tickets.

Other budget-friendly decisions: Choose wedding gifts you can actually afford (try splitting bigger-ticket items with other guests, if the couple’s registry allows), rent or rewear an outfit, stay at a friend’s home instead of at an hotel, and suggest budget-friendly bachelor/ette activities for the group.

Research contact: @creditkarma

American Express to acquire Resy, a restaurant reservation platform

May 16, 2019

A scion of an industry that started out in 1950 with the Diners Club charge card has come full circle—linking with a restaurant booking platform to capitalize on the nearly $800 billion in sales that America’s 660,755 restaurants rake in annually, according to Statista.

New York City-based American Express announced on March 15 that the company has signed an agreement to acquire Resy, a digital restaurant reservation booking and management platform founded in 2014.

AmEx comments, “The acquisition will build on the growing suite of digital-first benefits and services from American Express that extend beyond traditional rewards and points, to provide card members with access and experiences across travel and lodging, airport lounges, exclusive events, and dining.”

. Focused primarily in the U.S. but with locations in the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia, Resy currently works with approximately 4,000 restaurants in 154 U.S. cities and ten countries— seating more than 2.6 million diners a week. The acquisition is expected to be completed in summer 2019 and builds on a number of recent acquisitions made by American Express in the dining, travel and lifestyle space that are part of the company’s strategy.

“Resy was created to both connect people who love dining out with new, notable, and hard-to-get-into restaurants across the globe, as well as help restaurants’ businesses grow and thrive. Similarly, American Express has strong relationships with premium dining partners and restaurants across the globe, and provides our card members with access to incredible dining experiences through our exclusive benefits and programs,” said Chris Cracchiolo, SVP, Global Loyalty and Benefits, American Express. “We look forward to working with the Resy team to continue to grow the Resy digital platform, and develop new ways to further connect our Card Members and restaurant partners through unique access and experiences.”

 “There are myriad points of synergy between Resy and American Express that we look forward to pursuing together in the name of creating an end-to-end global dining platform that thrills both diners and restaurants alike. As it does today, Resy will continue to focus on delivering world-class hospitality software to our amazing restaurant partners, connecting diners to insider experiences, and reimagining the future of dining,” said Resy’s co-founder and CEO, Ben Leventhal.

In line with this news, American Express is working with recently acquired companies—personal travel assistant app Mezi, UK dining reservation platform Cake Technologies, airport lounge discovery and booking platform LoungeBuddy, and Japanese premium restaurant reservation platform Pocket Concierge—to develop a suite of new digital capabilities that will provide unique digital services, experiences, and access for American Express customers.

After the acquisition, the Resy brand and digital platform will continue to be led and operated by its co-founder and CEO, Ben Leventhal. Resy’s co-founder and CTO, Michael Montero, also remain in place.

Research contact: @AmerianExpress

Who are ‘influencers’ and how do they get paid?

December 17, 2018

If you enter the hashtag #influencer on Instagram, you’ll quickly navigate to a page with nearly 10 million posts. But that’s only the tip of the influencer iceberg, so to speak. According to Mediakix, there will be 21.7 million brand-sponsored influencer posts on Instagram by the end of the year—and 32.3 million by the end of 2019.

From micro-influencers making $50 per post to Instagram superstars like singer Ariana Grande , who command half a million dollars per post, the Instagram influencer market runs the gamut in terms of following, audience, and engagement; and it has even the biggest brands buying in. AdidasSamsungAmerican ExpressMicrosoft, and many more are finding ways to partner with Instagram influencers to reach their audiences and create new ones.

But how do you get started? In the case of Amber Venz (#venzedits), who spoke to CNN for a December 12 report, by the time she was in high school, she was designing and selling jewelry. And by the time she was 23, Venz was running a website that showcased her work as a personal shopper

 “I posted three times a day, and it was like trend stories and sale alerts,” Venz told the network news outlet.

Within a few months, the site was generating so much buzz around her hometown of Dallas that The Dallas Morning News ran a full-page story about her site. “It said ‘Meet the Blogger… She is now doing all these services online for free.’ My blog actually became quite famous,” she says.

But the “for free” part irked her. According to the CNN rags-to-riches tale, Baxter Box (who was her boyfriend at the time and is now her husband) got her thinking about how she could make money from the “free” fashion and style tips she was offering on her site. That’s when they came up with RewardStyle, an invitation-only platform that allows fashion and lifestyle bloggers and influencers to make money from the content they post.

Created in 2010, the company website says, “RewardStyle influencers have exclusive access to an innovative ecosystem of monetization tools, a global network of 4,500+ retail partners, and tailored growth services-all designed to power the monetization of your content.”

Today, the website has formed a global community of more than 250 team members, 30,000 top-tier influencers, and 1 million brand partners across more than 100 countries.

“With a proprietary ecosystem of innovative technology, strategic growth consulting, global brand partnerships, and expansive consumer distribution, we’re doing more than just monetizing the industry—we’re defining it,” Venez claims.

Here’s how it works, CNN reports: Bloggers write a post or post a photo on social media and hyperlink to a particular brand or retailer’s web site. If a person clicks on the link and purchases the featured product, then the blogger gets a commission. Venz says the commissions vary depending on the brand, but are typically between 10% and 20%.

RewardStyle gets a cut as well, but Venz wouldn’t disclose how much the company makes each time an influencer helps make a sale. “Everyone only gets paid when a consumer actually makes a purchase and the retailer is paid. It is all commission-based,” she said.

“These are primarily women who love fashion or interiors or talking about their family or their fitness routines and they have attracted an audience that loves their point of view and comes to their content on a daily basis,” says Venz. “We’ve given them a way to monetize that.”

And 4,500 brands, including Walmart, CVS, Amazon and Gucci, also use the platform, which has racked up $3.8 billion in total sales since it was founded.

Despite the company’s success, Venz told the news outlet that wants to keep innovating. “We are not low on ideas. So the thinking that we’ve peaked early is honestly not something that’s crossed my mind,” she says.

In 2017, for example, the business introduced a consumer shopping app called LIKEtoKNOW.it. The app lets users take a screenshot of content anywhere on the internet created by an influencer. RewardStyle will then send them links to buy the products that appear in the screenshot. The app has 2 million users and has generated $210 million in sales for its retail partners so far.

“One of the things I love about RewardStyle is that it is empowering thousands of women to do the thing I always wanted to do, which was work in the fashion and media industry,” says Venz.

Research contact: @rewardStyle

Nationwide support for Small Business Saturday grows to over 100 million

November 29, 2017

More than 100 million American shoppers reported buying from local, independently owned retailers during the eighth annual post-Black Friday weekend event, Small Business Saturday, on November 25.

According to data from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights survey—conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express and released on Cyber Monday—about 43% of all U.S. adults either shopped or dined at a small business on November 25.

What’s more, fully 70% of respondents nationwide said they were well aware of the event.

When survey respondents were asked which type of business is most associated with their local communities, 32% mentioned a bar or a restaurant. That was nearly three times the next-highest responses: 11% for a supermarket and 10% for a bakery.

The 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey also found:

  • As many as 80% of all consumers surveyed say at least some of their holiday shopping will be done at small, independently owned retailers or restaurants;
  • Three-quarters (75%) of all consumers surveyed planned on going to one or more small businesses as part of their holiday shopping;
  • 90% of all consumers surveyed agreed it is important for them to support small, independently owned restaurants and bars;
  • Of consumers who are aware of Small Business Saturday, 89% agree that the day encourages them to “shop small” all year long, not just during the holiday season;
  • For those who were aware of the event and who planned to shop on Small Business Saturday, 44% expected to spend more this year than they did last year.

“Supporting small businesses is critical to the health and livelihood of our national economy and local communities,” said NFIB CEO and President Juanita Duggan. “We are proud to partner with American Express to bring attention to the importance of small business and look forward to another successful Small Business Saturday.”

Research contact: Melissa.J.Filipek@aexp.com