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AmEx debuts e-gift card

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

Here's a new option for gift givers: the new American Express eGift Card.

The new virtual card, unveiled Tuesday, mimics the credit card company's "real" gift card with no fees after purchase, such as for activation, checking on the balance and monthly servicing. The funds also don't expire. The cost to you: A $2.95 upfront charge.

Gift givers can purchase it at the American Express website. Denominations range from $25 to $200. The card will be emailed to your loved one shortly after purchase.

The launch comes just in time for early-bird holiday shoppers and spells big relief for those of us who consistently procrastinate. Also, American Express is capitalizing on one group of consumers who are seemingly undeterred by the recent challenging ecnomic times: online shoppers.

In a press release, Stefan Happ, senior vice president and general manager of the Americas with American Express' global payment options, said: "As consumers spend more time shopping online, we saw a need for a virtual gifting product."

An August report from comScore showed that online retail spending totaled $37.5 billion in the second quarter, up 14 percent from a year ago. It also marked the seventh straight quarter of year-over-year growth. Almost $1 in every $10 of discretionary spending happens online, according to comScore.

Will you be sending e-gift cards this holiday season?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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