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AmEx: Let us shop for you

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Monday, December 5, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

This post is from Dec. 5, 2011. Offerings are subject to change. Check with the institution for the latest information.

What part of the holidays do you hate the most? Waiting in long lines or carrying a dozen packages to the car? What about thinking of the perfect gift only to find it sold out in every store?

The list could go on, but the common theme is shopping.

Not so for American Express Platinum cardholders this season. The credit card issuer said last week it's expanding its concierge services to include personal shopping elves. Cardholders now can submit their shopping lists to the concierge gift-buying service, which will research gift options, compare prices, buy gifts and ship them.

The issuer said the average affluent consumer has a gift list that is 10 people deep, according to its latest spending and saving tracker survey. The survey also found that well-to-do Americans estimate they will spend almost $1,500 on gifts this holiday season, nearly double what the average Joe will shell out ($704.18 per the National Retail Federation).

"With this new service, card members no longer have to struggle with researching gifts or making sure they will arrive in time for the holidays," says Stephen Selwood, vice president of premium card marketing at American Express, "and as a result can cross one more item off their 'to do' list during the busy holiday season."

This is an extension of the Platinum card's concierge services, which include securing concert or sports tickets, making dinner reservations or planning a special event.

There are some conditions. All purchases will be put on the cardholder's Platinum card, and the gifts must be bought from a retailer that takes American Express.

For the rest of us, brace for the mall.

How's your holiday shopping coming? How much found its way onto your credit cards?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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