American Express plans to serve up special deals based on the things cardmembers "like" on Facebook. Company officials announced the launch of "Link, Like, Love," a Facebook application that links American Express cards to information shared on the popular social network. The application reviews each cardmember's social graph, including status updates, friend connections, location check-ins, and online "like" button activations. From that river of information, the "Link, Like, Love" system generates a list of suggested special offers and deals.

Participating merchants

In a statement to reporters, company officials used the example of a cardmember who checks in to a Whole Foods Market location receiving a special deal during their grocery shopping trip. Likewise, a fan of the television series Glee would earn an invite to an American Express-sponsored event related to "Glee: the 3D Concert Movie." National retailers participating at the service's launch include:

  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • H&M
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Westin Hotels & Resorts
  • Lord & Taylor
  • The Sports Authority
  • 20th Century Fox
  • Travelocity

How it works for cardmembers

AmEx deals on Facebook work differently from popular group buying websites like Groupon and Living Social. Instead of using credit cards to buy online vouchers in advance, American Express cardmembers can activate their special offers through the Facebook application. Rather than negotiate an awkward transaction with a cashier or manager, a cardmember makes their purchase as usual and receives an automatic statement credit for the difference between the offer price and the amount charges.

How it works for merchants

According to company officials, this seamless deal structure appeals to business owners who don't want to worry about fraudulent coupons or confused employees. American Express even launched a special online portal designed to let merchants set up their own offers and perks. The marketing platform helps companies of all sizes measure their marketing results and validate their business locations on Facebook. American Express spokesperson Ed Gilligan said the system creates a "closed loop" that creates added value for both cardmembers and participating merchants.