RealTime IT News

Microsoft Offers AMEX on Expedia.com

In what it terms an effort to further its electronic commerce initiatives, Microsoft said today it will make the American Express credit card the featured card for purchasing travel services on its Expedia travel site.

Financial terms of the marketing alliance were not revealed. The deal is significant in light of Microsoft's upcoming launch of its portal, Start, which will feature content from its sites including Expedia.

Terms of the agreement call for users of Expedia.com to be able to link directly to the card applications page on American Express's Web site. Microsoft said it projects an increase in site traffic on Expedia.com, a surge in card-holder purchases, and growth in new memberships for American Express. According to Microsoft, weekly travel sales on Expedia exceed $5 million.

Today's announcement expands a prior relationship between Expedia and AMEX. Together the companies have co-developed an online reservations system for businesses, AXI Travel (American Express Interactive). American Express is also a member of the Expedia Associates program, which provides links to Expedia-based booking services from American Express' consumer travel site.

AMEX cards offer services to online shoppers such as car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, protection against accidental damage or theft for items purchased on the card, and extension of manufacturers' warranties. In addition, through its Web site, AMEX holder can pay bills and check account information online.

Expedia.com provides online travel reservations, mapping and other travel-related content. This latest agreement also supports a previously announced credit card guarantee service Expedia offers, Microsoft said. The service provides credit cards holders of Expedia.com with protection against liability related to unauthorized charges, good up to $50, on any purchases made on or off the Internet within the year after an Expedia.com purchase.

"Expedia has become an effective online draw for consumers, making it a beneficial partner for American Express," said Marla Isackson, vice president of customer and product marketing for American Express.