American Express Lifts Valero

Published in CSP Daily News

Accounted for 55% of gift card sales

SAN ANTONIO -- Valero Energy Corp. said that the American Express Gift Card, offered for the past six weeks in 635 of the company's Valero and Diamond Shamrock Corner Stores, accounted for about 55% of the stores' total third-party gift card sales.

Launching the program just in time for the holidays, the Valero sites, located in Texas, California and Arizona, are among the first convenience stores in the country to offer the American Express Gift Card.

"Even though convenience stores are a new outlet for the American Express Gift [image-nocss] Card, we were confident that sales would be strong, especially during the holidays, said Gary Arthur, Valero's senior vice president of retail and specialty products marketing. While gift card sales were up across the board, sales of the American Express Gift Card exceeded our expectations. It's not only the perfect addition to our gift card line, but because of its unique flexibility and broad usage, it's proven to be a popular purchase for our customers.

Arthur added that participating stores also carry the Valero gift card as well as cards for a variety of retailers, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues, including Bass Pro Shops, Blockbuster, America West Airlines, JC Penney, The Sharper Image, Lowe's and Dave & Buster's.

Available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations, American Express Gift Cards can be used to buy virtually anything, through usage at retail stores, restaurants, spas and salons, health clubs, entertainment events and parks. They can also be used to make purchases online and over the phone. In addition, unlike some store gift cards and certificates, the funds on the American Express Gift Card will never expire. A purchase fee, ranging from $3.95 to $5.95, and certain terms and conditions standard to all gift cards, apply to the American Express Gift Card.

"Especially because of the growing popularity of gift cards, we're excited about working with Valero to make the American Express Gift Card available in so many convenient locations, said Valerie Soranno Keating, president of American Express Global Travelers Cheques & Prepaid Services. "Now, Valero's customers can stop for gas on the way home, pick up a few groceries, and grab the American Express Gift Card, which can be used for everything from shopping and dining out to going to the theater or a spa."