American Express Introduces Amex Round-Up Charity Feature

A major credit card issuer will soon offer cardholders an easy way to increase their charitable giving. American Express has announced the launch of Amex Round-Up — a service that will enable cardholders to round-up their purchases and donate the change to the charity of their choice. The new feature will be rolling out to select U.S personal Card Members “in the coming weeks.” At this time, only Primary Card Members will be eligible to opt into the feature. Participants will be able to round up purchases to the nearest $1, $5, or $10.

To launch Amex Round-Up, the company has partnered with Philanthropi — a startup that Amex has previously invested in via its Amex Ventures. Philanthropi is a “Giving as a Service” platform that helps organizations create and manage philanthropic initiatives. Amex Ventures most recently led Philanthropi’s $4 million venture round in December of last year.

Commenting on the debut of Amex Round-Ups, Amex Digital Labs VP and Head of Product Lisa Yokoyama said, “Amex Card Members have expressed wanting simple ways to make charitable contributions with their dollars and have always prioritized giving back, so we’re extremely excited to pilot the Amex Round-Up feature in partnership with Philanthropi.”

Yokoyama added, “We believe the Amex Round-Up program has the power to drive significant contributions to the charities our customers care about.” Additionally, Philanthropi founder and CEO Keith Leaphart said of the feature and its potential impact, “Everyday givers are what drive the philanthropic ecosystem. Providing them with easy ways to give back is integral to helping them amplify their impact as well as sustain charitable giving over time. The new Amex Round-Up program is designed to do just that.”

As American Express notes, this new feature continues the company’s history of charitable giving along with enabling its members to give to causes. Since the company’s launch in 1954, it has contributed more than $1 billion to various charitable causes worldwide. Additionally, Card Members have contributed more than $110 million over the past decade using American Express Membership Rewards points.

Round-up features in general have grown in popularity and implementation over the past decade, being used to help consumers save money, invest, and more. Certainly, Amex also isn’t the first to apply the idea toward charitable giving. Still, such a feature being offered by a credit card issuer direct is notable. Ultimately, with Amex Round-Up set to roll out soon, it will be interesting to see how much the feature increases donations for worthwhile non-profits in the years ahead.

Also published on Medium.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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