Priceline.com and American Express announced Wednesday that the two companies have formed a marketing alliance to drive small business spending to the wide range of business-to-business offerings expected from a new B2B portal being developed by priceline.com.
Under the three-year, multi-million dollar agreement, American Express Small Business Services charge cards, credit cards and lines of credit will be the “premier” payment products at priceline.com’s B2B portal. American Express will market the portal to its more than 2 million small business customers who will receive an exclusive 5% discount on all purchases.
Priceline.com will promote American Express small business cards and lines of credit to its customers, who will be able to apply online. All new accounts issued through this channel will automatically have $25 added to their first priceline.com offer. The two companies will support the alliance with co-branded TV, radio and newspaper advertising.
Priceline.com said that its first B2B offering is in the telecommunications field. Priceline Long Distance, LLC, (a wholly owned subsidiary of priceline.com) announced today that it has begun offering a new service where small businesses can save up to 40% on their monthly bills. Priceline Long Distance makes it possible for customers to purchase their U.S. and international calling time on a Name Your Own Price(sm) basis. In the future, Priceline Long Distance will offer additional small business-specific features, including real-time billing information, authorization codes for multiple employees and an automatic dialing function.
“With more than 2 million small business customers, and one of the world’s most respected brands, American Express is an ideal partner for priceline.com and our B2B portal,” said Daniel H. Schulman, president and CEO of priceline.com. “We expect that this alliance will enable priceline.com to rapidly establish its B2B market position and ultimately offer a robust collection of valuable B2B services.”
“Priceline.com has revolutionized the marketplace for consumers. We’re confident that they can extend their model to small businesses and are proud to join them in launching their portal later this year,” said Steve Alesio, president of American Express Small Business Services. “American Express has been bringing purchasing power to small businesses for many years. This agreement enhances those efforts to be the smart way small businesses pay, every day — online and off.”
American Express recently launched Blue for Business, a credit card that provides small firms with the financing and e-commerce services they need to launch, manage and grow their business.
Priceline.com is the Name Your Own Price(sm) patented Internet pricing system. Priceline.com currently provides services across four broad product categories: a travel service that offers leisure airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars; a personal finance service that offers home mortgages, refinancing and home equity loans through an independent licensee; an automotive service that offers new cars, and a telecommunications service that offers long distance calling services.
Priceline.com licenses its business model to independent licensees, including Priceline WebHouse Club(sm), Inc., which offers a Name Your Own Price(sm) service for groceries; PricelineMortgage(sm) , Priceline Perfect YardSale(sm), Inc., a local-market, consumer-to-consumer selling service, and certain international licensees.
In these arrangements, priceline.com generally receives royalties for licensing its intellectual property. Priceline.com also holds securities carrying the right to purchase a significant equity stake in the licensees under certain conditions. Unless those rights are exercised, the results of licensee operations will not be included in priceline.com’s financial statements.
About American Express
American Express Small Business Services is a unit of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. solely dedicated to serving companies with fewer than 100 employees. Small Business Services provides a broad range of financial services, including charge and credit cards, equipment financing, lines of credit and tax and business advisory services. To obtain more information about the Small Business Services group, visit the Small Business Exchange at [www.americanexpress.com/small business].
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, business services, insurance and international banking.