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AmEx Partners Rewarded for Merchants Boarded

Need motivation to rustle up some new accounts? American Express Co. (AmEx) is running a contest for its External Sales Agent partners (ESAs) through the end of the year that could provide a cure for lackluster sales.

Three big winners will receive AmEx-branded gift cards valued at $10,000 (Grand Prize); $5,000 (First Prize); or $2,500 (Second Prize). AmEx will also award 90 quarterly prizes, gift cards worth $500 each, throughout the contest.

AmEx announced the "Hot Spots Sales Contest" for its ESA partners and their sub-agents. They'll qualify by signing merchant accounts in 30 specified markets beginning March 1, through Dec. 31, 2005, said Abner Moreau, the ESA program's Internet Sales and Business Manager.

The contest is based on the number of approved and validated AmEx accounts ESAs sign within the markets; agents can locate the qualifying markets by ZIP code on the Web site, .

Once agents register for the contest online, they can access "Value Story" sell-ins, which offer statistics on cardholders and industries, and "Reference Card" tools detailing ESA Program guidelines.

While the contest is based on the number of accounts signed, Moreau said AmEx will tally the accounts in two ways. The company will award one $500 gift card in each of the 30 markets per quarter. For the end-of-the year prizes, however, all of an agent's signed accounts in any of the 30 markets are included in the total.

"Agents have to register on the Web site, and the merchant has to be approved and set up prior to the agent submitting the account in the contest," Moreau said.

"And they can register at any point in the year. If they miss the registration deadline for one of the quarterly contests, they can still submit the accounts they did sign in that time period to qualify for year-end."

For complete contest information and to register, visit .

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