AMEX and Zynga team up for themed card, replace cash back with FarmVille rewards

Have you ever judged a friend's financial savvy based on the rewards yield of the cards in their wallet? Now you won't have a choice. For those of you that abhor free flights, detest comped hotel rooms and net severe displeasure from earning cash back, AMEX may finally have your plastic match. It's called the Zynga Serve Rewards card -- yes, the same Zynga that's behind time-sink cash cows like FarmVille, CityVille and CastleVille (?!) -- and it enables you to accrue "Zynga Farm Cash," which as you might imagine provides no financial gratification in the physical world.

"FarmVille players now have the ability to plant an interactive Serve Money Tree in their Farms which will give them the ability to level up in game and earn Zynga Farm Cash for virtual awards redemption." We can't make this stuff up. The co-branded prepaid card is tied to a US currency-filled bank account, debit or credit card, and rewards will be assigned for your first five purchases of $25 -- at launch, with further incentives to come later this year. On top of that limitation, there's also a fairly outrageous fee structure (which effectively translates to 2.9 percent of each transaction when the account is funded with another credit card), detailed in full at the source link. Well, at least the card is colorful. Go tell that "Serve Money Tree" that water's on the way!

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Zynga and American Express Launch Zynga Serve Rewards Program

Industry Leading Partnership Will Link Everyday Spending to Online Virtual Rewards for Millions of Zynga Players through Co-Branded Prepaid Serve Card

NEW YORK & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Express and Zynga, the world's leading provider of social games services, today announced the launch of Zynga Serve Rewards, a new program that is tied to the Serve digital wallet and breaks new ground in the prepaid card market by offering rich in-game incentives for everyday spending.

"We're excited to partner with American Express to invent new ways for people to experience Zynga play in more parts of their day," said Mark Pincus CEO and Founder of Zynga. "Together we can add surprise and delight to every day shopping."

"We're thrilled to expand our relationship with Zynga and provide an easy way for players to earn Zynga virtual game cash by learning about Serve and signing up to receive the many benefits of our digital wallet," said Dan Schulman, President of Enterprise Growth, American Express. "As the commerce landscape continues to change, and online and offline spending converges, Serve is focused on partnering with companies like Zynga to create unique value for our customers in the environments they love."

FarmVille allows players to cultivate their Farms by plowing, planting and harvesting crops and trees. As part of the Zynga Serve Rewards phased program, FarmVille players now have the ability to plant an interactive Serve Money Tree in their Farms which will give them the ability to level up in game and earn Zynga Farm Cash for virtual awards redemption. Once players place the tree, they will be prompted to take the following four steps to earn Farm Cash in connection with the co-branded card through July 31, 2012.

1) Successfully register for the Zynga Serve Rewards program to receive a Zynga Serve co-branded prepaid card in the mail.

2) Add money to the Serve account through any funding source including a bank account, debit card, credit card, or cash using a GreenDot MoneyPak.

3) After receiving the Zynga Serve Rewards card, activate the card online or by calling the activations line.

4) Use the Zynga Serve Rewards card everywhere American Express® Cards are accepted in the U.S. for purchases and receive online, in-game rewards in real time. At launch, only the first five purchases of $25 or more on the Zynga Serve Rewards card will earn Farm Cash rewards. As the program expands, all purchases will receive in-game rewards tracked through an in-game dashboard.

Later this year, the Zynga Serve Rewards program will include new kinds of loyalty incentives, tying everyday spend to Zynga's Game Cash in ways that go beyond the initial first five purchases of $25 or more. Similar Zynga Serve Rewards programs will be introduced in additional games such as CastleVille and CityVille over the course of the year, so players can redeem rewards to purchase a variety of virtual goods from their favorite games.

For more information on Zynga Serve Rewards visit: www.Serve.com/Zynga

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AMEX and Zynga team up for themed card, replace cash back with FarmVille rewards