Following a test in March, American Express and Foursquare will now launch a nationwide partnership for discounts when customers check-in at select merchants.

American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Foursquare, the location-based social network, announced their nationwide launch of their check-in discount partnership.

In March, the two companies piloted a program at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas where AmEx cardmembers received $5 back when they spent at least $5 at a local merchant. The test received a largely positive response.

“The success of our pilot just a few months ago proved that American Express’ digital capabilities and foursquare’s expanding application created something extremely powerful,” said Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman at American Express. “We’re thrilled to take this partnership to the next level. For us, this is just the beginning.”

Officially called American Express Specials, cardmembers must link their cards to their Foursquare accounts. After checking in to a participating store, the Special can be loaded onto their AmEx cards, which must then be used to make the purchase.

A push notification will inform the cardmember of the Special redemption and a statement credit is automatically issued within 3 – 5 days.

Cardmembers with rewards programs will also be earnings points and cash back on their original purchase prices.

American Express Specials is launching with two major nationwide chains: H&M and Sports Authority.

  • H&M: Spend $75, get back $10
  • Sport Authority: Spend $50, get back $20

Additionally, a number of participating restaurants in New York City will also be offering the Specials: Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe, Untitled, and The Modern. More locations are expected to be added every week.

American Express has partnered with another location-based service, SCVNGR, to offer similar deals. With these partnerships, the card issuer is now making strides in entering a market that is occupied by Groupon, Facebook, and LivingSocial.

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  • Gilligan, was also quoted in saying on average, those in the program spent 20 percent more than American Express cardholders who did not have access to the special deals.