Comparison shopping has entered its next stage of evolution thanks to the advent of mobile devices — allowing consumers to shop online and in-store at the same time. Through a partnership with RedLaser, American Express will give that ability to cardmembers while also offering better deals through mobile rewards redemption.

Last week, an update to the RedLaser mobile application for iPhone and Android devices allowed American Express cardmembers to link their accounts.

RedLaser is a free scanning application by eBay that recognizes QR codes and merchandise barcodes. Users can scan a book they find at a local bookstore and RedLaser will list online and local stores with the prices for that same book. It offers a tool to search for the best prices.

Here’s an example of RedLaser in action:

By connecting an American Express card account, cardmembers utilize RedLaser to not only compare and search the best prices, but also to see the cost (in points) of that item at shopAmex, the card issuer’s online comparison shopping site.

On shopAmex, cardmembers can redeem their Membership Rewards points for items at major partnering stores including; Apple, Best Buy, Dell, Home Depot, Target, and Walmart.

If a scanned item is available at the participating stores through shopAmex, RedLaser users may be directed to shopAmex to redeem points for the merchandise. American Express may also offer a points discount.

Vying for Better Mobile Redemption

As more card issuers work to offer more ways for members to spend their points, the mobile space is the next frontier.

Citi developed an app that allows customers to scan items at Best Buy. The app will let customers see how much items would cost in terms of ThankYou Rewards points. They can then go on to order it for in-store pickup or delivery.

Discover’s mobile apps allows users to redeem their cash back on their smartphones for direct deposit, statement credit, or eCertificates. The eCertificates are gift codes that can be scanned by a store clerk immediately after redemption.

American Express already lets cardmembers access the Membership Rewards catalog on their mobile apps but the apps lack the interactive nature provide through the partnership with RedLaser.

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