American Express today announced it will launch a gift card in January available to the real estate, home-building and mortgage industries to be used as a client closing gift.

The Housewarming Gift Card, Gold Edition, will be accepted by nearly 180 select establishments, including Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Macy’s, Pottery Barn and Linens & Things.

The card is personalized with the recipient’s name embossed, has a unique American Express account number, will be replaced if lost or stolen, and is delivered directly to the client’s home.

“The Housewarming Gift Card was designed to let consumers choose something nice for their new homes, while taking the guess work out of the gift-giving process for the real estate industry,” said American Express Project Manager Phil Gorman.

According to a Realtor Magazine poll, 77 percent of all Realtors gave their clients a housewarming gift last year. Of those 77 percent, 44 percent gave gift cards. Those numbers are likely to increase this year with the increasing popularity of gift cards.

A prepaid $50 American Express Gasoline Card will be awarded to every new real estate-related business that opens and funds a new account at TheHousewarmingGiftCard.com between now and Dec. 31, 2004.

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