Continuing efforts to diversify its gift card base, American Express Co. is marketing a gift card in the United States to celebrate Diwali, an India holiday that means “row of lights.”

Celebrated from Nov. 5 to Nov. 9, the holiday marks the victory of good over evil. The Diwali gift card is available in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $200.

AmEx, which is making the cards available online, is waiving the purchase price of the card (usually $3.95) and is offering free standard shipping through Nov. 30. The card brand is marketing the card online and through Indian media in the U.S., Alpesh Chokshi, president of AmEx’s global prepaid business, tells PaymentsSource.

“We worked with our internal employee diversity network, the Asian Network at American Express, to develop the card,” he says, noting the group selected the “Happy Diwali” message on the card.

The company has marketed various diversity gift cards for the past two years, says Chokshi. It also offers a Chinese Lunar New Year gift card and Felicidades gift card that celebrates Hispanic culture. AmEx will continue to add cards to its diversity collection, Chokshi says, declining to specify details.

AmEx is catering to its diverse customer base, in this case Indian-Americans, with these specialty gift cards, Chokshi says.

“This is extremely gratifying for me personally. I was born in India, and my parents came to this country in the late Sixties,” he says. “It was hard to find an Indian restaurant back then, and now there’s an Indian restaurant on every block in New York. So I am particularly proud to have been part of the team that developed this Diwali Gift Card for the Indian-American community.”

AmEx charges nothing to activate cards, check card balances or replace cards, and it does not charge monthly services fees. Funds on the card do not expire, and AmEx replaces any funds left in an account if a card is lost or stolen.

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