American Express Co. has agreed to issue a cobranded general-purpose gift card for Macerich Co., a Santa Monica, Calif., owner of 72 shopping malls around the country, beginning in the fall.

Anita Walker, a spokeswoman for Macerich, said Monday that the five-year agreement will replace one it had with U.S. Bancorp, which issued gift cards that ran on the Visa Inc. network.

Amex will help develop promotions and other marketing initiatives for Macerich's tenants.

"American Express understands consumer shopping behavior … while Macerich properties offer American Express a great opportunity to reach high-quality consumers and affect their purchasing decisions," Tony Grossi, Macerich's chief operating officer, said in a press release.

Stefan Happ, the general manager of Amex's prepaid card division, said in the release that Macerich's malls are "a new channel to offer American Express gift cards to high-spending consumers, and we look forward to working with Macerich to deepen its relationship with shoppers."

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