American Campus Communities + Tango

Kevin Clarke, Sr. Director of System Solutions at American Campus Communities

American Campus Communities owns and manages high-quality student housing. It provides every resident with an environment conducive to healthy living, personal growth, academic achievement, and professional success. Focused on the student experience, and not just apartments, American Campus creates communities where students can thrive academically and socially.

Incentivizing customers and employees

American Campus Communities uses gift cards in several ways—from incentivizing lease signings and marketing promotions to recognizing and rewarding employees for service achievements and holidays. In addition, it uses gift cards to promote customer loyalty and resolve support issues. “Our customers desire more flexible rewards and prefer digital rewards over traditional gift cards because they’re easier to use,” explains Kevin Clarke, Sr. Director of System Solutions at American Campus Communities.


Before working with Tango, Kevin’s team worked with a fulfillment partner and purchased physical gift cards directly from stores, which presented three challenges.

Time spent fulfilling rewards

With more than 200 locations, overseeing and managing distribution and inventory was a time-consuming, manual process. “The former process took approximately 25–30 hours per week,” explains Kevin.

High costs

The cost of ordering and shipping physical gift cards was high. “We were spending over $65K annually on gift card purchasing and shipping fees, even with a B2B account.”

Inventory management issues

American Campus has locations across the US and Canada. “Our inventory is huge and widely spread out. We lacked the ability to quickly report on usage and inventory. We also had limited visibility into who the gift cards were issued to. In addition, we faced the issue of physical gift cards expiring while in inventory.”


By using our Rewards as a Service (RaaS®) API, American Campus Communities is now ordering and delivering rewards faster, saving money, spending less time managing and fulfilling rewards, and improving its recipient experience. Kevin explains:

We use Tango’s API to monitor account balances and order history. It ensures funding occurs on time. In addition, our accounting team uses it to reconcile their ledgers

Instead of physical gift cards, Kevin’s team now emails customers and employees a choice of digital gift cards with Reward Link®

A look at our gift card API

Our RaaS API is built to power rewards and incentives in apps and platforms. It contains multiple methods to support simple reward automation or platform-wide implementation. With our API, American Campus Communities can:

  • Access our catalog of 1,000+ e-gift cards, prepaid cards, and donations
  • Use our catalog, which contains descriptions, disclaimers, reward images, and other brand details 
  • Order Reward Links, in bulk or one at a time, which are immediately delivered to customers and employees                       
  • Access order history, track email delivery, and resend rewards

How our API is integrated with American Campus Communities’ system

“Currently, I leverage the API to monitor our account balances outside of the Tango portal. The data is presented in a dashboard format on our company’s SharePoint page.”

A Look at the implementation process

“In one word, the implementation process was easy. The Tango team really worked hard to keep the implementation as easy and smooth as possible. I was impressed with how smooth it went. Not counting the contract and legal review portion, the actual implementation on the Tango side took maybe a week or two,” explains Kevin.

The results

“Our operational time spent managing and fulfilling incentives has greatly improved. The former process took 25–30 hours per week. After partnering with Tango, we’ve reduced it to 2–3 hours,” explains Kevin. “We’ve also saved the $65K we were spending annually on gift card purchasing and shipping fees.”

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