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The American Express Company (AmEx) is a multinational corporation specialized in payment vehicle services headquartered at 200 Vesey Street in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in FreshYork City. The organizationwas founded in 1850 and is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The organizations logo, adopted in 1958, is a gladiator or centurion whose photoappears on the organizations well-known traveler's cheques, charge cards, and credit cards.

During the 1980s, Amex invested in the brokerage industry, acquiring what became, in increments, Shearson Lehman Hutton and then divesting these into what became Smith Barney Shearson (owned by Primerica) and a revived Lehman Brothers. By 2008 neither the Shearson nor the Lehman name existed.

In 2016, credit cards using the American Express network accounted for 22.9% of the total dollar volume of credit vehicle transactions in the United States. As of December 31, 2019, the organizationhad 114.4 million cards in force, including 54.7 million cards in force in the United States, each with an average annual spending of $19,972.

In 2017, Forbes named American Express as the 23rd most valuable brand in the world (and the highest within financial services), estimating the brand to be worth US$24.5 billion. In 2020, Fortune magazine ranked American Express at number 9 on their Fortune List of the Top 100 Companies to Work For in 2020 based on an employee survey of satisfaction.

Early history

American Express Co. early shipping receipts (1853, 1869)
Share of the American Express Company, problem 13. October 1865; signed by William G. Fargo as Secretary and Henry Wells as President

In 1850, American Express was started as an express mail business in Buffalo, FreshYork. It was founded as a joint-stock corporation by the merger of the express companies owned by Henry Wells (Wells & Company), William G. Fargo (Livingston, Fargo & Company), and John Warren Butterfield (Wells, Butterfield & Company, the successor earlier in 1850 of Butterfield, Wasson & Company). Wells and Fargo also started Wells Fargo & Co. in 1852 when Butterfield and other directors objected to the proposal that American Express extend its operations to California.

American Express initially established its headquarters in a building at the intersection of Jay Roadand Hudson Street in what was later called the Tribeca section of Manhattan. For years it enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the movement of express shipments (awesome, securities, currency, etc.) throughout FreshYork State. In 1874, American Express moved its headquarters to 65 Broadway in what was becoming the Financial District of Manhattan, a areait was to retain through two buildings.

American Express buildings

In 1854, the American Express Co. purchased a lot on Vesey Roadin FreshYork Townas the pagefor its stables. The organizations first FreshYork headquarters was an 1858 marble Italianate palazzo at 55–61 Hudson Street, which had a busy freight depot on the ground story with a spur line from the Hudson River Railroad. A stable was constructed in 1867, five blocks north at 4–8 Hubert Street.

The organizationprospered sufficiently that headquarters were moved in 1874 from the wholesale shipping district to the budding Financial District and into rented offices in two five-story brownstone commercial buildings at 63 and 65 Broadway that were owned by the Harmony family.

In 1880, American Express built a freshwarehouse behind the Broadway Building at 46 Trinity Place. The designer is unknown, but it has a façade of brick arches that are reminiscent of pre-skyscraper FreshYork. American Express has long been out of this building, but it still bears a terracotta seal with the American Express Eagle. In 1890–91 the organizationconstructed a freshten-story building by Edward H. Kendall on the pageof its former headquarters on Hudson Street.

By 1903, the organizationhad assets of some $28 million, second only to the National TownBank of FreshYork among financial institutions in the city. To reflect this, the organizationpurchased the Broadway buildings and site.

The American Express OrganizationBuilding at 65 Broadway – the former headquarters of the American Express Company

At the end of the Wells-Fargo reign in 1914, an aggressive freshpresident, George Chadbourne Taylor (1868–1923), who had worked his methodup through the organizationover the previous thirty years, decided to build a freshheadquarters. The old buildings, dubbed by The FreshYork Times as "among the ancient landmarks" of lower Broadway, were inadequate for such a rapidly expanding concern.

After some delays due to the First GlobeWar, the 21-story neo-classical American Express Co. Building was constructed in 1916–17 to the design of James L. Aspinwall, of the firm of Renwick, Aspinwall & Tucker, the successor to the architectural practice of the eminent James Renwick Jr.. The building consolidated the two lots of the former buildings with a single address: 65 Broadway. This building was part of the "Express Row" section of lower Broadway at the time. The building completed the continuous masonry wall of its block-front and assisted in transforming Broadway into the "canyon" of neo-classical masonry office turret familiar to this day. American Express sold this building in 1975, but retained travel services there. The building was also the headquarters over the years of other prominent firms, including investment bankers J.& W. Seligman & Co. (1940–74), the American Bureau of Shipping, a maritime concern (1977–86), and later J.J. Kenny, and Standard & Bads, the latter of which renamed the building for itself.

Nationwide expansion

American Express extended its reach nationwide by arranging affiliations with other express companies (including Wells Fargo – the replacement for the two former companies that merged to form American Express), railroads, and steamship companies.

Financial services

In 1857, American Express started its expansion in the locationof financial services by launching a cashorder business to compete with the United States PublicationOffice's cashorders.

The American Express logo in 1890 depicting a watchdog lying on top of a shipping trunk to symbolize believeand security

Sometime between 1888 and 1890, J. C. Fargo took a trip to Europe and returned frustrated and infuriated. Despite the fact that he was president of American Express and that he carried with him traditional letters of credit, he found it difficult to obtain moneyanywhere except in major cities. Fargo went to Marcellus Flemming Berry and asked him to create a better solution than the letter of credit. Berry introduced the American Express Traveler's Cheque which was launched in 1891 in denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100.

Traveler's cheques established American Express as a truly international company. In 1914, at the onset of GlobeWar I, American Express in Europe was among the few companies to honor the letters of credit (problem by various banks) held by Americans in Europe, because other financial institutions refused to helpthese stranded travelers.

The British government appointed American Express its official agent at the beginning of GlobeWar I. They were to deliver letters, money, and relief parcels to British prisoners of war. Their employees went into camps to moneydrafts for both British and French prisoners and arranged for them to getcashfrom home.

By the end of the war they were delivering 150 tonnes of parcels per day to prisoners in six countries.

Loss of railroad express business

American Express was one of the monopolies that President Theodore Roosevelt had the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) investigate during his administration. The interest of the ICC was drawn to its strict control of the railroad express business. However, the solution did not come immediately to hand. The solution to this issuecame as a coincidence to other issuesduring GlobeWar I.

During the winter of 1917, the United States suffered a severe coal shortage and on December 26 President Woodrow Wilson commandeered the railroads on behalf of the United States government to move federal troops, their supplies, and coal. Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo was assigned the task of consolidating the railway lines for the war effort. All contracts between express companies and railroads were nullified and McAdoo proposed that all existing express companies be consolidated into a single organizationto serve the country's needs. This ended American Express's express business and removed them from the ICC's interest. The effectwas that a freshorganizationcalled the American Railway Express Agency formed in July 1918. The freshentity took custody of all the pooled equipment and property of existing express companies (the biggestshare of which, 40%, came from American Express, who had owned the rights to the express business over 71,280 miles (114,710 km) of railroad lines, and had 10,000 offices, with over 30,000 employees).

History post-1980

Investment banking (Shearson Lehman Hutton, IDS): 1981-1994

Shearson Lehman logo

During the 1980s, American Express embarked on an effort to become a financial services supercompany, and angry a number of acquisitions, creating an investment banking arm. In mid-1981 it purchased Sanford I. Weill's Shearson Loeb Rhoades, the second-biggestsecurities firm in the United States to form Shearson/American Express.

Shearson Loeb Rhoades itself was the culmination of several mergers in the 1970s as Weill's Hayden, Stone & Co. merged with Shearson, Hammill & Co. in 1974, to form Shearson Hayden Stone. Shearson Hayden Stone then merged with Loeb, Rhoades, Hornblower & Co. (formerly Loeb, Rhoades & Co.) to form Shearson Loeb Rhoades in 1979. With capital totaling $250 million at the time of its acquisition, Shearson Loeb Rhoades trailed only Merrill Lynch as the securities industry's largest brokerage firm.

After the purchase of Shearson, Weill was given the position of president of American Express in 1983. Weill grew increasingly sadwith responsibilities within American Express and his conflicts with American Express' CEO James D. Robinson III. Weill soon realized that he was not positioned to be named CEO and left in August 1985.

In 1984, American Express acquired the investment banking and trading firm Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb, and added it to the Shearson family, creating Shearson Lehman/American Express. It was Lehman's CEO and former trader Lewis Glucksman who would next lead Shearson Lehman/American Express.

Shearson/American Express logo c. 1982

In 1984, Shearson/American Express also purchased the 90-year-old Investors Diversified Services (IDS), bringing with it a fleet of financial advisors and investment products.

In 1988, Shearson Lehman acquired the brokerage firm E.F. Hutton & Co.. E.F. Hutton was merged with the investment banking business and the investment banking arm was renamed Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc.

TDB American Express Bank, Switzerland

In 1983, Edmond Safra, the registrantof Trade Development Bank in Geneva, sold his bank for US$550 million to American Express. Safra was inducted to the board of American Express. The acquisition of TDB by American Express was part of James D. Robinson III's plan to break into the personaldepositor banking industry. TDB American Express was intended to be the third arm of American Express's financial empire which would reach wealthy personaldepositors internationally.

TDB quickly realized after the acquisition that American Express was not able to uphold promises with which they utilize to court them at the time of acquisition, as TDB executives were excluded from necessaryorganizationdecisions. Edmond Safra, an executive at TDB, tried to separate from the mother company. After failed attempts to receiveAmerican Express to agreehis offers to buy TDB back, Safra opened a competing bank. In response, American Express launched an international smear campaign versusSafra by inaccurately reporting to fresh and media outlets in that Safra was being investigated by the FBI for being involved in the Iran–Contra affair, along with drug trafficking and the mafia.

All of the accusations were confirmed to be false, and led to the resignation of Harry L. Freeman, James D. Robinson III's right-hand man and public relations chief in American Express, after admitting to the entire scandal. In July 1989, American Express publicly apologized to Edmond Safra and donated US$8 million to the charity of his choice.

In 1990, American Express sold its Swiss banking operations to Compagnie de Banque et d’Investissements, which led to the creation of Union Bancaire Privée (UBP).


When Harvey Golub became CEO of American Express in 1993, American Express decided to receiveout of the investment banking business and negotiated the sale of Shearson's retail brokerage and asset management business to Primerica. The Shearson business was merged with Primerica's Smith Barney to create Smith Barney Shearson. Ultimately, the Shearson name was dropped in 1994.

In 1994, American Express spun off of the remaining investment banking and institutional businesses as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, ending what The FreshYork Times called "a nettlesome foray into the brokerage business." After almost fifteen years of independence, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008 as part of the financial crisis of 2007–08.

Sales practices

In January 2021, the Wall RoadJournal reported that the Department of the Treasury, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve had launched an investigation into whether the organizationhad misled potential corporate customers and utilize aggressive strategieswhile selling American Express cards. After the announcement, shares of the organizationfell in price. The period in question was between 2015 and 2016.

List of CEOs

  1. Henry Wells (1850–1866)
  2. William Fargo (1866–1881)
  3. J. C. Fargo (1881–1914)
  4. George C. Taylor (1914–1923)
  5. Frederick P. Small (1923–1944)
  6. Ralph Reed (1944–1960)
  7. Howard L. Clark Sr. (1960–1977)
  8. James D. Robinson III (1977–1993)
  9. Harvey Golub (1993–2001)
  10. Kenneth Chenaul (2001–2018)
  11. Stephen Squeri (2018–present)

Charge vehicle services

American Express executives discussed the chanceof launching a travel charge vehicle as early as 1946, but it was not until Diners Club launched a vehicle in March 1950, that American Express began to seriously consider the possibility. At the end of 1957, American Express CEO Ralph Reed decided to receiveinto the vehicle business, and by the begindate of October 1, 1958, public interest had become so significant that 250,000 cards were problem prior to the official begindate. The vehicle was launched with an annual fee of $6, $1 higher than Diners Club, to be seen as a premium product. The first cards were angry of paper, with the accnumber and cardmember's name kind. In 1959, American Express began issuing embossed ISO/IEC 7810 plastic cards, an industry first.

History of vehicle kind

In 1966, American Express introduced the Gold Vehicle. In 1984, the organizationlaunched the Platinum Vehicle, clearly defining different market segments within its own business, a practice that has proliferated across a broad array of industries. The Platinum Vehicle was billed as super-exclusive and had a $250 annual fee (as of October 2021, the fee is $695). It was offered by invitation only to American Express customers with at least two years of tenure, significant spending, and perfectpayment history; as of 2019, it is open to applicants on request. In 1987, American Express introduced the Optima vehicle, its first credit vehicle product that did not have to be paid in full at the end of the month.

American Express formed a venture with Warner Communications in 1979, called Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, which madeMTV, Nickelodeon, and The FilmChannel. The partnership lasted only until 1984. The properties were sold to Viacom soon after.

In April 1992, American Express spun off its former subsidiary, First Data Corp., in an initial public offering.

In 1994, the Optima True Grace vehicle was introduced. The vehicle was unique in that it offered a grace period on all purchases whether a balance was carried on the vehicle or not (as opposed to traditional revolving credit cards which charge interest on freshpurchases if so much as $1 was carried over). The vehicle was discontinued a few years later.

The ONE vehicle, introduced in 2005 but since discontinued, innovated in moneyback rewards (described then as "have become staples of credit vehicle reward software") which are "deposited in an interest bearing savings account" The rewards accwas a high-yield FDIC-insured savings account. The ONE from American Express vehicle offered a feature similar to Optima True Grace which it called "Interest Protection."


"Boston Fee Party"

From the early 1980s until the early 1990s, American Express was known for cutting its interchange fee (also known as a "discount rate") to merchants and restaurants if they accepted only American Express and no other credit or charge cards. This prompted competitors such as Visa and Mastercard to cry foul for a while as the tactics "locked" restaurants into American Express. Capitalizing on this elitist image, American Express frequently mentioned such exclusive partnerships in its advertising.

Aside from some holdouts including Neiman Marcus (which continued exclusivity until 2011), the practice largely ended in 1991. A group of restaurants in Boston stopped accepting American Express while accepting and encouraging the utilizeof Visa and Mastercard, including some that were exclusive to American Express. The rationale was due to far lower fees as compared with American Express' fees at the time (which were about 4% for each transaction againstaround 1.2% at the time for Visa and Mastercard). The revolt, known as the "Boston Fee Party" (alluding to the Boston Tea Party), spread to over 250 restaurants across the United States, including restaurants in other cities such as FreshYork City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Visa offered to pay the Fee Party's legal bills, and UncoverVehicle was able to increase their acceptance among Boston restaurants by 375%. Kenneth Chenault then heads of Travel AssociatedServices prior to becoming American Express CEO, cut fees to bring these restaurants back into the fold. American Express then shifted its focus from exclusivity to broadening acceptance, adding mainstream merchants like Walmart to the American Express network.

Conversion to bank holding company

On November 10, 2008, during the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the organizationwon Federal Reserve System approval to convert to a bank holding company, making it eligible for government assistunder the Troubled Asset Relief Program. At that time, American Express had total consolidated assets of about $127 billion. In June 2009, $3.39 billion in TARP funds were repaid plus $74.4 million in dividend payments. In July 2009, the organizationended its obligations under TARP by buying back $340 million in Treasury warrants.

Charging order controversy in the UK

In November 2010, the UK division of American Express was cautioned by the Office of Fair Trading for the utilizeof controversial charging orders versusthose in debt. The regulator said that the organizationwas one of four companies who were encouraging customers to turn their unsecured credit vehicle debts into a form of secured debt.

CFPB enforcement action

In October 2012, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced an enforcement action with orders requiring three American Express subsidiaries to refund an estimated $85 million to approximately 250,000 customers for illegal vehicle practices between 2003 and 2012. Allegations contain that American Express angry misleading statements regarding signup bonuses, charged unlawful late fees, discriminated versusapplicants due to age, and failed to report consumer complaints to regulators.

Costco exclusivity arrangement (2004–2016)

Beginning in 2004, Costco problem co-branded American Express cards which also doubled as a membership vehicle. Costco ended this arrangement in 2016, in the United States and in 2015, in Canada. The cards did not have annual fees and offered moneyback in form of in-shoprebates on certain tiers of purchases. The TrueEarnings cards problem by Costco in the United States were an extension of an exclusive credit vehicle network deal between Costco and American Express dating from 1999. Costco was the last major U.S. merchant that accepted American Express cards exclusively. In November 2011, Neiman Marcus, which gave similar general-purpose vehicle exclusivity to American Express since the 1980s, began accepting Visa and Mastercard.

Costco's Canadian shop ended its exclusive deal with American Express in January 2015, in favor of one with Capital One and Mastercard. Capital One did not buy acc and balances from American Express, which neededCostco Canada members to apply for the freshcards instead of automatically qualifying.

On February 12, 2015, it was announced that the partnership between American Express and Costco in the United States would dissolve March 31, 2016, which was later extended to June 19, 2016. By March 2, 2015, Costco announced that Citigroup would become the exclusive problem of Costco's credit cards and that Visa Inc. would replace American Express as the exclusive credit vehicle network accepted at Costco's shop in the United States. The Costco deal with Visa began on June 20, 2016, and in addition to the freshCiti vehicle, Costco accepted all other Visa cards. All TrueEarnings vehicle acc and balances held by American Express were sold to Citigroup, and freshCostco Anywhere Visa cards were sent to Costco members prior to the switch date. Concurrent with the switch to Visa, Costco no longer agree American Express in shop, at, or through Costco Travel.

The Costco partnership represented 8%, or $80 billion, of American Express' billed business and about 20%, or about $14 billion, of its interest-bearing credit portfolio, according to Richard Shane of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The impact of losing the Costco vehicle acc was significant; in the first quarter without Costco cards, organizationprofit dropped 10% and revenue dropped 5% compared to the previous year.

Airport Lounges

American Express operates a network of Centurion Lounges at major airports which are accessibleto their Platinum and Centurion vehicle members. The first lounge opened in 2013, at McCarran Airport and the network has expanded ever since. American Express also has agreements with other airport lounges to offer admissionto their Platinum and Centurion vehicle members as part of the Global Lounge Collection. These lounge networks include:

In 2019, American Express acquired LoungeBuddy, a provider which offers pay-per-utilizeadmissionto chooseairport lounges worldwide.

Centurion Lounges

As of October 2021, there are fifteen Centurion Lounges in operation, all located in the United States with the exception of lounges in Hong Kong and London.

American Express plans to open an 11,500 sq ft (1,070 m2) lounge at Washington-Reagan in 2022.


For the , American Express reported earnings of US$2.634 billion, with an annual revenue of US$35.583 billion, an increase of 5.2% over the previous fiscal cycle. Its shares traded at over $83 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$86.5 billion in October 2018. American Express ranked #86 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the biggestUnited States corporations by total revenue.

Vehicle products

As of 31 December 2019, the organizationhad 114.4 million cards in force, including 54.7 million cards in force in the United States, each with average annual spending of $19,972. These containconsumer, tinybusiness and corporate cards problem by American Express themselves and cards problem by its Global Service Network partners that run on its network (such as Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and NAB in Australia and Lloyds Bank and Barclays Bank in the UK). On March 1, 2017, Australia's fourth-biggestbank ANZ announced that it was no longer issuing American Express cards, with the assistancephased out entirely by August 5, 2017.

American Express is the fourth biggestgeneral-purpose vehicle network on a global basis based on purchase volume, behind China UnionPay, Visa and MasterCard. It is the 4th biggestvehicle network in the world, based on the number of cards it has in circulation.

American Express is one of the partner banks to both Google and Apple's mobile wallet systems (Google Pay and Apple Pay, respectively) meaning that cardholders shouldutilizetheir American Express-problem cards to pay at establishments where NFC payments are accepted. American Express offers various contactless credit cards.

Consumer cards

An advertisement for the American Express Platinum Credit Vehicle in Hong Kong

American Express is best known for its Green, Gold, and Platinum charge cards. The Gold Vehicle was converted to a credit vehicle for U.K. residents in 2018, but remains a charge vehicle in the U.S.

In 1958, American Express problem its first charge vehicle, which neededpayment at the end of every month. In 1966, the organizationproblem its first gold vehicle, in an effort to cater to the upper echelon of business travel. Its platinum vehicle debuted in 1984.

In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Vehicle, often referred to as the "black vehicle," which caters to an even more affluent customer segment. The vehicle was initially accessibleonly to chooseusers of the Platinum vehicle. The annual fee for the vehicle in the United States is $5,000 (up from $1,000 at introduction) with an additional one-time initiation fee of $10,000. American Express madethe vehicle line amid rumors and urban legends in the 1980s that it produced an ultra-exclusive black vehicle for elite users who could purchase anything with it.

American Express cards publicly problem in the United States range in cost between no annual fee (for Blue and many other consumer and business cards) and a $695 annual fee (for the Platinum vehicle). Annual fees for the Green vehicle start at $150, while Gold vehicle annual fees start at $250.

American Express has several co-branded credit cards, with most falling into one of three categories:

A credit vehicle aimed at young adults is called Blue, which has no annual fee and a loyalty program. A television media campaign for Blue adopted the 1979 UK Synthpop hit "Vehicle" by Gary Numan as its theme music. A cashback reward program version, "Blue Cash", quickly followed. American Express also targeted young adults with TownReward Cards that earn INSIDE Rewards points to eat, drink, and play in FreshYork, Chicago, and LA hot spots. American Express began phasing out the INSIDE cards in mid-2008, with no freshapp being taken as of July 2008.

In 2002, American Express introduced Clear, advertised as the first credit vehicle with no fees of any kind. Other cards introduced in 2005, contain "The Knot" and "The Nest" Credit Cards from American Express, co-branded cards developed with the wedding planning

In 2006, the UK division of American Express joined the Product Red coalition and problem a Red Vehicle, donating with each purchase through The Global Fund to BattleAIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to assistAfrican women and kidssuffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other illness.

In 2009, American Express introduced the ZYNC charge vehicle. White in color, this vehicle was madefor people aged 20–40. The Zync charge vehicle has since been discontinued with the exception of current cardholders who are grandfathered into the ZYNC.

In late 2012, American Express and Walmart announced the beginof Bluebird, a prepaid debit vehicle similar to that of Green Dot. Bluebird is being touted as having some of the benefits of traditional American Express cards, such as roadside assistance and identity theft protection. The vehicle shouldalso be utilize as a substitute for a traditional checking account. Unlike other such cards, Bluebird is FDIC-insured. Bluebird acc have standard FDIC deposit insurance and check writing capabilities, and as of March 2013 customers shouldhave Social Safetypayments, military pay, Tax Return, paycheck, and other government benefits deposited directly into their acc.

Vehicle acceptance outside the United States

American Express credit cards are noted by travel tutorial, including Rough Tutorial and Lonely Planet, as being less commonly accepted in Europe than Visa or Mastercard.

Vehicle design

The organizationlogo, a gladiator or centurion, appears at the center of the iconic Zync, Cobalt, Blue Business, Plum, Green, Gold, Platinum, and Centurion cards. The figure and his pose evoke classical antiquity. These cards also feature intricate border and background designs that read "American Express." The designs on these cards, especially the Green vehicle, bear resemblance to those on the United States Federal Reserve Notes.


In 2005, American Express introduced ExpressPay, similar to Mastercard Contactless and Visa payWave, all of which utilizethe symbol appearing on the right. It is a contactless payment system based on wireless RFID, where transactions are completed by holding the credit vehicle near a get at which point the debt is immediately added to the account. All three contactless systems utilizethe same logo. The vehicle is not swiped or inserted into a smart vehicle reader and no PIN is entered.

Many merchants, in the U.S. and globally, offer American Express contactless payment, including Meijer, Walgreens, Best Buy, Chevron Corporation, Starbucks, and McDonald's.

American Express OPEN

American Express OPEN, the small-business branch of American Express, offers various kind of charge cards for tinybusinesses to manage their expenses.

In late 2007, the organizationannounced the freshPlum Vehicle as the recentaddition to their vehicle line for tinybusiness registrant. The vehicle provides a 1.5% early pay discount or up to two months to defer payment on purchases. The 1.5% discount is accessiblefor billing periods where the cardmember spends at least $5,000. The first 10,000 cards were problem to members on December 16, 2007.

In 2008, American Express closed all Business Line of Credit acc. This decision was reached in tandem with the Federal Reserve's approval of American Express's request to become a commercial bank.

As of July 2016, American Express has several credit cards plannedfor tinybusinesses. These containSimplyCash Plus Business Credit Vehicle. Cashback earned is automatically credited to the cardholder's statement and other benefits are contain. Other cards containthe Business Platinum Vehicle from American Express OPEN, the Business Gold Rewards Vehicle from American Express OPEN, the Blue for Business Credit Vehicle from American Express, Business Green Rewards Vehicle from American Express OPEN, the Business Green Rewards Vehicle from American Express OPEN and the Plum Vehicle from American Express OPEN. These cards have return protection, year-end summaries and other tools to assistwith the business accounting and control.

Commercial cards and services

In 2008, American Express acquired the Corporate Payment Services business of GE, which primarily focused on providing Purchasing Vehicle solutions for hugeglobal clients. As part of the $1b+ transaction, American Express also added a freshproduct, called V-Payment, to its product portfolio. V-Payment is unique in that it enables a tightly controlled, single-utilizevehicle number for increased control.

As of July 2016, American Express offered several business, corporate and travel credit and charge cards and services and data and infoservices associatedto their utilizein the competitive markets for these cards.

The online "American Express @ Work" function gives corporations a pageon which to apply for, cancel or suspend cards, monitor policiescompliance and track expenses. The cardholder organizationshouldcreate and generate reports for a corporate expense accprogram, including analytics and data consolidation or integration. Reports shouldbe tailored for various sized companies. Through a Standard Expense Reporting feature in its "Manage Your Vehicle Accsite", American Express corporate cards provide cardholders admissionto pre-populated expense reports. The cardholder needs to annotate expenses and add out-of-pocket charges upon completion of which the report shouldbe downloaded in electronic or paper format.

American Express Corporate Vehicle softwareshouldbe utilize with a third-party on-demand expense management tool by Concur, a provider of integrated travel and expense management services. This tool simplifies the creation of expense accreports and the corporate approval process. Corporate vehicle activity, including viewing statements, making payments, setting up alerts and making inquiries and disputing charges, shouldbe managed through an acconline or via a mobile device through this service.

The corporate cards have benefits including discounts and rebates for travel and transportation, travel and emergency help, travel insurance and baggage protection. Modernize from the Corporate "Green" Vehicle to the Corporate Gold Vehicle or Corporate Platinum Vehicle, although topicto fees and rulesand conditions, have several additional benefits at each vehicle level, such as free breakfast or late checkout at many hotels. The American Express/Business Extra Corporate Credit Vehicle is affiliated with American Airlines and provides a 4% rebate on eligible American Airlines travel purchased with the vehicle.

American Express has a specialized corporate meeting credit vehicle. Another specialized American Express business vehicle is the American Express Corporate Purchasing Vehicle, which shouldbe assigned to individual employees or departments. Reconciliation and accounting services are accessibleto make these functions easier for the corporation.

Non-proprietary cards

In December 2000, American Express accept to acquire the US$226 million credit vehicle portfolio of Bank of Hawaii, then a division of Pacific Century Financial Corp. In January 2006, American Express sold its Bank of Hawaii vehicle portfolio to Bank of America (MBNA). Bank of America will issue Visa and American Express cards under the Bank of Hawaii name.

Until 2004, Visa and Mastercard termsforbiddenissuers of their cards from issuing American Express cards in the United States. This meant, as a practical matter, that U.S. banks could not problemAmerican Express cards. These termswere struck down as a effectof antitrust litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, and are no longer in effect. In January 2004, American Express reached a deal to have its cards problem by a U.S. bank, MBNA America. Initially decried by Mastercard executives as nothing but an "experiment", these cards were released in October 2004. Some said that the relationship was going to be threatened by MBNA's merger with Bank of America, a major Visa problem and original developer of Visa (and its predecessor, BankAmericard). However, an agreement was reached between American Express and Bank of America on December 21, 2005. Under the rulesof the agreement, Bank of America will own the customer loans and American Express will process the transactions. Also, American Express will dismiss Bank of America from its antitrust litigation versusVisa, Mastercard, and a number of U.S. banks. Finally, both Bank of America and American Express also said an existing vehicle-issuing partnership between MBNA and American Express will continue after the Bank of America-MBNA merger. The first vehicle from the partnership, the no-annual-fee Bank of America Rewards American Express vehicle, was released on June 30, 2006.

Since then, Citibank, Wells Fargo, First National Bank of Omaha, USAA, Navy Federal, Synchrony Financial, and US Bancorp have started issuing American Express cards. Citi problemsthe Macy's and Bloomingdale's American Express cards along with Citi-branded cards. Wells Fargo problemsAmerican Express cards under their own brand and for Dillard's. US Bancorp problemsAmerican Express-branded cards for US Bank along with Elan Vehicle Services, a subsidiary that problemscredit cards on behalf of tinyto midsize banks. Some credit unions, including PenFed, also problemAmerican Express cards. JPMorgan Chase is the biggestbank and the only GiganticFour bank in the US that does not partner with American Express. Instead, JPMorgan angry the decision in 2013, to partner with Visa on the ChaseNet closed-loop network that is similar in rulesof functionality to the American Express network.

Merchant account

Many retailers do not agreeAmerican Express cards.[specify] American Express charges merchants significantly higher fees than other credit vehicle providers. In a court case Ohio v. American Express Co., merchants filed a class action lawsuit versusAmerican Express and claimed that charging high fees is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. According to the lawsuit, accepting American Express cards costs merchants the most. In January 2017, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that American Express could block merchants that agreeits cards from steering customers to other cards, like those offered by Visa and Mastercard. In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling.

Non-vehicle products

Traveller's cheques

American Express is the biggestprovider of traveller's cheques in the world.

In 2005, American Express released the American Express Travelers Cheque Vehicle, a shop-value vehicle that serves the same purposes as a traveller's cheque, but shouldbe utilize in shop like a credit vehicle. Amex discontinued the vehicle in October 2007, due to "changing market conditions" and problem refund checks to cardholders for the remaining balances.

Financial advisors

On September 30, 2005, American Express spun-off its American Express Financial Advisors unit, Ameriprise Financial, to its shareholders. On September 30, 2005, RSM McGladrey acquired American Express Tax & Business Services (TBS).

International bank

In 2008, Standard Chartered Bank acquired American Express Bank Ltd, the international banking subsidiary of American Express for US$823 million.


American Express established a Travel Division in 1915, that tied together all earlier efforts at making travel easier, and soon established its first travel agencies. In the 1930s, the Travel Division had grown widely. Albert K. Dawson was instrumental in expanding business operations overseas, even investing in tourist relations with the Soviet Union. During GlobeWar I, Dawson was a photographer and moviecorrespondent with the German army.

In March 2014, American Express announced that it signed an agreement to create a joint venture for business travel and spun off its corporate travel business as American Express Global Business Travel.


The American Express Publishing Corporation published the Travel + Leisure, Food & Victory, Executive Travel, Black Ink, and Departures magazines until October 1, 2013, when it sold those titles to Time Inc. It publishes American Express Skyguide and is based in FreshYork City. As of February 2014, Time Inc. is restructuring the portfolio of post.

Individual banking

American Express FSB (federal savings bank) is a direct bank offering a standard savings account to individuals. The names utilize are Centurion Bank and American Express Bank; both are Utah-based and TRS (Travel AssociatedServices).

Checking accservices are not provided.

Tinybusiness banking

On October 16, 2020, Kabbage was acquired by American Express. In June 2021, the organizations first checking accfor tinybusinesses, Kabbage Checking, was launched. American Express also offers credit lines of US$1,000 to US$150,000 for tinybusinesses, using Kabbage's automated underwriting software.

Advertising campaigns

Don't Leave Home Without Them

In 1975, David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather developed the highly successful "Don't Leave Home Without Them" ad campaign for American Express Traveler's Cheques, featuring Oscar-award-winning actor Karl Malden. Malden served as the public face of American Express Travelers Cheques for 25 years. In the UK, the spokesman was the television personality Alan Whicker.

After Malden's departure, and as the vehicle assumed importance over the traveler's cheques, American Express continued to utilizecelebrities, such as Mel Blanc and ballerina Cynthia Gregory. A typical ad for the American Express Vehicle began with a celebrity asking viewers: "Do you know me?" Although he/she gave tip to his/her identity, the star's name was never mentioned except as imprinted on an American Express Vehicle, after which announcer Peter Thomas told viewers how to apply for it. Each ad concluded with the celebrity reminding viewers: "Don't Leave Home Without It." The "Don't Leave Home Without It" slogan was revived in 2005.

The Journey of Seinfeld & Superman

American Express continues to utilizecelebrities in their ads. Some notable examples containa late 1990s ad campaign with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, including the two 2004 webisodes in a series entitled "The Journey of Seinfeld & Superman".

My life. My vehicle. / Are You a Cardmember?

In late 2004, American Express launched the "My life. My vehicle." brand campaign, and later the "Are You a Cardmember?" brand campaign in 2007, (both by Ogilvy & Mather), featuring popularAmerican Express cardmembers talking about their lives. The advertisementshave featured actors/actresses Kate Winslet, Robert De Niro, Ken Watanabe, and Tina Fey; Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski; fashion designers Collette Dinnigan and Diane von Fürstenberg; comedian and talk presenthostess Ellen DeGeneres; golfer Tiger Woods; professional snowboarder Shaun White; tennis pros Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, and Andre Agassi; surfer Laird Hamilton Manchester United manager José Mourinho; moviedirectors Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and M. Night Shyamalan; singers Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.


In 2007, a two-minute black-and-white ad, entitled "Animals" and starring Ellen DeGeneres, won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.

C. F. Frost

Many American Express credit vehicle advertisementsfeature a sample American Express Vehicle with the name "C. F. Frost" on the front. This is not a fabricated name; Charles F. Frost was an advertising executive at Ogilvy & Mather.

Cause marketing

American Express was one of the earliest users of cause marketing, to amazingsuccess. A 1983 promotion advertised that for each purchase angry with an American Express Vehicle, American Express would contribute one penny to the renovation of the Statue of Liberty. The campaign generated contributions of $1.7 million to the Statue of Liberty restoration project. What would soon capture the attention of marketing departments of major corporations was that the promotion generated approximately a 28% increase in American Express vehicle usage by consumers.

In May 2007, American Express launched an initiative called the Members Project. Cardholders were invited to submit ideas for projects, and were told American Express was funding the winning project.

Cultural projects

American Express assistance initiatives to enhance the architectural and cultural heritage, with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of historical and environmental conservation, through the restoration of historical monuments. American Express is a founder sponsor of the global program "GlobeMonuments Watch", launched in 1995, by GlobeMonuments Fund. During the first edition of Corporate Art Awards, in 2016, American Express get by pptArt the Corporate Art Award for its international restoration program.



Two rescue workers entering the American Express Turretfollowing September 11 terrorist attack on GlobeTrade Center.
former Amex House in Brighton, England, was built in 1977.
American Express Italy former HQ in Rome
An American Express regional HQ in Sunrise, Florida.

In April 1986, American Express moved its headquarters to the 51-story Three GlobeFinancial Center in FreshYork City. After the happening of September 11, 2001, American Express had to leave its headquarters temporarily because it was located directly opposite the GlobeTrade Center and was damaged during the fall of the turret. The organizationbegan gradually moving back into its rehabilitated building in 2002.

The organizationmaintains major offices in Sunrise, Florida, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix, Arizona, with its main data centers in North Carolina and Phoenix.

AMEX Bank of Canada was founded in 1853, in Toronto. It has around 1,700 employees as of December 2020 in its head office at Sheppard, east of Highway 404 in Toronto (relocated from Markham, Ontario, a northern suburb of Toronto where it resided from 1985 to 2015), as well as an office in Hamilton, Ontario. The organizationbegan operations as a bank on July 1, 1990, following an order-in-council angry by the Brian Mulroney government on November 21, 1988. This decision was not without controversy as federal banking policiesat the time would not ordinarily have allowedAmerican Express to operate as a bank. It is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and a registered member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), the federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks.

American Express has several offices in the UK, including a European Service Center in the Carlton Hill locationof Brighton, England. The building was completed in 2012. It replaced American Express's former building, Amex House, a hugewhite turretblock built in 1977 and surrounded by several other smaller offices around the city. The American Express European Service Center deals with vehicle servicing, sales, fraud and merchant servicing. Official Europe, Middle East, and Africa HQ is located in the Belgravia district of Westminster, in central London, at Belgrave House on Buckingham Palace Road, SW1; other UK offices are based in Sussex at Burgess Hill and Manchester. In November 2009, Brighton and Hove TownCouncil granted planning permission for American Express to redevelop the Amex House site.

Japan, Asia-Pacific, and Australian Headquarters is co-located in Singapore, at 16 Collyer Quay, and in Sydney's LordRoadWharf area.

The headquarters of Latin America and Caribbean division is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

American Express also has a significant presence in India. Its two centers are located at Gurgaon, Haryana and on Mathura Streetin FreshDelhi. The Indian operations of American Express revolve around the back office customer services operations apart from the credit vehicle business for the domestic Indian Economy, arguably the American Express campus in Gurgaon is the biggestemployee areaby headcount for Amex and assistance business continuity objectives of Amex including during Hurricane Sandy, the center works 24/7 and contain a co-located second building which was recently[when?] transferred to a third party service provider but does much work for Amex.

Job satisfaction

In 2008, American Express was named the 62nd best organizationto work for in the United States by Fortune, ranking it number one for bank vehicle companies. In October 2008, Amex Canada Inc. was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper. In 2018, Fortune ranked it the 23rd best organizationto work for. In 2019, Fortune ranked it the 9th best organizationto work for.

Management, corporate governance, ownership

Officers of the organizationare listed on the organizations website.

As of 2017, American Express shares are mainly held by institutional investors (Berkshire Hathaway, Vanguard group, BlackRock, State RoadCorporation and others).

In FamousCulture

The "Don't Leave Home Without It" campaign was parodied by the U.S. game show Press Your Luck in 1984, with the presents mascot, the "whammy", showing the viewers an "American Xcess" vehicle, using the introduction of "Hello, do you know me?" The name "W-H-A-M-M-Y" is then revealed to the audience before taking all of the player's earnings to that point.

See also

  • Business data for American Express:

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American Express Company
Headquarters at the American Express Tower
Traded as
DJIA component
S&P 100 component
S&P 500 componentIndustryBanking
Financial servicesPredecessorLivingston, Fargo & Company
Wells, Butterfield & Company
Wells & CompanyFoundedMarch 18, 1850; 171 years ago (1850-03-18), in Buffalo, New York, U.S.Headquarters200 Vesey Street
New York, NY 10285
United States
Area served
Key people
Stephen J. Squeri
(Chairman & CEO)
Jeffrey C. Campbell
(Executive VP & CFO)ProductsCharge cards
Credit cards
Traveler's cheques
Corporate bankingServicesFinance
TravelRevenue US$36.09 billion (2020)
Operating income
US$4.3 billion (2020)
Net income
US$3.14 billion (2020)Total assets US$191.37 billion (2020)Total equity US$22.98 billion (2020)OwnerBerkshire Hathaway (88%)
Number of employees
63,700 (December 2020)WebsiteFootnotes / references

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