Did American Express Sell Their Credit Card Business
Q: Or maybe franchise it like Visa and MasterCard? I just received a solicitation for something called a "Citi Dividend Platinum Select American Express Card", which looks exactly like my "Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard", except for the "American Express" bit, of course. And, could they possibly make the names of these things a bit longer and throw in a few more adjectives? A quick look at the American Express Web site didn't turn up anything except a news blurb about Citi offering American Express "gift cards." I got an American Express card way back in the early '70s when I got my first real job, but got rid of it pretty soon after.
A: I always thought that Amex had it pretty good, by not having to split their cut with a bank, and that it made up for the lower numbers of card holders and lower acceptance by merchants. I'd wager that the deal with Costco was solely for the purpose of putting Amex cards into the hands of a few million more people that would otherwise never consider an Amex card. I'd be surprised if Costco pays even a 1% fee on Amex purchases, but Costco hasn't disclosed the terms. .
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