61 Facts About American Express


American Express Company is an American multinational corporation specialized in payment card services headquartered at 200 Vesey Street in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City.

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American Express was founded in 1850 and is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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American Express's logo, adopted in 1958, is a gladiator or centurion whose image appears on the company's well-known traveler's cheques, charge cards, and credit cards.

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In 1850, American Express was started as an express mail business in Buffalo, New York.

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American Express initially established its headquarters in a building at the intersection of Jay Street and Hudson Street in what was later called the Tribeca section of Manhattan.

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In 1874, American Express moved its headquarters to 65 Broadway in what was becoming the Financial District of Manhattan, a location it was to retain through two buildings.

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In 1880, American Express built a new warehouse behind the Broadway Building at 46 Trinity Place.

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American Express has long been out of this building, but it still bears a terracotta seal with the American Express Eagle.

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American Express sold this building in 1975, but retained travel services there.

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American Express extended its reach nationwide by arranging affiliations with other express companies, railroads, and steamship companies.

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In 1857, American Express started its expansion in the area of financial services by launching a money order business to compete with the United States Post Office's money orders.

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American Express was one of the monopolies that President Theodore Roosevelt had the Interstate Commerce Commission investigate during his administration.

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The acquisition of TDB by American Express was part of James D Robinson III's plan to break into the private depositor banking industry.

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TDB American Express was intended to be the third arm of American Express's financial empire which would reach wealthy private depositors internationally.

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TDB quickly realized after the acquisition that American Express was not able to uphold promises with which they used to court them at the time of acquisition, as TDB executives were excluded from important company decisions.

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In July 1989, American Express publicly apologized to Edmond Safra and donated US$8 million to the charity of his choice.

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In 1990, American Express sold its Swiss banking operations to Compagnie de Banque et d'Investissements, which led to the creation of Union Bancaire Privee.

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In 1994, American Express spun off of the remaining investment banking and institutional businesses as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, ending what The New York Times called "a nettlesome foray into the brokerage business.

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American Express executives discussed the possibility of launching a travel charge card as early as 1946, but it was not until Diners Club launched a card in March 1950, that American Express began to seriously consider the possibility.

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In 1959, American Express began issuing embossed plastic cards, an industry first.

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In 1987, American Express introduced the Optima card, its first credit card product that did not have to be paid in full at the end of the month.

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American Express formed a venture with Warner Communications in 1979, called Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, which created MTV, Nickelodeon, and The Movie Channel.

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The ONE from American Express card offered a feature similar to Optima True Grace which it called "Interest Protection.

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Kenneth Chenault, then head of Travel Related Services prior to becoming American Express CEO, cut fees to bring these restaurants back into the fold.

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American Express then shifted its focus from exclusivity to broadening acceptance, adding mainstream merchants like Walmart to the American Express network.

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In November 2010, the UK division of American Express was cautioned by the Office of Fair Trading for the use of controversial charging orders against those in debt.

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Capital One did not buy accounts and balances from American Express, which required Costco Canada members to apply for the new cards instead of automatically qualifying.

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All TrueEarnings card accounts and balances held by American Express were sold to Citigroup, and new Costco Anywhere Visa cards were sent to Costco members prior to the switch date.

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American Express operates a network of Centurion Lounges at major airports which are available to their Platinum and Centurion card members.

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American Express has agreements with other airport lounges to offer access to their Platinum and Centurion card members as part of the Global Lounge Collection.

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In 2019, American Express acquired LoungeBuddy, a provider which offers pay-per-use access to select airport lounges worldwide.

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American Express is the fourth largest general-purpose card network on a global basis based on purchase volume, behind China UnionPay, Visa and MasterCard.

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American Express is one of the partner banks to both Google and Apple's mobile wallet systems meaning that cardholders can use their American Express-issued cards to pay at establishments where NFC payments are accepted.

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American Express is best known for its Green, Gold, and Platinum charge cards.

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In 1958, American Express issued its first charge card, which required payment at the end of every month.

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In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, often referred to as the "black card, " which caters to an even more affluent customer segment.

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American Express created the card line amid rumors and urban legends in the 1980s that it produced an ultra-exclusive black card for elite users who could purchase anything with it.

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

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American Express targeted young adults with City Reward Cards that earn INSIDE Rewards points to eat, drink, and play in New York, Chicago, and LA hot spots.

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American Express began phasing out the INSIDE cards in mid-2008, with no new applications being taken as of July 2008.

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In 2002, American Express introduced Clear, advertised as the first credit card with no fees of any kind.

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In 2005, American Express introduced ExpressPay, similar to Mastercard Contactless and Visa payWave, all of which use the symbol appearing on the right.

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In 2008, American Express acquired the Corporate Payment Services business of GE, which primarily focused on providing Purchasing Card solutions for large global clients.

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In December 2000, American Express agreed to acquire the US$226million credit card portfolio of Bank of Hawaii, then a division of Pacific Century Financial Corp.

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In January 2006, American Express sold its Bank of Hawaii card portfolio to Bank of America.

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In January 2004, American Express reached a deal to have its cards issued by a U S bank, MBNA America.

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Finally, both Bank of America and American Express said an existing card-issuing partnership between MBNA and American Express will continue after the Bank of America-MBNA merger.

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US Bancorp issues American Express-branded cards for US Bank along with Elan Card Services, a subsidiary that issues credit cards on behalf of small to midsize banks.

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American Express is the largest provider of traveler's cheques in the world.

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In 2005, American Express released the American Express Travelers Cheque Card, a stored-value card that serves the same purposes as a traveler's cheque, but can be used in stores like a credit card.

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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.

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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.

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American Express FSB is a direct bank offering a standard savings account to individuals.

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American Express Rewards Checking, an online checking account, is available to consumer card members who have held card accounts for three or more months.

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American Express offers credit lines of to for small businesses, using Kabbage's automated underwriting software.

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American Express was one of the earliest users of cause marketing, to great success.

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American Express is a founder sponsor of the global program "World Monuments Watch", launched in 1995, by World Monuments Fund.

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American Express began gradually moving back into its rehabilitated building in 2002.

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American Express began operations as a bank on July 1, 1990, following an order-in-council made by the Brian Mulroney government on November 21, 1988.

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American Express has several offices in the UK, including a European Service Center in the Carlton Hill area of Brighton, England.

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In 2008, American Express was named the 62nd best company to work for in the United States by Fortune, ranking it number one for bank card companies.

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