Competition for wealthy cardholders heats up

American Express logo
American Express logo

When the economy hit the skids and credit card customers started defaulting in droves, the issuing banks started writing down big losses. One financial company that was spared the worst of the economic fallout was American Express.

As this article from the Wall Street Journal points out, AmEx has a unique business model among card issuers. First of all, the company never courted higher-risk borrowers to the degree other big banks did, and it was the only major issuer to primarily offer charge cards, which must be paid off each month, as opposed to credit cards, in which the consumer can carry a balance.


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