American Express

The American Express Company ( NYSE: AXP ), abbreviated often Amex, AmEx or Amexco, is a global provider of financial services, with headquarters in New York City, USA. To the product range of the credit card issuer and business travel service includes credit cards and traveler's checks. The company is also banking and investment services and insurance offers. The output from American Express credit card is referred to internationally as " Amex Card ".


1850 American Express by Henry Wells, William George Fargo and John Butterfield was founded. Initially, the company was among the first and most successful Eilzustelldiensten that arose during the rapid, westward expansion of the United States. A national postal service was not available at the time or very costly. The express companies served as the " lifeline " of the growing nation. Express couriers, usually out on horses or stagecoaches crossed the continent from the eastern cities to the western border to transport correspondence, packages, freight, gold or other items. American Express made thereby a good name. Although American Express initially did not offer financial services, among its customers all the major banks. It soon became clear that the transport of share certificates, currency and other bank assets was more profitable than transporting large cargo. In 1882 American Express as a direct competitor to the U.S. Postal Service, postal orders in its range of services to. 1890 was the first of Amex travelers checks.

2008 is the American Express brand, according to the market research firm Millward Brown 's most valuable credit card brand in the world. With 24.8 billion U.S. dollars it is ranked 20 of the most valuable brands in the world. The competition MasterCard brand is having 7 billion U.S. dollars ranked 99th, the visa will not be out among the hundred most valuable brands in the world in 2008. (See: List of most valuable brands )

In early 2008, the American Express Bank Ltd.. (AEB ) from the American Express Co. ( AXP ) sold for 823 million U.S. dollars of Standard Chartered PLC. Based in Frankfurt American Express Bank GmbH since 1 June 2008, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC and changed its name to Standard Chartered Bank ( Germany) GmbH on August 22, 2008.

AMEX Co. applied for 2008, the approval of the Federal Reserve, the company officially convert into a bank in order to receive subsidies from the U.S. federal bank rescue program. On 10 November 2008, the Fed agreed to this request.


American Express reported a first quarter 2009 net profit slump in the amount of 63 percent. The company had previously recorded six consecutive quarters of a decline in profits. American Express suffered severely from the effects of the financial crisis starting in 2007, as high unemployment and credit losses. Due to the poor financial situation, American Express has money to support from the U.S. bailout ( Emergency Economic Stabilization Act ) requested in the amount of three and a half billion U.S. dollars.


In the German market, American Express editor (English " issuer" ) is the following map products:

Private customers

Consumer products ( engl. "consumer products" )

  • American Express Blue Card
  • American Express Card
  • American Express Card Aurum (only Austria. In Germany since 2009, no longer re-issue )
  • American Express Gold Card
  • American Express Platinum Card
  • American Express Centurion Card ("black " or " black card " called )

Partner Products (English " co-branded products" )

  • American Express Sixt Card
  • American Express Sixt Gold Card
  • American Express BMW Card
  • American Express BMW Premium Card ( available in silver, gold or carbon)
  • American Express MINI Excitement Card
  • American Express Gold Card Comdirect
  • American Express Gold Card Commerzbank
  • American Express Platinum Card Commerzbank
  • American Express Corporate Card German bank
  • Payback American Express Card

" Small Business Cards "

  • SBS Card
  • SBS Gold Card
  • SBS Platinum Card
  • BSG copper card

Business Customers

  • American Express Corporate Card
  • American Express Corporate Gold Card
  • American Express Corporate Platinum Card


To apply for an American Express card by the end of 2010, a minimum was required. An American Express Gold Card could ( in Austria 35,000 euros ) be applied, for example, only for a gross annual income of 40,000 euros. Since December 2010, no minimum is required.

The American Express Platinum Card costs 600 euros per year, comes to the one-time admission fee of 300 euros. This card is only issued for a gross annual income of 60,000 euros. Amex gives this card now also without invitation. In Austria, this card is continuing to gain by invitation only and review by the board of American Express. In Switzerland the map for an annual fee of 850 CHF, with an annual income of more than CHF 120,000 is available.

First a high six-figure annual sales over another Amex card must be generated to obtain a ( black ) American Express Centurion Card over the years. Only then American Express invites the customers to the appropriate map, ie the customer can not apply for the card itself. Card holders enjoy special care by their own " service teams ". The annual fee for a Centurion Card is in Germany and France 2,000 euros, 2,800 euros in the UK and in Switzerland 4200 Swiss francs. In the U.S., the annual fee is $ 2,500. Moreover in Germany a one-time initiation fee of 4,000 euros. The main card of a Centurion card card account is handmade in some countries of titanium.

In Europe, American Express cards at retail are significantly less accepted than MasterCard or Visa cards. Even shops and businesses, in principle, accept a variety of credit and debit cards, often preclude the acceptance of American Express cards. The reason for the higher at American Express cards cost of accepting companies are often called.

Bonus programs

In Germany, American Express offers its customers the bonus Membership Rewards program. Credit card holders who participate in this program can earn points about the use of their credit card. The fee ( free for owners of the Gold Card, Platinum Card or Centurion Card ) Program Membership Rewards Classic, a point will be credited for every euro; the bonus points also do not expire. From time to time special offers are available with extra points or double points, such as when a predetermined sales of certain parties ( transactions) and / or during the festive season. The program Membership Rewards Turbo no longer active advertised, it is possible for an extra charge, in addition to each collected point to acquire an additional 0.5 points ( limited additional 20,000 bonus points per year). From the beginning of January 2005 until end of January 2007 in Germany was also the Maximizer program bookable free (Score: from 1,000 € annual turnover 1.25 -fold, from 5,000 euros and 1.5-fold from 15,000 € 2 -fold) and could also be combined with the Turbo program.

The bonus points can be redeemed from a range of over 400 award. Furthermore, MR points to other loyalty programs are transferred (eg airlines). The map products Gold, Platinum and Centurion Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for award flights. Unlike the frequent flyer program Miles & More can be found at American Express no exclusion times when booking. In addition, Peek & Cloppenburg Dusseldorf ( and related branches ), and Anson's can be paid with Membership Rewards points in the German fashion houses, with 200 points in this case have the value of one euro. A partial redemption is possible in this case without further notice.

To redeem a premium missing points could be purchased by 2009 to 0.02 EUR per point, now this is no longer possible because of legal concerns. Whether the taxation of any cash benefit can also order this 0.02 EUR serve as a basis for calculation, is more controversial, because the value of a point for example when paying for purchases at Peek & Cloppenburg and Anson's (see above) just once 0.00571 EUR equivalent. The purchasing power of a point in a large proportion of the remaining premium is in a similar range of values. In any case, a lump-sum tax is levied in terms of the MR points according to terms of American Express at least for the business cards already.

The AmEx subsidiary Loyalty Partner winds through subsidiaries bonus programs Payback, bahn.bonus and bahn.bonus comfort from.