A credit card company for individuals and small businesses

American Express


American Express is one of the most recognizable brands in the United States with a history well over 150 years. The company is mostly known for its credit card, debit card, and traveler check lines, although the portfolio of services offered by the company is much larger. An innovator in its field, and one of the most important financial companies in the US, American Express is nowadays recognized as one of the elite companies of the world. This is the reason for which the company is a constant presence in the prestigious Fortune 500 list.

Website is a website strongly oriented towards the customer. Featuring online banking facilities as well as customized solutions for the various market segments it can be easily observed that the main page is directed primarily towards persons rather than businesses. The depth of the information provided though is impressive, regardless of the segment targeted.

Compared with the standard corporate design, excels at its marketing drive as it has an affiliate program, which very few other corporate websites offer, yet it doesn’t hold absolutely no information for its stock holders nor does it present its corporate policies, which is otherwise a common practice. This highlights the unconventional attitude that the company is boasting and its refusal of being frozen in the corporate style of rhetoric.

The History Of The Company

American Express dates back to 1950, when in Buffalo, New York, 3 entrepreneurs started an express business. The big break came 30 years later, when the company launched a money order business, which proved extremely over the Atlantic, in Europe. 9 years later in 1891, the traveler cheque was invented and in the immediate period their success saw a significant boost for the company. The establishing of a travel company shortly followed and the identity of the modern American Express was defined.

In 1917, the company suffered a setback as the company’s express business was put on hold due to the commandeering of the railroads by the US Army. This situation lasted until 1918 when all the existing express businesses in US were consolidated in a single company. American Express received 41% of the new company’s shares.

The trademark of American Express, the cards, appeared in 1958 as charge cards and where made of paper. One year later, the company scored an innovative first by producing world’s first plastic card, with embossed letters. The period that followed saw prosperous growth until in 1966 when disaster struck and American Express lost 50% in share prices due to the filing for bankruptcy of the Allied Crude Vegetable Oil Refining Corporation.

American Express recovered though and began its modern period with a series of concepts that are still used to this day. They were the first ones to divide their customer base in segments through the Gold/ Platinum card and they continued to extend their line of services by introducing credit cards, cards with no annual fees, introduction of rewards programs and a cultivation of elitism, through their famous Centurion black card.

Influence on Popular Culture

American Express held a high profile over the years and is now one of the most recognizable American brands. Benefiting from the publicity stunts that made David Ogilvy and his company Ogilvy & Mather's famous, there are several publicity campaigns such as the “Don’t leave home without it” and “” that entered the American mainstream culture. However, the sort of campaign for which American Express became famous was the advent of the cause card, a card which added a small sum to a charity every time a user made a purchase. Through this method, the company has gathered in 1983 1.7 million dollars for the restoration of the Statue Of Liberty, while their Charge Against Hunger campaign raised over 22 million dollars in a time span of 4 years. Right now this sort of “cause marketing” is not used as extensively in US, but is starting to be used in the UK as part of the anti AIDS campaign initiated by Bono.

Of course American Express also has its share of controversies, mostly generated by the unfair competition practices, which attempted to establish exclusive deals with some retailers. Over the time though, this issue has diluted to a great extent and there is if not peace at least truce between the major credit card companies in the US.




10030 N. 25th Ave, 9630/4
Phoenix AZ 85021 US


American Express Travel Related Services
Phone (Customer Service): 1-800-528-4800
Phone (Website Help): 1-800-AXP-1234 (1-800-297-1234)
Email: Click here to email.
For more information click here.

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