Photo: American Express offers a number of credit cards that are affiliated with airline loyalty programs, like this American Express Canada's AeroplanPlus card that earns rewards on Air Canada and other Star Alliance airlines.
American Express Company
As a financial services company, American Express is a curious one. Most people immediately associate the name with its namesake credit cards and travellers cheques. It also arranges travel for corporate clients and offers savings and travel insurance products.
- In 2003, American Express bought Great Britain's Threadneedle Asset Management Holdings from Zurich Financial for GBP 340-million (USD $570-million).
- In 2005, American Express spun off its asset management and advisory business into an independent NYSE-listed company called Ameriprise Financial.
- In 2007, American Express sold American Express Bank Ltd. to Great Britain's Standard Chartered plc for USD $1.1-billion (GBP 550-million). American Express Bank served 10,000 clients and provided services to financial institutions and affluent individuals. It had 75 offices across 47 countries.
- In 2008, American Express bought GE Money's Corporate Payment Services division from General Electric for USD $1.1-billion. GE's Corporate Payment Services provided credit card, purchasing and payment services for corporate clients as opposed to consumers. It had more than 300 large corporate clients. GE was exiting the private-label credit card business.
- Following the lead of Britain’s GBP 37-billion (USD $64-billion) partial nationalization of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, HBOS and Lloyds TSB Group, the U.S. government unveiled a similar plan on 2008-10-14 under which the U.S. Treasury injected USD $250-billion in nine major U.S. banks: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bank of New York Mellon, and State Street. The funds were disbursed under the name Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
- As the credit crisis deepened, other financial firms faced mounting pressure to raise their capital reserves, and American Express joined almost 200 other financial companies to request an expanded TARP program that saw a total of USD $431-billion being distributed. In order to qualify, American Express converted itself to a bank holding company and obtained USD $3.39-billion in TARP funding, which it fully repaid the U.S. government in June 2009.