American Express Credit Cards

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Overview

American Express was founded in 1850 by Henry Wells, William Fargo and John Butterfield. It was started as an express mail business in Albany, New York. By 1882, American Express had extended to provide financial services with a money order business. In 1891, this financial services company launched Traveler's Check. The company introduced their first credit card in 1958.

How It Works

After Diners Club, American Express was the next company to introduce credit cards. When you use credit cards for purchasing, the financial institution will credit the money to the merchant's account. The charges to be billed will be assembled and sent to you at the end of billing period. You can pay the entire amount as a single settlement or as monthly installments with interest.

Benefits

There are many benefits in having an American Express credit card. American Express is a well-known company and their credit cards are accepted as a form of payment in many places around the world. American Express now offers their credit cards in both secured and unsecured versions. Customers who have less than perfect credit can still enjoy privileges of American Express credit cards.

Cost/Pricing

Owning an American Express credit card typically involves paying an annual fee, which varies from $30 to nearly $200 depending on the type of the card you have. Other costs related to owning an American Express card includes charges that are applied for exceeding the credit limit or paying with a check that has insufficient balance.

Timing

The right time to get a credit card completely depends on individuals. You should not make a decision just because the company is offering free stuff. Some people suggest that the best time to get a credit card is when you are ready to build a solid credit history. Some advise to get a credit card when you are very young, which will help you in building a good credit history. If you have good credit, it will help you afford buying a home and other things. But it is always better to buy a credit card when you think that you can be financially responsible.

Companies/Industries

Most banks and many financial institutions offer American Express credit cards through their institutions because American Express credit cards are accepted worldwide. American Express also offers financial services to many companies.

Last Updated: December 26, 2011
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