One of the most storied brands in the financial services industry, American Express fell on hard times of late. In 2015, the company announced that it would end its 16-year exclusive relationship with mega-retailer Costco, a big hit considering 1 in 10 Amex cards were issued by the wholesaler. The firm also reduced its prices to small merchants and beefed up the rewards it offers its customers to hold its own in a highly competitive credit card landscape. Nonetheless, American Express has been able to rebound. Its adjusted revenues (excluding Costco and foreign exchange) were up 5% in 2016, grew worldwide spending on its cards by 8%, and added more than a million new merchant locations in the U.S. in a bid to compete more aggressively with Visa and MasterCard.
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