American Express Marketing Analysis
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Business summary and Brief History
In 1850, Henry Wells formed American Express along side the partnership of a few other competitors of the day. The delivery services company primarily worked in the eastern portion of the United States. When Wells suggested that the company extend west to California, the other executives declined. Henry Wells then partnered with William Fargo to form Wells Fargo and Co.
American Express continued with its pony express deliveries and had great success, becoming well known as a travel company. As early as 1891, American Express began issuing the first Travelers Checks. Even today the company may be the best known travel agent in the U.S. Although the company specialized in travel related products, over the years it has developed a wide array of financial services and conveniences. In the early 80s the CEO, James Robinson, decided to fully enter the financial services market. The company struggled to keep up with Visa and Mastercard because of their inexperience with revolving charge cards. There was a short dispute with Visa over American Express siding with Advanta Corp. to offer special rewards to customers for using their Am. Express cards. Visa was losing customers to American Express and filed a law suit against American Express that would impede any company working with Visa from having relations with American Express. The disputes ended in 2001 with the courts upholding American Express. The two companies, along with Mastercard, have become top competitors in the credit and charge card industry.
American Express is now based in New York City and in 2004 had total sales revenue of $ 29,115,000,000 between all of its subsidiaries including its investment firm and travel services.
Below are some of the Executives of the company.
Chairman, Chief Exec. Officer : Mr. Kenneth I. Chenault
Chairman -American Express Financial Advisors: Mr. James M. Cracchiolo
Chief Financial Officer and Exec Mr. Gary L. Crittenden
Group Pres-Global Corp. Services: Mr. Edward P. Gilligan
Group Pres- U S Consumer and Small Bus. Services: Mr. Alfred F
The City-Centric American Express Credit Card is an American Express product line offering, which is specifically geared for use and appeal by the young and social working class urban crowd from ages of 25 to 35 years in select metro cities in the United States.
The product types are IN:LA, IN:CHICAGO, IN:NYC credit cards offered in the 3 major cities of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. The City Centric card is among several different cards currently being offered by American Express which include – The High Yield Savings Account Card, American Express Gift Card, The Gold Card, The Corporate Card and The Blue Card. The card works simultaneously with the INSIDE Rewards Point Program.
No Annual Fee with 0% Introductory rate
Designed for Young Urban City folks
“Pay with the Card – Play with the card”
Shopping and Traveling Card
Earn and Accumulate reward points
Access account online
Identity Theft Assistance
Enjoy more at the urban metro areas by getting rewards for card use.
Preferential treatment and access at select venues
The City Centric Card offers a 0% introductory APR for qualified applicants and gives the consumer the opportunity to transfer an existing credit card balance with no interest rate charges for 6 months. Upon expiration of the 6 months grace period, interest rates will increase accordingly – 8.74%, 10.74%, 12.74%, 14.74% or 16.74% depending on the customers credit.
The customer will get to earn 2 Points in their INSIDE Rewards program for every $1 spent at a participating INSIDE Rewards establishment. Participating establishments and entertainment will give the consumer the opportunity to earn points upon any purchase which can be redeemed as monetary value at the end of a select period.
American Express allows the customer the choice of purchasing items from establishments of their choice and still be able INSIDE Rewards Points. The user will earn 1 Point for all other purchases, as long as the purchase is subject to INSIDE Rewards terms and conditions
Penalties or late fees will not be assessed for users who chose to carry their balance to the next month. However, the user will be subject to a minimum monthly fee in order for them to avoid any penalties and late fees.
The user can redeem accumulated points for purchases in 1,000 point increments. You may only purchase up to a maximum of 500,000 points per calendar year. At this point the user will have to redeem their points for purchase of items or services from a retailer, vendor or service firm of their choice (vacation, gifts, airline ticketsetc)
The user can save up to 10% at select retail locations on specific days in the designated metro areas. For example the IN:LA card offers special savings on Tuesdays at select locations and venues including work-out gyms and restaurants. Other special discounts can also be realized at select locations on all days of the week.
The main objective and goal for this card is to target urban metro cities like – Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. The card was designed for the young Social Metro-Urban Crowd that would more than likely spend close to $200.00 on a night on the town weekend rendezvous.
The card also offers exclusive rewards at some of the cities most raved restaurants, exclusive clubs, trendy entertainment venues and cultural institutions. This entices business and boosts spending by use of the City Centric Card.
Specific promotions for the City Centric Card include the following: