AmEx Plans New Perks to Lure Platinum Members to Centurion

American Express Co. will focus on refreshing many of its most popular cards next year to help retain fee-paying customers and persuade more of them to upgrade.

The push will come amid expectations that card-fee growth will slow in 2021 to a percentage in the single digits, Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri told investors at a conference Tuesday.

Still, the company hopes a bevy of new perks on its proprietary cards -- including Green, Gold, Platinum and Centurion -- as well as recent efforts to acquire more cardholders will help it return to double-digit growth in card fees in 2022, Squeri said.

“As we put more value into the products, we have people upgrading from Green to Gold, Gold to Platinum and Platinum to Centurion,” Squeri said.

AmEx has long been known for its $550-a-year Platinum card and its $5,000-a-year Centurion card, which have many perks tied to restaurants and travel spending. The New York-based firm has seen spending on its cards falter this year as the pandemic curtailed travel and forced consumers to stay home to stem the spread of the virus.

Shares of the company have dropped 0.9% this year, compared with a 15% jump for the S&P 500. The stock fell 0.5% to $123.39 at 1:10 p.m. in New York.

“As we look at next year, and we obviously focus more on acquisitions and we do the product refreshes, we believe we’ll continue to grow our cards, which will continue to grow our card-fee revenue,” Squeri said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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