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American Express Refurbishes Gold Card, Expands Services

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American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) has announced a refreshed version of its popular Premier Rewards Gold Card. The new card will be called the American Express Gold Card.

This card is aimed at members who frequently travel and dine out. The cards will reward members with four times Membership Reward points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants. These cards also provide more travel-related benefits in the form of increased reward points on flights booked directly with airlines and amextravel.com; $100 airline fee credit; hotel collection in which card members will get hotel credit and other value added services; and personalized travel service.

The recent efforts show the company’s consistent attempt toward strengthening relationships with current customers and attracting new ones, through innovative products and services.

The recent step is in sync with one of the company’s strategic requirements to expand its leadership in the premium consumer space worldwide.

American Express provides its card members with global access to exclusive services and experiences. It continues to expand the global range of these offerings and recently announced the expansion of its Centurion Lounges with new openings scheduled in Los Angeles and Denver, and a second one at JFK in New York.

The most recent reward offering is expected to increase the company’s card member services cost, which is already its fastest-growing expense line. The increase reflects higher engagement levels across its premium travel services, including airport lounge access and cobrand benefits such as first bag free on Delta as well as usage of the new Uber benefit on platinum.

We expect cost of card member services to stay at elevated levels as American Express continues to offer differentiated benefits and plans to continually invest in Card Member Services.

In a year's time the stock of the company has gained 18% compared with the industry's decline of 8%.

American Express carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (EEFT - Free Report) , On Deck Capital, Inc. (ONDK - Free Report) and Safety, Income and Growth, Inc. (SAFE - Free Report) . Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Euronet Worldwide beat estimates in two of the four reported quarters with an average positive surprise of 0.38%.

On Deck Capital posted better-than-expected earnings in three of the trailing four reported quarters with an average positive surprise of 58.3%.

Safety, Income and Growth has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.7% upward over the last 30 days.

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