Earlier: Amex, known for its exclusive cards—Centurion, etc.—and letting people charge whatever they want, is seeing a wave of delinquencies. Looks like the party’s over!
WSJ: Figures released last week show that about 4.1% of AmEx loans were at least 30 days late as of last month, up from 2.5% a year earlier. That’s still fewer delinquencies than at other large card issuers, including Bank of America Corp.’s rate of 5.9% in the third quarter.
But as the economy weakens, delinquencies and charge-offs are expected by analysts to climb even higher.
Seeing trouble on the horizon, American Express earlier this year tightened lending on cards that let people carry a balance from month to month. Now the company is getting even tougher on users of its traditional “charge cards,” which must be paid off every month.
For example, AmEx recently slapped a $1,100-a-month spending limit on John and Monica Bell’s platinum AmEx charge card. The reason: AmEx customers who pay with plastic at the same places where Mrs. Bell shops and have the same mortgage lender have poor repayment histories, according to a letter sent by AmEx.
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