After Losing Costco, American Express Cuts Deal With Sam’s Club

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Seven months after splitting with long-time partner Costco Wholesale Corp., American Express Co. said Thursday that its cards will be accepted at rival membership warehouse Sam’s Club starting Oct. 1.

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., has 653 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

“We are constantly looking for ways to expand the places where our card members can shop and bring more convenience and value to their everyday lives,” Anre Williams, American Express president of global merchant services, said in a statement.

New York-based American Express was the only credit card accepted at Costco for 15 years. In February, the companies said the partnership would end in 2016.

Starting April 2016, Citigroup Inc. will be the exclusive issuer of Costco’s credit cards and Visa Inc. will be the credit-card network for Costco’s stores.

In March, American Express announced a customer-loyalty program called Plenti, in which consumers could earn points for shopping at a number of companies, such as Macy’s Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

The program was expected to help offset the loss of the Costco partnership, which represented 8 percent, or $80 billion, of American Express’s billed business and about 20 percent, or $14 billion, of its interest-bearing credit portfolio.