Fitch Expects to Rate American Express Company's Senior Notes 'A+'

  Fitch Expects to Rate American Express Company's Senior Notes 'A+'

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- November 13, 2012

Fitch Ratings expects to rate American Express Company's (AXP) new senior
unsecured notes, maturing in December 2022 and December 2042, 'A+'. The new
notes are being offered in association with a debt exchange and will be
combined with cash to redeem a portion of AXP's 8.125% senior notes maturing
in 2019 or 8.150% senior notes maturing in 2038. Principal outstanding on the
2019 notes is $1.75 billion, and principal outstanding on the 2038 notes is
$1.0 billion. Each exchange offer is subject to a minimum of $500 million
principal amount of new notes to be issued.

Fitch does not consider the transaction to be a coercive debt exchange.
Instead, Fitch believes the issuance is an attempt to improve funding costs in
the attractive capital markets environment.

RATING DRIVERS AND SENSITIVITES

The Stable Outlook on AXP reflects the expectation that company will continue
to generate earnings consistency, peer-superior asset quality, and maintain
solid liquidity and strong risk-adjusted capitalization.

However, negative rating action could be driven by an inability by AXP to
maintain its competitive position and earnings prospects in an increasingly
digitized payment landscape. While the company is focused on strategic
acquisitions and alliances to expand its online and mobile capabilities,
competition from technology companies and social networks, with access to
significant consumer data, is expected to intensify. Still, a meaningful shift
in consumer payment behavior is expected to take some time to develop.

Negative rating momentum could also be driven by a decline in earnings
performance, resulting from a decrease in market share, declines in merchant
acceptance, or an inability to contain costs, a weakening liquidity profile,
and/or significant reductions in capitalization.

Fitch believes positive rating momentum is relatively limited given AXP's
concentration in payments and consumer products.

Fitch expects to assign the following rating:

American Express Company

-- Senior Unsecured Debt 'A+'.

Fitch currently rates AXP as follows:

American Express Co.

-- Long-term IDR 'A+';

-- Short-term IDR 'F1';

-- Short-term debt 'F1';

-- Senior debt 'A+';

-- Hybrid capital instrument 'BBB';

-- Viability Rating 'a+';

-- Support '5';

-- Support Floor 'NF'.

American Express Credit Corp.

-- Long-term IDR 'A+';

-- Short-term IDR 'F1';

-- Short-term debt 'F1';

-- Senior debt 'A+'.

American Express Centurion Bank

-- Long-term IDR 'A+';

-- Short-term IDR 'F1';

-- Senior debt 'A+';

-- Long-term deposits 'AA-'.

-- Short-term deposits 'F1+';

-- Viability Rating 'a+';

-- Support '5';

-- Support Floor 'NF'.

American Express Bank, FSB

-- Long-term IDR 'A+';

-- Short-term IDR 'F1';

-- Senior debt 'A+';

-- Long-term deposits 'AA-'.

-- Short-term deposits 'F1+';

-- Viability Rating 'a+';

-- Support '5';

-- Support Floor 'NF'.

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

-- Long-term IDR 'A+';

-- Short-term issuer 'F1'.

American Express Canada Credit Corp.

-- Long-term IDR 'A+';

-- Short-term IDR 'F1';

-- Senior debt 'A+'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings
above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has
been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

-- 'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria', Aug. 15, 2012.

-- 'Finance and Leasing Companies Criteria', Dec. 12, 2011.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=686181

Finance and Leasing Companies Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=659834

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Contact:

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Meghan Neenan, CFA, +1-212-908-9121
Senior Director
Fitch, Inc.
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Mohak Rao, CFA, +1-212-908-0559
Director
or
Committee Chairperson
Julie Solar, +1 312-368-5472
Senior Director
or
Media Relations:
Brian Bertsch, New York, +1 212-908-0549
Email: brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com
 
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