Platinum Vs. Platinum: The War Over Fat Wallets

AmEx gets serious competition from Merrill in the race to sign up affluent cardholders

Stephen Bradley may well be an American Express Co. cardholder for life. While the New Yorker was vacationing in 1994 in tiny, isolated Coruripe, Brazil, he ate something that made him gravely ill. With no doctor nearby, a friend frantically called American Express about its guarantee to arrange emergency medical evacuation and treatment for Platinum Card users on the road.

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