Don't Leave Home Without A Freebie

Can AmEx lure customers online--and still make money?

American Express, loss leader. That would have been an oxymoron for most of AmEx' 140-year history. But now, free stock trades, dirt-cheap credit cards, and aggressive rates on bank deposits are key to the travel and financial-services giant's strategy as it tries to leverage its trusted brand name into the online world.

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