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AmEx's Customer Rewards Are Starting to Get Costly

  • Card issuer suspends buyback program as it rebuilds capital
  • Shares fall as forecast for profit in 2018 misses expectations
American Express Credit Cards Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
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A string of co-brand credit-card wins is getting expensive for American Express Co.

The cost of paying out rewards to card members climbed 12 percent to $1.98 billion in the fourth quarter, the most in at least seven years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. During 2017, AmEx won dual-issuing rights with JPMorgan Chase & Co. for Marriott International Inc.’s suite of cards and exclusive rights to issue credit cards for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., ending an agreement in which it shared the business with Citigroup Inc.