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AmEx Climbs as New Lending Push Shows Signs of Paying Off

  • Loans rise 16% in first quarter, outstanding balances surge
  • Shares gain in late trading after earnings beat estimates
American Express Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings Figures

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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Say “so long” to the granddaddy of charge cards.

American Express Co., long known to issue cards that had to be paid off in full every month, now wants its customers to take their time paying it back. The New York-based firm has looked to lending to bolster revenues after competitors including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. sweetened customer rewards and cut acceptance costs to steal some of its longtime business.