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American Express Becomes First And Only Of Three Big Card Companies Accepted At Costco Warehouse Clubs

New Cobranded American Express Cards for Costco Members
To be Launched in November

SEATTLE and NEW YORK—August 11, 1999—American Express and Costco today announced that American Express Cards will be accepted at Costco. American Express is the first and only of the three big card companies welcomed at Costco warehouse clubs in the United States.

Costco members can now enjoy the ease and convenience of shopping with the American Express Card at Costco and can take advantage of the benefits and services available to American Express Cardmembers. With Purchase Protection, for instance, consumer purchases are insured against accidental damage or theft for 90 days.* Additionally, Cardmembers enrolled in the Membership RewardsÒ program will be able to earn points on all their purchases at Costco. Membership RewardsÒ points can be redeemed for shopping or travel rewards.

Costco has also long been focused on serving the needs of small businesses. Now, these individuals can purchase office supplies and other work-related items at Costco using their American Express Corporate Card. The Corporate Card helps more than 2 million small businesses manage their expenses and cash flow. Small businesses spend more on the Card than on any other commercial card product.

The American Express Cardmember benefits further extend the high level of customer service available to Costco’s members, including Costco’s money-back guarantee on membership fees and merchandise.

New Cards for Costco Members

American Express and Costco also announced plans for two new cobranded cards, one for consumers and one for small businesses, to be introduced in November, 1999. These cobranded cards will also act as Costco membership cards and can be used anywhere that American Express is welcome.

The new consumer credit card will have no annual fee and will reward Cardmembers with Costco rebates based on all spending placed on the card. It will offer a competitive interest rate and will provide consumers with the retail services and benefits they have come to expect from American Express, including Buyer’s Assurance** and Purchase Protection.

The new small business charge card developed for Costco members will have no annual fee with a paid Costco membership and no pre-set spending limit. It will also offer discounts on a range of products and services directly from companies like IBM, Federal Express, Mobil, Hilton and Hertz.

Card applications will be available on the Internet and on site at Costco locations in November. More details about the cards will be announced later this year.

"Our partnership with Costco is a giant step forward in our strategy to increase retail coverage and charge volume and to expand the number of customers we serve," said David C. House, president, Establishment Services Worldwide, American Express. "The partnership will also increase loyalty among our small business Cardmembers because Costco is an important retail establishment for them."

"We see this partnership as a tremendous business opportunity for both companies and believe it opens up a wide spectrum of marketing and business opportunities. Through this initiative, both Costco and American Express will have the opportunity to grow their individual membership bases and to further enhance customer satisfaction," said James Sinegal, president and CEO of Costco, noting that customer demand was a driving force that brought the two companies together.

About American Express

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company -- a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. For more information about the company, visit www.americanexpress.com

About Costco

Costco is the original membership warehouse club, founded in 1976 in San Diego. Costco operates over 200 locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan and 16 warehouses in Mexico through a joint venture. As the leading membership warehouse club, Costco serves over 4 million businesses and over 12 million consumer households by bringing them top quality brand name merchandise at low warehouse prices. For more information about the company, visit www.costco.com.

Note to Editors: Photographs available at www.wirepix.com/newsphoto

*Purchase Protection Plan ensures that eligible items purchased entirely with the Card are protected against accidental damage or theft for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $1,000 per occurrence.

 **The Buyer’s Assurance Plan extends the terms of the original manufacturer's warranty up to one additional year on U.S. warranties of 5 years or less, on eligible purchases made entirely with the Card.

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