The Nilson Report

Issue 1168 | Jan 2020


Companies featured in this issue include:

U.S. General Purpose Cards, Outstandings as a Percentage of Purchase Volume

American Express Card Results 2019

Discover Card U.S. Results 2019

Income at Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers: Company Net vs. Card Net

Investments in Merchant Acquiring & Processing—2019

American Express Card Results 2019

Results for American Express for calendar year 2019 are shown on the table on page 6. Figures include business generated by cards issued inside and outside the United States.

1. Cards
Global Total 114.4 (million), +0.4%
2. Accounts
Global Total 93.0 (million), +0.4%
3. Transactions
Global Total 8.90 (billion), +6.4%
4. Volume
Global Total $1,240.80 (billion), +6.3%
5. Outstandings
Global Total $172.57 (billion), +3.4%

Full access to the American Express Card Results 2019 is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



American Express Results U.S./Worldwide—2019

Please note: Only subscribers can access the charts included with this article.

After-tax net income for American Express for 2019 slid 2.3% to $6.76 billion on revenue (net of interest expense) of $43.56 billion, an increase of 8.0%. In the United States, consumer and commercial credit (including charge) and prepaid card purchase volume for goods and services grew 6.3% to $820.59 billion. 

That spending included cards issued by partners listed below. Outstanding U.S. credit card receivables grew 4.7% to $125.42 billion. Cards in circulation in the U.S. at December 31, 2019, grew 1.9% to 54.7 million. 

American Express’s U.S. card-issuing partners are Bank of America, BBVA Compass, Citigroup, Credit One, First National Bank of Omaha, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, U.S. Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

Total volume, which is the combination of purchase volume and cash advances, on all Amex cards issued in the U.S. grew 6.4% to $827.70 billion last year. 

U.S. travel and entertainment (T&E) total volume grew 6.6% to $210.87 billion. 

All other U.S. card products combined generated $616.83 billion in total volume, a 6.4% increase over 2018.

Total volume on U.S. consumer card products directly issued by American Express grew 7.5% to $398.80 billion. 

Total volume, purchase volume, and cash volume percent change figures for worldwide and outside the U.S. are on a local currency basis. 

All American Express cards worldwide, including those issued by Global Network Services (GNS) partners outside the U.S., generated total volume of $1.241 trillion, up 6.3% over 2018. 

Total volume on cards directly issued by American Express reached $1.071 trillion, up 8.0%. 

On cards issued by GNS partners, total volume dropped 2.0% to $170.30 billion. 

On all cards issued outside the U.S., total volume grew 6.0% to $413.10 billion. Total volume from cards issued in American Express’s Japan/Asia–Pacific/Australia region increased 5.0%. For cards issued in Latin America and Canada, total volume grew 10.0%. Total volume was up 5.0% from cards issued in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Consumer cards issued outside the U.S. directly by American Express had total volume reach $154.00 billion, up 14.0%. Volume on small business and corporate cards issued directly by Amex outside the U.S. grew 11.0%. 

American Express cards issued in the U.S. accounted for 66.71% of Amex’s total worldwide last year, an increase from 65.68% in 2018.

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