American Express plans to cancel rewards points on credit cards

image As it became known Thursday, American Express Co., the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by purchases, intends to cancel rewards points earned on some credit cards during any month that a late charge is assessed and offer to add them back for a fee. AmEx also said it’s raising rates for cash advances and increasing the late fee.

Thus, Starting in September New York-based AmEx will cancel points accrued in the month consumers miss a required payment on its Blue and Blue Sky cards. AmEx wants to charge $29 to reinstate the points for each month’s worth of rewards that a cardholder wants to recover. Points earned in previous months aren’t affected. The policy doesn’t apply to other credit cards beyond Blue and Sky Blue, she said.

AmEx, cited the economy and the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which is coming into force next week. The lender also is removing over-limit fees for consumers influenced by the law US President signed May 22.

The point-cancellation policy is modeled after one that has been in place since 1998 for the American Express Green, Gold and Platinum charge cards, that require customers to monthly pay bills in full.

The stock rose 18 cents to $31.98 as of 4:15 p.m. in NYSE trading and has gained 72% this year, making it the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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