BEATS STREET: American Express cardholders spend 12 percent more in the first three months of the year than same period a year, ago powering a 7 percent increase in the credit card company's earnings.
AFFLUENT FEEL GOOD: American Express serves a more affluent base than other credit card companies. During the economic recovery, sales at luxury stores have outperformed other stores. That's helped Amex _ income in the U.S. soared 35 percent to $752 million.
FEWER REWARDS: American Express tried to get its expenses in line and cut its marketing, promotion and rewards to cardholders in the by 14 percent. In recent quarters, the company's expenses had risen because it had been giving out higher rewards to ward off increased competition from card issuers like JPMorgan Chase.