WSJ: Lawsuits may benefit American Express

This morning’s Heard on the Street column in the Wall St. Journal (subscription required) reports on how the recent lawsuits in the credit card industry may benefit American Express.

One factor in Amex’s favor: Fees paid by merchants to it are as much as half a percentage point higher than those paid to Visa and MasterCard. That makes it harder to sign up merchants, but easier to sign up banks. “Financial institutions will look into their portfolio of existing cardholders, identify some that aren’t particularly profitable, and see if they can migrate them to an Amex product that generates higher fees from merchants,” says David Robertson, the publisher of the Nilson Report, a trade publication following card-industry trends.

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