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American Express eliminates monthly gift card fees

September 30, 2009 |  3:32 pm

American Express announced today that it is eliminating monthly fees on all of its gift cards, so shoppers don’t have to worry about their cards losing value if they don’t use them quickly.

The change, effective immediately, applies to gift cards now in stores, those headed to the market for the holidays and those already purchased by consumers.

"Customers told us that monthly fees undermine the value of gift cards, plain and simple," Alpesh Chokshi, president of American Express’ Global Prepaid unit, said in a statement. "We believe this sets a new gold standard among gift cards and provides a win for consumers and our business. With today's announcement, recipients now have a gift card that's 100% gift, 0% fees."

The company said it was now the only major issuer of universal, or "general purpose," gift cards to eliminate all fees after purchase. Shoppers will still have to pay an upfront purchase charge of $2.95 to $6.95.

American Express gift cards are available at more than 70,000 outlets including supermarkets, drugstores, malls and banks.

-- Andrea Chang

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