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Costco will no longer take AmEx cards in U.S. stores starting in March 2016


New York -- In a big loss for American Express, Costco Wholesale Club will no longer accept American Express cards at its U.S. stores starting on March 31, 2016, ending a 16-year-old exclusive relationship with the credit card giant. Costco is one of the few big U.S. retailers that accepts only American Express cards, with by Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and Discover Financial Services cards not accepted at its stores.

American Express said on Thursday the loss of the contract would hurt earnings for the next two years, which sent its shares down as much as 7% and wiping out about $6 billion of market value, according to Reuters.

“We are proud of the value created over many years for Costco, for our card members and for our shareholders,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express. “Taking a very disciplined approach, we began discussions on a possible renewal with Costco well in advance of the contract expiration. However, we were unable to reach terms that would have made economic sense for our company and shareholders.”

As noted above, the current agreements with Costco end on March 31, 2016. Until that time, all American Express credit cards will be accepted at Costco warehouse stores in the U.S. and on

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