AMERICAN EXPRESS ANNOUNCES A FIRST FOR CREDIT CARD INDUSTRY – MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENTS
Capitalizing on Attractive, Affluent Cardmember Base, World’s Largest Issuer Offers Convenience and Rewards to Prime Borrowers
NEW YORK, May 23, 2007 — In a significant first for the credit card industry, American Express today announced that Cardmembers will now have the ability to pay monthly home mortgage payments on the American Express® Card. American Home Mortgage Corp. will be the first lender to offer this Express Rewards Mortgage(SM) program for eligible prime loans.
The announcement follows the successful introduction of luxury rental payments (2003) and luxury condominium down-payments (2006) on the American Express Card. The Express Rewards Mortgage program, designed for the consumer seeking a new or refinanced prime loan, provides Cardmembers with the ability to pay recurring monthly mortgage payments on the American Express Card; delivering convenience and security since they will have one less check to write and one less due date to remember. It also offers Cardmembers another opportunity to earn Membership Rewards, cash back, airline or hotel points or other types of rewards affiliated with their Card simply by paying their monthly mortgage.
In independent research conducted by American Express, consumers overwhelmingly cited monthly mortgage payments as an ideal opportunity to use their Card. In particular, the research indicates the desire to earn rewards for mortgage payments as a key motivating factor. American Home Mortgage will be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to appeal to the premium customer, the affluent, high-spending American Express Cardmember.
“By introducing an entirely new industry to card acceptance, American Express is providing tremendous value to our Cardmembers, Issuers and our Merchant partners,” said Bill Glenn, president, Establishment Services North America and Global Merchant Network Group, American Express. “The ability to pay recurring monthly mortgage payments on the Card, typically a consumer’s largest monthly expense, brings unprecedented convenience and rewards to our Cardmembers. This builds on the American Express tradition of innovation, enabling our Cardmembers to use their Card where and when they want to spend in categories such as luxury apartment rentals, private jets and corporate events.”
American Express Cardmembers with qualifying new purchase or refinance loans with American Home Mortgage will pay a one-time fee of $395 to the lender for enrollment in the Express Rewards Mortgage program at the time of closing. By participating in the program, Cardmembers will have the convenience of automatically charging recurring monthly mortgage payments to the American Express Card, decreasing the chance of late payments. In addition, program enrollees receive a package of unique benefits including access to premium service with a dedicated loan sales and processing group and an exclusive set of home-related offers from American Express merchants. The offers include such savings as $15 off orders of $100 or more at Brookstone; $200 off purchases of $1,000 or more at Design Within Reach; $20 off purchases of $100 or more at Linens ‘n Things, among others.
“The American Express Cardmember represents a very attractive customer segment for American Home Mortgage as we continue to grow our direct-to-consumer business channel,” said Debbie Holiday, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for American Home Mortgage’s Direct Group. “This innovative service will enhance our ability to expand our reach into a highly affluent market segment and offer Cardmembers increased flexibility and convenience.”
The program is open to all American Express consumer Cardmembers and applies to new mortgages for a home purchase or refinance of a qualifying prime loan offered by American Home Mortgage. To be eligible for the program, the Cardmember must qualify for and close on a participating prime loan under the lender’s underwriting standards and must be pre-authorized by the issuer to make the anticipated monthly payment.
About American Express
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, business services, insurance and international banking. Establishment Services is the merchant network of American Express, which acquires and maintains relationships with millions of merchants around the globe, which welcome American Express-branded Cards. For more information, please visit www.americanexpress.com.
About American Home Mortgage
American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. is a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on earning net interest income from self-originated loans and mortgage-backed securities, and through its taxable subsidiaries, from originating and servicing mortgage loans for institutional investors. Mortgages are originated through a network of loan production offices and call centers as well as through mortgage brokers and correspondents and are serviced at the Company’s Irving, Texas servicing center. For additional information, please visit www.ahmadvantage.com.
The above can be seen on the American Express website – click here.