American Express’ Commitment to Backing Colleagues, Customers and Communities Affected by COVID-19

Apr 10, 2020 9:40 AM ET
Press Release

April 10, 2020 /3BL Media/ - For more than 170 years, American Express has been committed to backing our colleagues, our customers, our partners and the communities we serve around the world. As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, this commitment is more important than ever, and we wanted to share an update on some of the actions we’ve taken during this unprecedented time. 

Backing Our Colleagues
For generations, the key to our success has been the strength of our colleague base and the world class service they deliver day in and day out to our customers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our top priority has been to ensure our colleagues feel secure in their jobs and have the flexibility and resources they need to stay safe and healthy. To that end, we moved to a full-time work from home arrangement in virtually all locations around the world within a two-week period, during which we completely transformed our global customer service and travel operations from brick-and-mortar call centers to virtual, home-based servicing. In addition, we have committed to no COVID-19-related layoffs for the remainder of 2020.

We are continuing to pay the salaries of colleagues who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine, or who are in situations where members of their household or their family care arrangements have been affected by the virus, without them having to use their paid leave. For colleagues enrolled in one of our U.S. medical plans, we are providing coverage for all out-of-pocket medical and pharmacy service costs related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. We have also reminded all colleagues of the extensive health benefits and wellbeing programs we offer to help them cope with the challenges and stress of this situation, such as virtual counseling, wellness coaching, meditation and exercise programs. 

With these actions, our colleagues around the world can focus on what’s most important – staying healthy, being safe and caring for their families – while continuing to provide the very best support to our customers.

Backing Our Customers
We know this is also a tough time for our customers, and we’re committed to working to provide solutions for those who need them.

For our Consumer, Small Business and Corporate Card Members: We understand that these challenging times may create a need for financial assistance, and we are here to work with our customers to find options that can help them stay in control of their finances. We can help with a range of short-term and long-term financial assistance and can offer various benefits and payment flexibility depending on a Card Member’s circumstances. We are working to enable our small business customers to access the financial support provided under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program that is part of the CARES Act. 

We are adding hundreds of Amex Offers for Card Members to provide discounts or credits in the areas of home essentials, food delivery and takeout, digital entertainment, business services and wellness. U.S. Card Members enrolled in Membership Rewards may be eligible to take advantage of the following offers:

  • Get 20% off products sold and shipped by Amazon.com when Card Members use Membership Rewards points at checkout through April 20, 2020, up to $50 total savings over the course of the campaign.
  • Card Members can make their Membership Rewards points go 30% further sitewide when they shop with Membership Rewards points on the “Amex Shop” site through May 26, 2020.
  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards points on all spend with Grubhub and Seamless starting on April 15, 2020, through the end of the year.

For eligible U.S. Card accounts approved from December 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020, we have extended the time period for new Card Members to earn a welcome bonus for an additional three months. 

For Cobrand Card Members: We are working with our partners to extend Card Member benefits, such as airline companion certificates and hotel free night awards, so our mutual customers will have more time to enjoy these benefits.  

For American Express Travel Customers: We are waiving American Express Travel fees on modifications to eligible upcoming trips through May 31, 2020, for customers who booked trips through American Express Travel, and we have introduced digital solutions to help customers quickly cancel flights and hotel bookings online as well as an American Express Travel COVID-19 Information Hub to help customers stay informed.

For Merchants: We are adjusting certain policies for our merchants around the world to provide needed relief including:

  • Extending the amount of time merchants have to respond to a Card Member dispute to 30 days worldwide for disputes received between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020;
  • Raising contactless transaction thresholds to reduce physical contact at the point of sale in 28 countries to date, with plans for additional countries over the next month; and
  • Reminding merchants globally that American Express does not require them to collect or provide Card Members’ signatures at the point of sale.

Backing Our Communities
For our communities, American Express has committed more than $6 million in various forms of financial support to back the tireless work of those on the front lines of this global crisis.

This includes grants to the International Medical Corps, the CDC Foundation, Feeding America and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, as well as to local organizations around the world. These grants will help provide protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers, support the development of vaccines and research and help feed people impacted in our communities, among other critical needs. We’ve also pledged to match more than $1 million in Card Member donations to Feeding America when U.S. Card Members use their Membership Rewards points to make a donation to the organization through JustGiving.com. 

We are proud to support our partners, too. We partnered with Hilton and the company’s ownership community to donate up to 1 million hotel room nights to frontline medical professionals across the U.S. who need a place to sleep, recharge or isolate from their families. We’re also backing Marriott’s Rooms for Responders initiative. Marriott, with support from its partners, including American Express, has committed to provide $10 million worth of hotel stays in some of the hardest hit locations for heroic healthcare professionals.

We’ve complemented these efforts by donating more than 250,000 respiratory masks to hospitals to help keep medical response teams safe and assisting Rethink Food NYC and Eleven Madison Park in their efforts to feed thousands of New Yorkers in need, including the heroes on the front lines of this crisis. To support small businesses, we’re continuing to promote the positive impact consumers can have on their local communities and businesses through the #StayHome and #ShopSmall campaign and Resy, a subsidiary of American Express, has made it possible to book ‘takeout meals’ and is providing 100% fee and billing relief for its restaurant customers through early May.

For those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to backing you so that when we emerge from this, we’ll all come out stronger together. 

ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS
American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpressinstagram.com/americanexpresslinkedin.com/company/american-expresstwitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

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Leah Gerstner
+1 (646) 342-7819