American Express, also referred to as Amex, is a US multinational corporation with its headquarters located in New York City. The company is best known for providing credit cards, which accounted for 22.9% of all 2017 credit card transactions in the US based on total dollar value. American Express employs roughly 55,000 employees providing a wide range of diverse jobs. In 2017, Forbes named American Express as the 23rd most valuable brand in the world, estimating its worth to be $24.5 billion. In 2018, Fortune also ranked the company 14th most admired worldwide, and the 23rd best company to work for.
The company was founded in 1850, and was originally an express mail business based in Buffalo, New York. American Express was originally the result of a joint stock corporation formed through a merger between companies owned by Henry Wells, John Warren Butterfield, and William G. Fargo. The company enjoyed success in the movement of express shipments for many years.
In 1857, the company began to expand on its financial services, launching a money order business that would compete with the US Post Office. The first charge card (a travel charge card) was discussed in 1946, but would not be launched until 1958. There was huge public interest, resulting in 250,000 cards being issued even before the official launch.
In 1914, George Chadbourne Taylor succeeded Wells and Fargo and moved American Express to a new headquarters.
Today, American Express is one of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In 2017, American Express reported a turnover of 33.47 billion USD and a net profit of 2.74 billion. The company's well known logo is a gladiator/centurion. This image appears on many credit cards, cheques, charge cards etc.
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