Two companies that share the same founders and a rich history, Wells Fargo (WFC) and American Express (AXP), announced today a new chapter of partnership that will see Wells Fargo issuing new credit cards accepted on the American Express network.
Wells Fargo will make the cards available in the marketplace nationwide by mid-2014. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are delivering on our strategy to expand our credit card business," said John Stumpf, Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo. "Our goal is to offer Wells Fargo customers a suite of cards that help them meet their financial goals. We're proud to have American Express as a partner in this effort - a great company with a proven brand for customer service."
Wells Fargo customers will be able to apply for the cards through mail, online, phone and 6,000 retail store locations. Wells Fargo will conduct a pilot program for customers in select U.S. markets starting in the third quarter of 2013, with a full scale launch in the first half of 2014. The new cards will be accepted on the American Express global merchant network.
"Given the fact that two of our founders were Henry Wells and William Fargo, this partnership is especially significant to all of us at American Express," said Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express. "Wells Fargo is an outstanding addition to our global network of card-issuing partners. We look forward to starting a new journey with them and to delivering premium value and service to Wells Fargo's customers."
Avid Modjtabai, head of Wells Fargo's Consumer Lending Group, added, "We want to give the customers who already carry our card - and the ones who don't yet - greater rewards and benefits for having a Wells Fargo card in their wallets. The breadth of our offerings, our strong retail network and the power of this new partnership with American Express position us well to continue to deliver compelling choices and experiences to our customers."
As part of the card-issuing partnership, American Express is providing its Partner Advantage capabilities and services to support Wells Fargo in developing a suite of products that will offer a superior set of experiences, exclusive benefits and customized offers from the American Express network, both online and offline. Separately, LoyaltyEdge from American Express will assist in the design of a new Wells Fargo loyalty program by offering a broad range of merchandise and gift cards that Wells Fargo's consumer credit customers will be able to redeem with their points.
"Wells Fargo is one of the most respected financial institutions in the U.S., and we are delighted to bring the power of our brands together to offer Wells Fargo's customers an exciting new suite of high-value products that will provide rich rewards and benefits together with remarkable customer service," said William Stredwick, senior vice president, Global Network Partnerships, North America, American Express. "In doing so, we can support Wells Fargo's efforts to grow their credit card business and further extend the benefits of the American Express network."