American Express Co. customers soon will be able to charge purchases at Sam’s Club, months before their cards stop working at larger warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale Corp.
Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart Stores Inc., will start accepting Amex cards on Oct. 1 at its more than 650 locations across the U.S and Puerto Rico, according to a statement Thursday from the lender. The stores currently only take cards processed by MasterCard Inc. and Discover Financial Services, though Sam’s Club’s website also accepts those from Amex and Visa Inc.
The deal is a win for Amex, which tumbled in New York trading this year after announcing the end of an exclusive partnership with Costco, the biggest U.S. wholesaler. Amex, which typically carries higher processing fees than competitors, is accepted at fewer stores than Visa and MasterCard, and the company has said it’s focused on adding more.
“We are constantly looking for ways to expand the places where our card members can shop,” Anre Williams, the president of Amex’s merchant services business, said in the statement. Sam’s Club’s “nationwide presence provides more shopping choices to our consumer and small business card members."
Amex shares are down 19% this year, compared with the 7.7% drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index.
It’s not Amex’s only deal with Walmart. The lender, seeking to expand beyond its core base of affluent consumers, has been offering reloadable prepaid debit cards, including its Bluebird product in partnership with Walmart.